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Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Mud Wash Corral to Little FinlandMud Wash Road at trailhead parking (view NW from near corral)

Overview

The hike from Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland is a short, 1/3-mile jaunt over the hills that saves drivers about 4 miles, probably takes less time, and makes access easier for drivers without 4WD vehicles. For people who enjoy the ride, the roads get you closer, but for others, this route adds a bit of interest to the Little Finland adventure.

From just downstream of the historic Mud Wash Corral, the route follows an old road that leads to nowhere, then runs north on a use-trail over low hills to the base of the Little Finland cliffs. A ramp, guarded by a sandstone dragon, leads easily into the Little Finland area, which is full of sandstone gnomes, fanciful shapes, and more monsters.

Link to map.

Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Trailhead (view E)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... this site is pretty safe, but always be careful when high enough to fall and get hurt.

This is a wild and remote area without services of any kind (no restrooms, no water, no gas, no food). Bring what you need to survive. Be prepared and be self-reliant. Law enforcement no longer patrols the area. Someone will find you eventually if you stay on a main road, but be prepared to survive alone for a day or two. Cell phones only work along parts of the paved road.

While out, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, this is a remote area, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials.

Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Trailhead (view E)

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located out in Gold Butte National Monument at the northeast end of Lake Mead, about 3 hours northeast of Las Vegas in a wild, remote, and scenic area.

From town, drive out the paved Gold Butte Road 21 miles to the end of the pavement at Whitney Pocket. Continue south on the unpaved Gold Butte Road for 3.9 miles to Mud Wash North Road on the right. Turn onto Mud Wash North Road and drive southwest 3.2 miles to Mud Wash Road. Stay right onto Mud Wash Road and continue west down the wash for 1.7 miles to Mud Wash Corral, on the right.

Either park at Mud Wash Corral or at the first bend in Mud Wash Road beyond the corral. Park here; this is the trailhead.

Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Start of the route (view E from Mud Wash Road)

The Hike

From the trailhead near the corral (Table 1, Waypoint 01), the route runs east and up a sandy wash. When only about 40 yards from Mud Wash Road, it becomes apparent that an old road turns left out of the wash and runs north away the corral.

Following the old road, the route climbs over a low ridge and drops into a bit of a bowl where the road ends (Wpt. 02) for no apparent reason. Continuing northwest, a use-trail leads over a low saddle (Wpt. 03) and out the other side of the bowl.

From the saddle, hikers can see a fenceline ahead that blocks cows out of a gully, and they can see the ramp that leads through the Little Finland cliffs.

Continuing northwest, the route passes over the low promontory (Wpt. 04) at the left end of the fence. From the promontory, another fence can be seen ahead.

Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Carsonite marker with "no vehicles" symbols (view E)

This time, the route passes the right end of the fence (Wpt. 05) where hikers need to be careful on the edge of the cliff. The fence post seems to make a good handhold, but I'm not sure if it is sturdy.

Now on the north side of the fence, the use-trail follows the fenceline for 4-5 posts, then turns more due north and descends the hillside into the bottom of the gully, reaching the bottom near a short palm tree (Wpt. 06).

In the bottom of the gully, the route follows the base of the Little Finland cliffs, and after paying proper homage to the sandstone dragon that guards the base of the ramp (Wpt. 07), follows the ramp up into Little Finland from where hikers are free to wander about.

When returning, hikers need only follow the top edge of the cliffs to find the ramp, and then retrace the route back to the trailhead (Wpt. 01).

Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Route exits wash onto old road (view NE)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Route follow old road (view N)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Route follow old road (view N)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Atop low ridge (view NW into bowl area)
Little Finland
Hikers might take a little detour east to cliffs and sand dunes
Little Finland
Hikers might take a little detour east to cliffs and sand dunes
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
End of old road; use-trail continues over low saddle (view NW)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Atop low saddle (view NW)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Approaching promontory and fence; pass on the left (view NW)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Atop promontory (view NW towards ramp into Little Finland)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Approaching second fence (view NW)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Second fence; pass on right at edge of drop-off (view NW)
Little Finland
Silverleaf Sunrays just outside fence (view NW)
Mud Wash Corral to Little FinlandRoute descends slope to short palm tree (view N)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Short palm tree (view NNE)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Route runs down sandy wash towards the dragon (view NW)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Spring at base of Little Finland cliffs (view NE)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Don't annoy the dragon!
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Below the dragon, route runs up ramps (view NW)
Little Finland
Two ramps: lower ramp and upper ramp (view NW)
Little Finland
The lower ramp is easier (view NW)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
The high ramp works too (view N)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
High-ramp route arriving atop cliffs (view N)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Entering Little Finland, proper (view N)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Little Finland, proper (view NW)
More to come
More to come ...

Return to the Trailhead

Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Edge of cliffs; atop ramp (view S departing Little Finland)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Descending the ramp (view S)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Route climbs hillside towards fence (view S)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Hillside with first fence ahead (view S)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Monster face looking over Little Finland cliffs?
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Beyond fence (view SE towards promontory)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Atop promontory (view SE towards low saddle)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Approaching low saddle (view SE)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Atop low saddle (view SE into bowl)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Exiting bowl over low ridge on old road (view S)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Route returns over old road (view S towards corral)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Approaching wash (view S)
Mud Wash Corral to Little Finland
Returning down wash towards trailhead (view W)
more to come ...
more to come ...

Table 1. Hiking Coordinates and Distances based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Hiking GPS Waypoints (gpx) file.

Wpt. Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
01 Trailhead 749963 4036438 1,906 0.00 0.00 Yes
02 Old Road Ends 749978 4036660 1,907 0.17 0.17 Yes
03 Low Saddle 749963 4036678 1,903 0.02 0.19 Yes
04 Fence atop Promontory 749938 4036712 1,910 0.02 0.21 GPS
05 Second Fence 749910 4036743 1,901 0.03 0.24 GPS
06 Base of Wall at Short Palm Tree 749909 4036820 1,855 0.06 0.30 GPS
07 Slickrock Ramp 749880 4036878 1,851 0.04 0.34 GPS
01 Trailhead 749963 4036438 1,906 0.34 0.68 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170915

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