Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Grand Gold Butte Petroglyph Hike - 1/24/17

The Pond

Return Route

Desert Spoon & Virgin Peak

We Three Sheep
 Six club members joined up with another hiking club on a trip to Gold Butte National Monument to see the main petroglyph area called Falling Man. Gold Butte had had torrents of rain during the past two days and in the weeks previous to this, and the clouds were just starting to leave the area the morning that we arrived. Our drive out Gold Butte Road was filled with hundreds of small potholes. The NDOT had scraped the mud from the places where the washes cross the very old rough pavement but there was no way that a car could survive the twenty mile drive without getting very dirty. At the Falling Man turnoff, we consolidated the five cars into four and prepared for the bad road ahead.

Falling Man Area
 This one mile of dirt road crosses several ditch-like washes and high clearance vehicles with 4WD is always recommended. Today, it was necessary.

View Back to Virgin Range
 We arrived at the Falling Man Trailhead very excited. Most of the hikers had not been on this fabulous hike that was mapped out by K & J Blackwell in 2012.

Trail & Valley of Fire in Distance

21 Sheep Wall
 We explored the Falling Man area taking note of every petroglyph that we knew about ... and, that's a lot of petroglyphs! Then we hiked on out to the 21 Sheep Wall and the dammed pond. Due to recent rains, the pond was brimming with water and was a gorgeous sight to behold. Next, we hiked through the sandstone maze and out via cow trails to the white sandstone that holds the Kohta Circus Panel, the largest petroglyph panel in Clark County. Here, we sat for our break.

Hiking to Pond
 After the break, we hiked up through the slot; always a favorite in this hike. Then we hiked the return portion of the route.

The Pond
 The clouds lifted off of the snow covered Virgin Mountain Range for our hike back and the photos practically took themselves!

The Pond

The Pond
 Although this hike was as much a photo opp as a discovery of the ancient petroglyphs, this entry is a shortened description of the hike. For a more detailed version of the hike, please view previous entries on this site. Gold Butte is deserving of protection and we hope that the new National Monument status of this land gives due protection yet, at the same time, allows the public to continue enjoying the land as they have become accustomed. An exceptionally gorgeous day in Gold Butte.

The Pond

Kohta Circus Panel

High Arch Landmark on Return to Pond Area

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