Visit to Gold Butte National Monument - Trip Notes for 03/14/2018

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This page last updated on 03/18/2018
(Fig. 01) Whitney Pocket

03/14/2018 Trip Notes: On this day, Harvey Smith and I took Bob Croke and Jim Herring to four sites that neither of them had ever been do in Gold Butte; Devil's Throat, Mud Wash Petroglyphs, Kirk's Grotto and Little Finland. The map in (Fig. 02) shows the roughly 40 miles miles we had to travel in order to reach these locations. Before we can ever get to take any of the beautiful pictures in Gold Butte, such as the landscape taken at Whitney Pocket in (Fig. 01), the parking lot and staging area for our day of off-roading, we have to 'load up' all the equipment (Fig. 03) needed to get to some of the desolated sites scattered around the Gold Butte National Monument. Referring to the map, we departed from Whitney Pocket and headed south on the graded dirt road the Devil's Throat. This spot was very disappointing due to a four and a half foot high chain linked fenced, several feet back from the edges of the 'hole' that prevented anyone from taking into the hole. Even though there was a fence the last time I was there, it was much closer. For pictures, see my previous page for this site ... Devils Throat - Gold Butte. From here we traveled west to Mud Wash Road. From this intersection we headed southwest for a few miles to the site of the Mud Road Petroglyphs. The picture in (Fig. 04) shows the five panel locations of petroglyphs. I think Bob Croke figured out why I hadn't noticed one of these on my previous visit (Fig. 04a).  For more pictures, see my previous page for this site ... Mud Wash Road Petroglyphs. After leaving this site we continued down and around the corner of the wash until we came to a road the left the wash and switched back its way up to a mesa that overlooked Mud Wash Road. Looking northwest is showed a good view of Bitter Ridge in the distance. (Fig. 05). This road followed the wash for a while and then turn to the west (refer to the map) until it intersected Backcountry Byway. We then turned to the left and then veered to the left and headed southeast to Kirk's Grotto. (Con't below)

(Fig. 02)

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(Fig. 05)
Trip Notes Continued: Once we reached the parking area and trailhead for Kirt's Grotto (Fig. 06), we hiked down the fairly steep road that leads to the area below. On the way to the actual grotto area, we passed several petroglyph panels on the cliffs on the right that I'm not sure I noticed on my previous trip here (Fig. 07). For more pictures and detailed description on Kirt's Grotto, see my previous page for this site ... Kirt's Grotto. After a picnic lunch in the shade of the grotto we spotted a large Chuckwalla Lizard climbing way up on the side of the cliff (Fig. 08). After touring this area we retraced out tracks back to the Backcountry Byway. Before heading northwest up the byway towards the Mud Wash Road and the road to Little Finland, we stopped to capture this shot of the landscape vista ahead of us (Fig. 09). Finally we reached Little Finland, probably one of my most favorite spots in all of Gold Butte. We climbed up onto the mesa that stretches for nearly a half mile. Unfortunately, by the time we reached this area the winds picked up considerably; the blowing dust and the late time of day forced us to cut short our photo taking opportunities. In spite of this I was able to still capture dozens of outstanding pictures (Figs. 10 - 14). For more pictures and detailed description on Little Finland, see my previous page for this site ... Little Finland Gold Butte. By the time we got back to Whitney Pocket, reloaded all the equipment and drove home, it was nearly 7:00 pm. Even though it was a long day, everyone really enjoyed.
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(Fig. 14)
Return to the Gold Butte summary page ... Gold Butte National Monument - Summary Page.