Little Finland |

Gold Butte National Monument

Hiking Little Finland - Gold Butte National Monument Hiking Little Finland
Gold Butte National Monument

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments

Overview

RATING: Easy Hike
LENGTH: 1+ hours
MAPS: Devil's Throat, NV;

Mon

88 | 62

Tue

94 | 65

Wed

96 | 71

Thu

89 | 70

Fri

80 | 60

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Any, hot in summers.
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: None

Mon

88 | 62

Tue

94 | 65

Wed

96 | 71

Thu

89 | 70

Fri

80 | 60

View Full Weather Details
Small arch at Little Finland

Small arch at Little Finland

One of the more popular places to visit in Gold Butte National Monument is Little Finland. This is an area where the reddish Aztec Sandstone layer is exposed and has eroded into fantastic fins and interesting shapes. Little Finland is at the edge of the sandstone layer, and the base of the layer is punctuated by an oasis created by small seeps where the water that has flowed between rock layers reaches the surface. West of Little Finland are sand hills and open county.

This is a fun place to wander and take in the unique sights. We visited on a cloudy day, and I don’t feel my pictures do the place justice. It is quite pretty.

Note: The road out is very washboard and rough in spots. High clearance required; four-wheel drive strongly recommended.
Looking south from Little Finland.

Looking south from Little Finland.

Getting There

Reaching Gold Butte starts by taking exit 112 off Interstate 15. This is about 70 miles east of Las Vegas, or 10 miles west of Mesquite Nevada. From exit 112, head south for 3.1 miles on NV-170 toward Riverside. Just after the road crosses the Virgin River, turn right onto Gold Butte Road.

  • Reset your odometer as you turn west onto Gold Butte Road. This is an old paved road that is a bit rough and gravel in sections, but passable by all vehicles in most conditions. ( 11S 748409mE 4068726mN / N36° 43' 54" W114° 13' 05" )
  • 19.7 miles - Side road on the right This is called Black Butte Rd. For reference, this is about 1.4 miles BEFORE reaching Whitney Pocket. ( 11S 754102mE 4046527mN / N36° 31' 49" W114° 09' 43" )
  • 19.9 miles - Side road on the right to a couple of good primitive camping spots. ( 11S 754383mE 4046395mN / N36° 31' 45" W114° 09' 32" )
  • 21.1 miles - Whitney Pocket. Good camping on the right. ( 11S 756034mE 4045904mN / N36° 31' 27" W114° 08' 26" )
  • 21.15 miles - Major junction. Large parking/camping area on the right. A good road goes left (east) along the base of Whitney Pocket. This is the Whitney Pass Rd. Stay straight and reset your odometer. ( 11S 756076mE 4045807mN / N36° 31' 24" W114° 08' 24" )
  • From Whitney Pocket - 3.9 miles - North Mud Wash Side Road to Little Finland, Seven Keyholes, etc... Go right here onto the side road. ( 11S 754067mE 4040421mN / N36° 28' 32" W114° 09' 51" )
  • Mud Wash Side Road - Jct of Mud Wash Road and North Mud Wash Road. Both about 3.0 miles from the main road. Reset your odometer here. ( 11S 752017mE 4036817mN / N36° 26' 37" W114° 11' 18" )
  • Mud Wash Side Road - 0.74 miles - Side road on the right. This is the Mud Wash Dunes side road to the Lollipop/Dunes Trailhead. Stay on the main road in the wash. ( 11S 751014mE 4036361mN / N36° 26' 23" W114° 11' 59" )
  • Mud Wash Side Road - 0.75 miles - The road comes close to a sandstone wall along the wash. This is the Mud Wash Panel. ( 11S 750916mE 4036284mN / N36° 26' 20" W114° 12' 03" )
  • Mud Wash Side Road - 1.35 miles - Easy to miss junction. Right (the wash) continues to Little Finland. Left leaves the wash, makes a quick turn, and climbs up to higher ground. This is the cutoff road to Seven Keyholes, The Grotto, and Mud Wash Narrows. Stay right in the main wash bottom. ( 11S 750313mE 4036001mN / N36° 26' 12" W114° 12' 27" )
  • Mud Wash Side Road - 4.0 miles - Little Finland side road leaves on the right up a wash. ( 11S 747803mE 4038934mN / N36° 27' 49" W114° 14' 04" )
  • Little Finland Side Road - 1.6 miles - Left goes up to easier access to Little Finland. Right goes to the Oasis Trailhead. ( 11S 749480mE 4037635mN / N36° 27' 06" W114° 12' 59" )
  • Little Finland Side Road - 1.9 miles - Little Finland Oasis Trailhead ( 11S 749610mE 4037295mN / N36° 26' 54" W114° 12' 54" )
The sandstone layer of Little Finland

The sandstone layer of Little Finland

Route

Rock Art and Historic Site Etiquette
Rock art and historic sites are fragile, non-renewable cultural resources that, once damaged, can never be replaced. To ensure they are protected, please:
  • Avoid Touching the Petroglyphs: Look and observe, BUT DO NOT TOUCH!
  • Stay on the Trails: Stay on the most used trails when visiting sites, and don't create new trails or trample vegetation.
  • Photography and Sketching is Allowed: Do not introduce any foreign substance to enhance the carved and pecked images for photographic or drawing purposes. Altering, defacing, or damaging the petroglyphs is against the law -- even if the damage is unintentional.
  • Pets: Keep pets on a leash and clean up after them.
  • Artifacts: If you happen to come across sherds (broken pottery) or lithics (flakes of stone tools), leave them where you see them. Once they are moved or removed, a piece of the past is forever lost.

As you approach Little Finland, there are two options. Several roads leave on the left (north) and go to the north end of the formation. This is the easiest way to get onto the sandstone layer. The second approach is to stay on the road in the wash bottom. The road ends at a lovely oasis area and fence below a small ledge. This second option is my preference. From the oasis trailhead, cross through the fence, and look for a low angle ramp climbing up behind the oasis to the middle part of Little Finland. This ramp is easy forth class but may be intimidating to some. If too intimidating, go back to the north end of the formation.

Once up the ramp, you are in the middle of the Little Finland formations! Keep an eye out, there are several petroglyph panels near the top of this ramp on the flat sandstone. Wandering along the flats and taking in the formations is the fun of the outing. We spent a couple of hours wandering both north and south. All areas are quite stunning. The area to the east has a few small, short side joints/canyons that are fun to explore as well.


Maps

Printable Maps:
Oasis Trailhead

11S 749610mE 4037295mN

N36° 26' 54" W114° 12' 54"

Vertical Panel

11S 749787mE 4037496mN

N36° 27' 01" W114° 12' 46"

Rock Art

11S 749680mE 4037335mN

N36° 26' 56" W114° 12' 51"

North Trailhead

11S 749554mE 4037847mN

N36° 27' 12" W114° 12' 55"

Small Slot

11S 749811mE 4037497mN

N36° 27' 01" W114° 12' 46"

Ramp

11S 749661mE 4037309mN

N36° 26' 55" W114° 12' 52"

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