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Voight Well, part of Gold Butte Townsite
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Voight WellVoight Well Road East, heading towards Voight Well (view S)

Overview

Gold Butte Townsite is an interesting area to visit and commune with the mining and ranching history of this wild and rugged region. Gold Butte Townsite is, however, an area rather than a specific site, and Voight Well is the eastern end of the "Gold Butte Townsite" area.

The townsite is the location of the historic mining town of Gold Butte, which was established in the 1900s. Granite Spring, here at Voight Well, was the local source of water and was developed for domestic use at that time, but it is now dry. After the miners left, the ranchers moved in and developed water structures and a corral.

Now the site serves as a footnote in history and a nice place to camp. Visitors can see the old corral, the old spring site, bits of historic junk lying about, and even visit an old arrastra (like a grist mill), thought to be among the oldest evidence of gold mining in the area. The area is not big, but is suitable for about three groups of campers.

Link to map.

Voight Well
Gold Butte Peak Road passing an old fence line (view SE)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... this place is fairly safe, but there are old mines in the area, and holes in the ground are never safe to enter.

This is wild and remote country 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. It is a big place and someone will find you eventually if you stay on a main road, but be prepared to survive alone for a day or two, or even longer on side roads.

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

Be sure to bring trash bags to clean up after people who care less about wild places than we do, but only pick up new trash -- leave the historic junk in place.

Voight Well
Arrastra (view SW)

Getting to Voight Well

Voight Well, and all of Gold Butte Townsite, 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 Whitney Pocket. Continue south on the unpaved Gold Butte Road for 20 miles to the Gold Butte Townsite area, which is stretched out along the south side of the road in that area.

At about 19.8 miles from the end of the pavement, Gold Butte Road crosses a cattle guard, then in about 20 yards (Table 1, Site 0097), Voight Well Road forks to the left. Angle left onto Voight Well Road East and drive south into the historic area (Site 0900).

Gold Butte Townsite
Campsite at sunrise (view N)

Voight Well

Voight Well Road East runs due south about 0.1 miles to the old corral (Site 0900), the east side of which is anchored by a tall boulder pile. In front of the corral, Voight Well Road West runs right (west) and reconnects with Gold Butte Road (Site 0098). To the left, Gold Butte Peak Road runs east into the rock piles.

Staying left, Gold Butte Peak Road splits around another boulder pile. Reconnecting on the far side, a side road to the right cuts through a fence and runs about 100 yards to a parking area that serves as a berm to hold back whatever water might flow from Granite Spring or flow down from the mountains beyond.

Continuing straight on Gold Butte Peak Road past Granite Spring Road, in 50 yards the road splits again, but this is just a turn-about that serves as a nice campsite tucked back in the rocks.

Voight Well
Gold Butte Peak after sunset (view SE)

Gold Butte Peak Road actually bends to the right from the turn-about and continues, technically, all the way to the summit of Gold Butte Peak. In another 80 yards, however, the road passes through a narrow gap between boulders that are so tight as to discourage everything except ATVs, although jeeps can get through. For all intents, this is the end of the road and is not suitable for camping.

Walking through the gap, the old Granite Spring arrastra lies up the road about 150 yards off to the right. There is an old can dump near the arrastra, and while it is interesting to examine the old cans, please consider them to be historic items rather than trash.

Other interesting things are scattered about: make it a treasure hunt and see what you can find.

Voight Well Voight Well
Voight Well Voight Well
Gold Butte Townsite
Campsite
Gold Butte Townsite
Arriving at camp after sunset
Gold Butte Townsite
Campsite
Voight Well
Horse Campers
Gold Butte Townsite
Boulder pile at night (view E)
Gold Butte Townsite
Campsite at night with stars and the glow of Las Vegas (view W)
Gold Butte Townsite
Balanced rock (view SW)
Gold Butte Townsite
Balanced rock (view SW)
Voight Well
Local residents on coarse-grained granite
Voight Well
Local resident: Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard

Table 1. Highway Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Highway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Site Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft) Verified
1650 Gold Butte Rd at Voight Well Rd E 752023 4019023 36.28510 114.19398 3,710 Yes
1651 Gold Butte Rd at Voight Well Rd W 751876 4018844 36.28352 114.19567 3,696 Yes
1698 Voight Well Area   752057 4018860 36.28362 114.19366 3,724 Yes
1699 Gold Butte Peak Trailhead 752256 4018822 36.28323 114.19145 3,743 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 151226

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