Nevada Nature February 14, 2017
The One Place In Nevada That Must Be Seen To Be Believed
The area of Gold Butte was recently declared a national monument and while that decision sparked some controversy, what no one can deny is that the natural formations in this area are something quite incredible to behold.
Gold Butte is an area located between Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon and covers about 300,000 acres.
There's a specific part of Gold Butte that is known for it's very striking and unusual red rock formations. The area goes by many names.
The most used names are "Little Finland," "Devil's Fire," and "Hobgoblin's Playground." The most often used name is Little Finland, which actually comes from the features of the rocks called erosional fins.
Little Finland is not easy to get to and the section of Gold Butte it's located in is fairly remote. For one thing, you need a vehicle with 4-wheel-drive to get there, otherwise the hike in is 12 miles.
The rock formations are composed of Aztec sandstone that have been eroded over time from wind, water and weathering by salt. You can still see areas of salt staining the tops of rocks and hills.
Despite the fact Little Finland is not an easy place to get to, it's a photographer's favorite and it's obvious why. The unusual, intricate shapes of the rocks and the red-orange coloring looks almost like something from another world.
Many of the rocks have an almost animal-like or fantasy creature shape to them, which led to the Hobgoblin's Playground name.
Little Finland isn't listed on most maps so you definitely need to know where you're going to get there.
From Las Vegas, take Interstate 15 to exit 112 (Riverside) and take State Route 170 south and turn right about 3 miles in after you have passed the Virgin River. The road you make a right on is not marked but this is New Gold Butte Road. The road is paved for 21 miles which ends when you reach Whitney Pockets, a popular camping location. Gold Butte Road becomes a gravel road at this point for the next 7 miles at which point you will turn right at the Devil's Throat/Red Bluff Spring sign. At this point, you need a 4 wheel drive vehicle to go any further. If you are properly equipped, take the road for another 18 miles until you reach Little Finland Road which is basically a wash on the right. Take this for another mile, then take the right fork for another 12 miles until you reach a parking lot area. A good driving map can be downloaded
If you want to hike in, drive up until the point where a 4WD is required, then park and hike in from there. You can download a topo map of the hiking route
Have you ever visited Little Finland? Share in the comments!