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Little Finland
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte Region
Little Finland
Gold Butte, Little Finland
Trailhead parking (view NE)


Little Finland (aka Hobgoblin's Playground and Devil's Fire) is a fascinating area where wind and water have sculpted red sandstone rock into fantastical shapes that rival the best of other areas in the southwestern deserts. From the trailhead, a short scramble leads up into Little Finland, which stretches out for about 0.4 miles to the north. Exploration is easy because the area is fairly level. The farther you go and the more you look, the more you find, but this is more of an elfin wonderland than an area of towering pillars.

This area is a major attraction for photographers. See some fine photography here. and additional ordinary photos here.

Link to Area Map or Hiking Map.

Little Finland
Trailhead (view E)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... this is a fairly safe area, but be careful scrambling around the edge of the cliffs, some of which are undercut.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, even though this hike is short, the area is remote, so be sure to bring what you need of the 10 Essentials.

Little Finland
Route up the cliff (view E from trailhead)

Getting to the Trailhead

Little Finland is located way out in the Gold Butte Region 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 to Gold Butte and then Whitney Pocket at the end of the paved Gold Butte Road (Table 1, Site 060). Continue south on the unpaved Gold Butte Road for 3.9 miles to Mud Wash North Road (Site 062).

Turn right onto Mud Wash North Road and drive southwest and downstream for 3.2 miles to Mud Wash Road (Site 341). Stay right onto Mud Wash Road, continuing downstream for another 4.0 miles to Little Finland Road (Site 370).
Little Finland
2nd-class scramble-up (view N)

Turn right onto Little Finland Road and drive northeast for 1.0 miles to a fork (Site 373). Stay to the right and continue another 300 yards. At this point, a wide spot in the road, the road turns hard to the right and enters a narrow canyon. Without a good, high-clearance vehicle and sturdy tires, stop in the wide spot before entering the narrow canyon.

Continuing into the canyon, the road climbs over a high and rocky step that is barely passable in 2WD. Beyond the step, the road runs easily for another 0.7 miles to a fenced parking area at the end of the road (Site 376). Park here; this is the trailhead.

Note that this is the south end of Little Finland, and a plethora of illegal roads run along the base of the cliffs and up onto a hill at the north end of the cliffs.

(view southeast)
Atop the cliffs at the north end (view south)

The Hike

From the trailhead (Table 2, Waypoint 01), a use-trail runs east about 250 feet to the base of the cliff (Wpt. 02), then turns left to scrambles up a 2nd-class ramp to the top of the cliff (Wpt. 02), which is Little Finland. From the top of the cliff, hikers can wander southeast through the elfin wonderland about 0.2 miles (Wpt. 04) or wander north about 0.4 miles (Wpt. 05).

Alternatively, illegal roads lead to the top of the cliff at the north end of Little Finland (Wpt. 05). While driving up is illegal, walking is okay, and heading up at this end avoids scrambling up a 2nd-class ramp.

This is a good place to wander about, sit and think, eat a little lunch, and contemplate the forces of nature (wind and water) that created such a site.

Little Finland
Little Finland (view E from access road)
Gold Butte, Little Finland
Atop the cliffs (view NW)
Gold Butte, Little Finland
Amazing color on a sunny day ...
Gold Butte, Little Finland
... thanks to Kenny Amundsen for sharing.
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Little Finland Little Finland
Little Finland Little Finland
Little Finland Gold Butte, Little Finland

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

Site Location Latitude Longitude Easting Northing Elevation Verified
060 Gold Butte Rd at Whitney Pocket 36.52346 114.13926 756154 4045616 2,998 GPS
070 Gold Butte Rd at Mud Wash Rd 36.43259 114.14299 756119 4035524 2,279 GPS
300 Mud Wash Road at Devils Throat Rd 36.42923 114.14664 755804 4035140 2,289 GPS
370 Mud Wash Road at Little Finland Rd 36.46365 114.23372 747885 4038732 1,735 GPS
373 Little Finland Rd, Fork 36.45799 114.22105 749039 4038136 1,781 GPS
376 Little Finland Trailhead 36.44838 114.21404 749698 4037089 1,838 GPS

Table 2. Hiking Coordinates and Distances based on GPS data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Hiking GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
01 Trailhead 749689 4037088 1838 0.00 0.00 GPS
02 Base of Cliff 749737 4037104 1817 0.05 0.05 GPS
03 Top of Cliff 749736 4037121 1838 0.01 0.06 GPS
04 South End 749823 4036973 1867 0.16 0.22 GPS
05 North End 749659 4037613 1850 .. 0.36 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
© 2015 Jim Boone; Last updated 140117

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