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Mud Wash Dunes Campsite
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Mud Wash Dunes Campsite
Mud Wash Dunes Campsite
Approaching Mud Wash Dunes campsite (view N)

Overview

Mud Wash Dunes campsite is a quiet, undeveloped campsite way out in the desert in the middle of Gold Butte National Monument. Limestone ridges tower over the campsite while dark-red sandstone crags and Joshua trees backstop the campsite.

There is no water, and there are no toilets, no trash cans, and no picnic tables. Bring what you need and take it home when you leave. There is truck parking a couple of miles west on Interstate-15 where campers can dump trash without taking it back to Las Vegas.

This campsite, suitable for a pickup camper or two, is located on sandy backroads that offer plenty of privacy. The camp area is small, so it is suitable only for one party. This is a scenic place to visit and commune with the scenery of this wild and rugged region.

Link to map.

Mud Wash Dunes Campsite
Arriving at Mud Wash Dunes campsite (view W)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... 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. 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.

A 4WD vehicle might be useful on the initial steep start to Mud Wash Dunes Road, but 2WD SUVs can make it up without too much trouble.

While visiting Gold Butte National Monument, 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, even if you leave them in the car.

Be sure to bring trash bags to clean up after people who care less about wild places than you do.

Mud Wash Dunes Campsite
Camping under the stars

Getting to Mud Wash Dunes Campsite

Mud Wash Dunes campsite is located out in Gold Butte National Monument at the northeast end of Lake Mead, about of 2-1/2 hours northeast of Las Vegas in a wild, remote, and scenic area.

From Las Vegas, drive out the paved Gold Butte Road 21 miles to Whitney Pocket. Continue south on the unpaved Gold Butte Road for 3.9 miles to a signed intersection with Mud Wash North Road.

Turn right onto Mud Wash North Road and continue 3.2 miles southwest to Mud Wash Road. Stay right onto Mud Wash Road and continue generally west for another 0.6 miles to Mud Wash Dunes Road (Table 1, Site 1677), which climbs the steep bank of the wash on the right.

Turn right onto Mud Wash Dunes Road, climb the steep bank, and continue 0.5 miles to the end of the road.

Mud Wash Dunes Campsite
Starry night and the glow of Las Vegas (view W)

Mud Wash Dunes Campsite

Mud Wash Dunes campsite is a quiet place out on the north side of Mud Wash. The site is nestled up against red sandstone crags that give it a warm and inviting feel rather than an expansive out-in-the-wide-open-desert feeling. The site, however, also serves as the turn-around loop at the end of the road, so be sure to set up camp in a way that allows other drivers to turn around and leave.

This campsite a good kick-off point for hikers. From camp, hikers can cross the post-and-cable fence and follow the old road north into the Mud Wash Sand Dunes, an area of strikingly red sanddunes blown up against red sandstone crags. Hikers can continue west around the north end of the crags and loop back into Little Finland before hiking over low ridges and back into camp.

There is some rock art in the area, so be sure to keep an eye out while hiking.

Mud Wash Dunes Campsite Mud Wash Dunes Campsite
Mud Wash Dunes Campsite
Mud Wash Dunes trailhead; afternoon light (view N)
Mud Wash Dunes Campsite
Mud Wash Dunes trailhead; morning light (view N)
Mud Wash Dunes
Hiking in the hills above camp
Mud Wash Dunes
Hiking in the hills above camp
Mud Wash Dunes
Hiking in the hills above camp
More to come ...
More to come ...

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)
1677 Mud Wash Rd at Mud Wash Dunes Rd 751100 4036172 36.43976 114.19871 2,001
MWD-camp Mud Wash Dunes campsite 751078 4036843 36.44581 114.19873 2,073

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 160905

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