The Dirt: Gold Butte Backcountry Byway



Home of the very first backcountry byway, Gold Butte National Monument host’s some of the most remote landscapes of southern Nevada.

The Byway begins 90 miles northeast of Las Vegas and five miles south of Mesquite/Bunkerville on Interstate 15, exit 112. The 62-mile scenic trip offers opportunities to see desert wildlife, red and white sandstone, sinkholes, petroglyphs, the Muddy Mountains and Lake Mead. The historic mining town of Gold Butte, established in 1908, is along the route. The primary extractions from Gold Butte are copper, gold, lead and zinc. The last 19 miles of the byway should only be traveled by high-clearance vehicles. Primitive camping and hiking are available along the byway.

Along the Byway, the first place you come to is campgrounds and a staging area for your OHV. Around the corner is the Whitney Pockets, a wall of sandstone decorated with various size pockets. Also in this area are ancient petroglyphs, and a historic dam built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. As you venture further you will come across a 110-ft. sink hole called The Devil’s Throat. From here you can continue to Little Finland where you will find amazing windswept rock formations as well as ancient petroglyphs. Another point of interest is the historic town site of Gold Butte where you can find building foundations, gravesites, and old mining shafts.


From Las Vegas to Gold Butte:

  • Take Interstate-15 approximately 69 miles North to Exit 112/Riverside Road.
  • Merge onto Riverside Road and travel approximately 17 miles to the Gold Butte Backcountry Byway.
  • Turn right onto the Byway and travel approximately 12 miles to the Monument boundary.

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: Bureau of Land Management

More Trail Info...

BLM Field Office - Las Vegas
4701 North Torrey Pines Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89130

Telephone: (702) 515-5000

Email: lvfoweb@blm.gov

Motor vehicles are permitted on designated trails only. High-clearance vehicles are recommended.

Always plan ahead and prepare for uncertainty. Travel with warm clothing, first aid, food, water and appropriate tools to fix a problem.
Traveling in groups is always a good idea, as well as informing someone of where you will be going.

  • Register Your Vehicle
  • Make sure your vehicle is equipped with a spark arrestor
  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Trail Users

Leave No Trace

Tread Lightly

Historic Preservation


Plan Your Visit