The Rainbow Vista Trail in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada is a quick 1.0 mile trail with two main features. The “rainbow” part of the name is mostly at the beginning of the trail with rock formations colored in shades from white to brown to red. The “vista” part of the name refers mostly to the grand Fire Canyon overlook at the end of the trail.
The Rainbow Vista Trail in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada can be found on White Domes Road shortly after the Visitor Center and the Mousetank Trailhead and immediately before the Fire Canyon/Silica Dome trailhead.
The Rainbow Vista Trail in Valley of Fire State Park begins in a wide area of colorful and elaborate rock formations as you’ve come to expect in Valley of Fire State Park by now. The trail is at first well marked with signs leading to a view of the rock that has a marking indicating this is a great place to take a photo. I took the photo there that appears as the first slide on this page.
After the photo spot you circle around to the right then take a gradual left to continue along the canyon. The trail markers disappear, but are not really needed as the surrounding rocks pretty much funnel you into the main route. The canyon begins to narrow as the rocks assume a more reddish tone. The walls rise higher around you and the rock formations become more wildly elaborate. You are now in the beginnings of Fire Canyon.
The trail suddenly ends at the edge of a drop off with a grand overlook of Fire Canyon. The initial impression is that this is an impassible cliff. However, you can descend to the right and down into Fire Canyon as I did on this day.
There are what look like petroglyphs on the canyon walls at the beginning of the Rainbow Vista Trail. The reason there’s a question mark here is that there is also a lot of graffiti, and it’s hard to tell if a few of the petroglyphs that appear to be authentic are indeed authentic. It looks as though someone attempted to erase the graffiti from the rock face, which mainly resulted large areas with a blank lighter looking tone. This demonstrates that once graffiti is etched into the rock, it’s not really possible to restore the rock face to its original look.