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Valley of Fire & Hoover Dam - One Day?

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Will be traveling to Vegas in a few weeks with my wife. It is her first time there, but I have been before. This time, I plan to stray more from The Strip even though we are staying at The Mirage.

We would like to see/tour the Hoover Dam during our 5-day and also visit Valley of Fire.

First, can these both be done in one day trip? I don't need to do extensive hiking at Valley of Fire, just want to explore around a bit, get my photos, enjoy the park, and be happy with that. I just don't know how realistic one full-day trip to see both is.

Second, can I expect to get in and around Valley of Fire okay on my own? My wife and I are both pretty active in our 30's and have been hiking a few times before in NH and ME with no problems. Not an expert, but I am fine reading a map and following a trail. Is a guieded tour necessary, or can I see some good sights while guiding myself?

We looked at bus tours of Hoover Dam, Valley of Fire, and so forth... but now we plan to rent a car. It looks like the cost of cabs, shuttles,. and buses could add up over the 5 days! Any assistance/feedback/advice you have is greatly appreciates... Thanks!

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