Monday, April 10, 2017

Little Finland, Gold Butte National Monument, NV (3/23/2017)

As well as I can recall, it was about ten years ago that I attempted to visit Little Finland but gave it up and turned around on Gold Butte Road.  Why punish yourself with twenty miles of bad road with no idea where to go from there and no signs to help?  Will the BLM add signs, now that the place has been made into a National Monument?  That hasn't been done at other NMs under their management, and I'm not sure I want it to be done here.  As much as the country needs more places to satisfy the hordes of people, both citizens and foreign visitors, looking for outdoor adventure, Little Finland is extremely fragile and needs protection.  Its remote location and lack of easy access provide the best protection for its amazing natural sculptures.

Little Finland is a plateau, about twenty acres in total, of red Aztec sandstone that Mother Nature has whittled into the most unusual shapes one can imagine.  Yes, there are other places with similar creations, but no two of them are truly the same.  It would take all day, or even days, to see all the formations.  Early or late in the day would be best for photography.  I tried for the late afternoon, but only stayed for an hour or so due to an approaching storm.  I got rained on a couple times, but did not want to get stuck out there by mucky "roads".  If you watched the video, you saw part of roughly ten miles of travel in different washes, any of which might become a quagmire with enough rain.

Even in the short time I was there, covering maybe two or three acres and never more than half a mile from the LRJ, I took almost a hundred photos.  Here are some that I think represent the part of the plateau that I saw.

Having a taste of Lttle Finland, I know I'll have to go back and see the rest of it.  Furthermore, Gold Butte National Monument also has a ghost town, abandoned mines, a huge sink hole and some ancient rock art.  I'll need better weather and much more time to see it all.