Mud Wash Narrows |

Gold Butte National Monument

Hiking Mud Wash Narrows - Gold Butte National Monument Hiking Mud Wash Narrows
Gold Butte National Monument

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

Overview

RATING: Easy Hike
LENGTH: 2-3 hours
MAPS: OVERTON BEACH, NV

Tue

68 | 51

Wed

73 | 49

Thu

79 | 52

Fri

79 | 53

Sat

80 | 56

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Fall, Winter, Spring (Hot in summer)
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: None
NOTES: Reaching the trailhead is a bit rougher than the more main roads in the monument. True 4-wheel drive strongly recommended. High clearance might be passable if carefully driven.

Tue

68 | 51

Wed

73 | 49

Thu

79 | 52

Fri

79 | 53

Sat

80 | 56

View Full Weather Details
Mud Wash Narrows - Gold Butte National Monument

Mud Wash Narrows - Gold Butte National Monument

Gold Butte is made up of mostly sandstone outcroppings, jagged limestone peaks, and some granite on its southern end. Mud Wash, as it meanders its way down from the interior region of Gold Butte National Monument to the Virgin River cuts through a different layer than the rest of the monument. The wash narrows and cuts through a layer of conglomerate rock creating the Mud Wash Narrows just before reaching the Virgin River above Lake Mead.

The narrows are quite different than the rest of the monument and are a good out and back hike. Before becoming a monument, the narrows were part of a popular off-road loop but are now closed to motor vehicles.

Face in the rock of Mud Wash Narrows

Face in the rock of Mud Wash Narrows

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" )
  • 19.9 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. ( 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. Go LEFT here, leaving Mud Wash. Reset your odometer as you turn onto the Cutoff Road. ( 11S 750313mE 4036001mN / N36° 26' 12" W114° 12' 27" )
  • Cutoff Road - 0.3 miles - Small parking area and trail (old road) on the left. This is the grotto trailhead. ( 11S 750134mE 4036026mN / N36° 26' 13" W114° 12' 34" )
  • Cutoff Road - 1.86 miles - Jct. Left. ( 11S 748092mE 4036755mN / N36° 26' 38" W114° 13' 55" )
  • Cutoff Road - 1.9 miles - A major junction. Go on the second left, not the first hard left here. ( 11S 748080mE 4036630mN / N36° 26' 34" W114° 13' 56" )
  • Narrows North Road - 500 ft - Jct - Right to Mud Wash Narrows. This is a rougher two track. Follow this side road 2.3 miles as it descends down the Gold Butte Wash bottom to rejoin Mud Wash just above the Mud Wash Narrows. ( 11S 748095mE 4036475mN / N36° 26' 29" W114° 13' 56" )
  • Narrows Road - 2.3 miles - Mud Wash Narrows Trailhead in the wash bottom at the confluence of the two washes. ( 11S 745403mE 4038473mN / N36° 27' 37" W114° 15' 41" )
Just getting started down the Mud Wash Narrows.

Just getting started down the Mud Wash Narrows.

Route

Navigation is easy on this outing. From the trailhead, walk down the wash. In just a minute or two, it turns right, narrows, and enters the conglomerate rock layer. Springs feed a small stream here that is easily hopped over. It is absorbed by the ground again not too far down into the narrows. The deepest part of the canyon is near the start.

There are numerous solution pockets in the wall that are neat to see, and that our preschooler loved to poke her head in.

Continuing down, the canyon begins to slow open as the walls widen and change from cliffs to slopes. Return whenever motivation dictates. Once the canyon opens, to my eye, it becomes a fair bit less interesting.


Maps

Route / 1.73 miles / Elevation Range 1,468 - 1,569 ft.
Printable Maps:
Mud Wash Narrows Trailhead

11S 745404mE 4038482mN

N36° 27' 37" W114° 15' 41"

Narrows

11S 745237mE 4038417mN

N36° 27' 35" W114° 15' 48"

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