The Trail To The Little Finland Goblins Access ~ Gold Butte National Monument

The Trail To The Little Finland Goblins Access ~ Gold Butte National Monument

The garden of wind carved sandstone statues at the end of the Mud Wash has always been referred to as “The Goblins”and this is what most of the locals still call this place.  Modern maps refer to this little speck on a map as Little Finland, but those who are in the know will continue to refer to this place by its traditional name. The Goblins area in Gold Butte National Monument is ominous, formidable and awe inspiring all at the same time!  The setting alone is enough to make a person ponder over how this all could possibly be real.  

The gigantic red sandstone outcrop that the Goblins sit upon is shaped like a tall rectangular solid stone slab platform with a flat top surface.  The tall side walls of the gigantic stone slab rise straight up from the ground, just like the walls of an impenetrable fortress.  The look of this place from a distance is quite intimidating and it may take a bit of thought as to how to get up over the tall fortress wall to take a closer look at the Goblins.

Scaling the stone slab wall at The Goblins is not a wise thing to do for two good reasons.  The old palm trees that grow from the seepage springs at the base of this gigantic rock formation stand like guards, so a visitor should heed the visual warning.  From a distance, the height of the wall looks manageable, but up close the sheer vertical wall is over 20 feet high at its lowest point.  This place is so remote, that a compound bone fracture from an errant fall may result in certain death, because any source of rescue is several hours away The high risk of injury is the number one reason why scaling the wall is not the best way to access the Goblins. The second reason why climbing the wall is not a good idea is the use of climbing gear will damage this pristine landmark which is protected by Federal Law, so the fines can be steeper than the wall itself.

Since climbing the fortress wall to get to the goblins is not an option, even though this is the shortest distance to the objective, a visitor will have to hike the long way around to safely access the Goblins area by means of approaching on terrain that does not have a steep slope. There are foot trails that lead to the far side of the Goblins where easy access can be found. There also is an easy to navigate foot trail that leads to an access point on the Mud Wash side of the Goblins too.

The hiking trail to the southern access point for the Goblins area is featured in this article. This access point is closest to the Mud Wash and it begins where the main Little Finland dirt road ends. Where the main dirt road ends is just behind a small hill on the east end of the Little Finland dry wash basin. There is a fairly large parking area in this spot and the barbed wire fence that keeps cattle out of the Goblins area is next to the parking area. There is a human gate along the barbed wire fence that is easy to pass through. Once on the other side, the hiking trail that parallels the gigantic stone slab going east to the access point is easy to spot!  

Between the foot path and the gigantic stone slab is a small spring fed creek, so there is some lush green growth in this hidden ravine. Where there is water in the desert, there is wildlife, so it pays to be wary of rattlesnakes when passing through. By following the old creekside cattle trail upstream for a few hundred yards, a hiker will reach the point where the giant stone slab meets ground level. From here it is as easy as following the tapered slope up the face of the stone slab to get to the flat top surface.

From the top of the stone slab access point, the lush green creekside ravine that was just hiked through can be seen below. When looking straight ahead, the majestic orange sandstone Goblins come into view and this is where the fun part of the journey begins! Hopefully by featuring the short hiking trail to the easiest Goblins access point will help visitors arrive safely.

In this majestic pristine area it is important to remember to make a soft footprint and leave no trace! When visiting the Goblins it is best to choose a path that causes no damage to this fragile wind carved sandstone environment. It can get very windy in this part of the desert, so packing a dust mask and goggles along with an ample supply of water is advisable. There is no place on earth like the Goblins at Little Finland and just getting there is half of the fun!


Author: wildwestdestinations

I worked as a chef in remote resorts and National Parks, which provided the time to explore western travel destinations. I have a BA Degree in Culinary Management with high honors and currently I am working on a Masters Degree in Adult Education. My food and travel blog writing began as a means to generate income during college and now photo journalism has become my lifestyle.

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