Devil’s Throat To Mud Wash ~ Gold Butte National Monument
There are plenty of good Jeep trails to explore in Gold Butte National Monument. Some of the trails are maintained BLM dirt roads, while others are rough old mining roads that see very little traffic. Some of the dirt roads run downhill to the Virgin River and Lake Mead, where secluded bays and beaches await those who really want to get away from it all. Some of the old gold rush era roads simply meander from one hidden desert spring to the next, just like connecting dots on a map that shows where a few precious drops of life giving water can be found. Some of the Gold Butte region dirt roads run uphill into the mountains where lush pine forests can be found. A few of these roads roll through narrow mountain passes into the neighboring Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument, which is an extremely remote wilderness area where few people dare to go. There are dirt roads that run to old ghost towns, abandoned mines and ghost ranches too, so as one can imagine, Gold Butte National Monument is 4×4 ATV adventurist’s dream come true!
A good beginner level Jeep trail was featured in a previous article titled “Mud Wash Trail To Petroglyphs & Little Finland.” There is more than one way to get to the Mud Wash and the dirt road that runs from Devil’s Throat is a nice choice. This alternate route starts at Devil’s Throat and ends just east of the red rock area in the Mud Wash where the ancient petroglyphs can be found. The Devil’s Throat route goes through some picturesque Mojave Desert scenery as it follows the shallow dry wash ravines downhill to the big Mud Wash.
There is another road at Devil’s Throat that goes to Red Bluff Spring, which is located in the same red rock region that is exposed in the Mud Wash. In fact, the Red Bluff Spring Road ends at Little Finland, so this is a third way to get to the Mud Wash. The Red Bluff Spring Road is a bit rougher than the rest, so only heavy duty vehicles should be the pick for this task.
Upon arrival at the Mud Wash when finishing the Devil’s Throat dirt road trail ride, the landscape looks like a deep wide sun faded mountain dry wash. From here, the Mud Wash Trail runs downhill through the biggest section of the mountain dry wash toward Lake Mead and this dirt road passes by many interesting landmarks along the way. The shallow ancient ocean bottom silt mud rubble canyon walls of this mountain dry wash tell a long geological timeline story that a professor could spend several days describing to a classroom. Where the Mud Wash Road enters the majestic red rock outcrop area, there are a few ancient native petroglyph panels that can be seen from the trail. At the end of the line, the Mud Wash Jeep Trail connects with Little Finland Road, which is where the intriguing wind carved Goblin red rock formations can be found.
By navigating downhill past the Little Finland intersection, the Mud Wash Road will eventually connects with the Narrows Road and Gold Butte Wash Road, which also lead to some interesting landmarks closer to Lake Mead and the Peace River. In order to tackle destinations on these two remote Jeep trails, a visitor will need to haul a few extra gallons of fuel, just to be on the safe side. Destinations along Narrows Road and Gold Butte Wash Road can amount to a 150 mile round trip from the closest gas stations in Mesquite, so for the average day tripper these roads are a bit too far. For an overnight adventurer, the remote trails that can be found at the very end of the Mud Wash Road offer a chance to go where few have been before.
Now that the two main Mud Wash Road access points have been focused upon, it should be easier to put a Mud Wash Jeep Trail venture together. There is much more to explore in the vast desert wilderness of Gold Butte National Monument, so keep the 4×4 wheels turning and plan on venturing to places where few others dare to go!