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Silica Dome

Difficult
 4.7 (15) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This is a great way to make experiencing Silica Dome into a scenic day hike.


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Map Key

6.8

Miles

11.0

KM

Out and Back

2,269' 692 m

High

1,879' 573 m

Low

782' 238 m

Up

782' 238 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Valley of Fire is open sunrise to sunset. You need to be in or near your vehicle by sunset. An entrance fee of $10 for Nevada residents or $15 for non-residents is required.

Overview

While Silica Dome is normally just a short hike from its parking area, accessing the geologic feature this way allows you to make a half-day adventure out of it. Along this route, you'll experience rugged, towering sandstone and the famous Mouse's Tank as an appetizer to the main course: Silica Dome.

Need to Know

This hike utilizes parts of both established trails and unmaintained canyon washes through Valley of Fire State Park. As such, it's a good idea to bring the Hiking Project mobile app with you to make sure you take the correct turns and stay on course.

Expect to have to scramble and squeeze through some relatively tight spots along this route.

This hike is best done in the cooler months of the year, as the temperatures can be searing during the heat of the summer.

Description

Starting from the Mouse's Tank Trail Parking Area, follow the trail as it meanders along a sandy bottom amidst bulges of large, overhanging red sandstone. Follow the trail to Mouse's Tank and enjoy this natural wonder.

Once you're ready to continue, follow the route down into Fire Canyon Wash. There is no obvious entry into Fire Wash - climb up to the left of Mouse's Tank, and then scramble back down hill into the Wash. Be cautious - a fall is possible.

When hiking here April 2021, we came to a blockage about one mile in. A huge boulder blocks the slot canyon. A very small person might squeeze under it, but most cannot. There is also about a 10 (?) foot drop behind the boulder so this may be impassible for many hikers. You can return to the trailhead and the partial hike is still a great experience with gorgeous views, some scrambling, some rabbit-holing.

You can access Silica Dome from the parking area on Fire Canyon Road and hike up the dome from there. If you get through the blockage, once you're roughly 1.7 miles from the trailhead (as mapped). At this point, the wash will continue to the right, but you're going to want to head left (north). From here, the wash climbs through rockier and more narrow terrain to eventually reach the parking lot for Fire Canyon Overlook at 2.78 miles (as mapped).

Once you've caught your breath, meander over to the road and follow the route right to reach Silica Dome and gorgeous, 360-degree panoramas of your surroundings. Once you've had your fill of the views and your trail snacks, you can either retrace your steps back to the car or follow Fire Canyon Road (AKA Rainbow Vista Road) to Mouse's Tank Road and the parking area for an easier return.

Flora & Fauna

There is not much in the way of flora. The area is very dry and barren with mostly rocks

Contacts

Shared By:

Mirek Wierzbicki with improvements by Jean-Claude Linossi and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 15 votes

#665

Overall
  4.7 from 15 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#12

in Nevada

#665

Overall
25 Views Last Month
3,254 Since Jan 23, 2018
Difficult

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7%
7%
79%
7%

Photos

Fire Canyon from Silica Dome
Sep 25, 2021 near Moapa V…, NV
Scrambling between the boulders
Jan 25, 2018 near Moapa V…, NV
Fire Canyon Wash
Jan 24, 2018 near Moapa V…, NV
The last stretch out of Fire Canyon is steep and rocky, don't forget to turn around and enjoy this view
Sep 25, 2021 near Moapa V…, NV
Red rock everywhere
Sep 25, 2021 near Moapa V…, NV
View from Silica Dome
Jan 24, 2018 near Moapa V…, NV

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Check-Ins

Apr 16, 2021
Richard Rubicam
IMPASSIBLE chock stone at about .85 miles in. Two rock climbers came in behind me and agreed to turn back was the only option. 1.7mi
Apr 7, 2021
Tilman Giese
Mar 15, 2020
Matteo Giacomazzi
6.8mi — 4h 44m
Oct 2, 2019
Jean-Claude Linossi
Only hike a section of the trail 0.5mi — 0h 30m
Jun 30, 2019
Bart De Gryse
Apr 15, 2019
Stephen Chuang
Adventurous hike, especially through the canyon walls. Couldn't figure out how to get down/through the 10ft wall slab. Couldn't fit through the hole..
Feb 13, 2019
Michael P
Feb 1, 2019
Luke Petersen