9 Great Free Gold Butte Monument Boondocking Spots
Gold Butte Monument is located in the Mojave Desert in Southern Nevada. From Las Vegas to Gold Butte Monument will take you approximately two and a half to three hours. Because of being a little hard to get to, it has very few tourists. This national monument is worth visiting.
History of the Gold Butte Monument
Covering approximately 300,000 acres of land, this national monument features various natural as well as cultural resources including sandstone towers, rock arts and wildlife habitat.
In addition to that, this area protects historical mining sites and ranches like the ghost town Gold Butte Monument. In this ghost town, there are few mine openings, cement foundation along with relatively small pieces of rusting equipment.
How to Get to Gold Butte Monument
The first thing you need to be aware of is that most roads into Gold Butte Monument will require a 4-wheel drive vehicle equipped with high clearance. It would be best if you also considered coming with spare tires, a well-detailed map, extra gas as well as food and water in case of any emergency.
To get there, you should take the Interstate 15 which is north of Las Vegas and then take the Exit 112 towards Bunkerville/Riverside and keep heading south. You will then cross a bridge over Virgin River and then turn west on the first road after the bridge.
Free Boondocking Sites Near Gold Butte
Gold Butte Monument is located on a very difficult unattended road and free boondocking is all 10 to as much as 25 miles from the entrance. The best way to visit is to camp inside the monument.
You can take a trailer or RV into the monument but it will just have to be a slow crawl along parts of the road. On the brighter side once in the monument the road is good and passable for any vehicle.
The best part of visiting Gold Butte Monument is that there is no entrance fee. In addition, camping in this monument is unregulated. However, you should consider choosing a low-impact or an existing site and try to practice Leave-No-Trace skills.
Top Boondocking Locations Outside Gold Butte Monument
1. Boondocking Location Near Gold Butte Monument – 13 Miles From Monument Entrance: South Cove
GPS: 36.088919, -114.105943
South Cove Managed By: Bureau of Land Management
Beautiful place to stay – lake and mountain views, rock formations overlooking the lake shore, gorgeous sunsets and sunrises. Not really very level but manageable. Stayed here in a 26′ class A and a tent, January 2nd and 3rd 2020. Close enough to Grand Canyon West for a daytrip.
2. Boondocking Location Near Gold Butte Monument – 16 Miles From Monument Entrance: Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument Pakoon Springs
Pakoon Springs Road
GPS: 36.418255, -113.960678
Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument Pakoon Springs Managed By: Bureau of Land Management
Visitors can pick their own campsite, but please camp at least 200 feet from water sources and use biodegradable soap. Camping is permitted for up to 14 days. See the map linked to the right for monument boundaries.
3. Boondocking Location Near Gold Butte Monument – 17 Miles From Monument Entrance: Whitney Pockets
GPS: 36.524198, -114.133117
Whitney Pockets Managed By: Bureau of Land Management
The road in is Gravel. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. Free boondocking on BLM owned desert land. Flat and open at the base of beautiful red rock. Dry camping in the middle of the desert. No facilities or utilities. No reservations taken.
Nestled in a cluster of sandstone outcrops with cultural resource sites including prehistoric habitation. Lots of rock formations. It’s a great place for photography and exploring on foot, by bike, on horseback, or ATV. and history in the area. Petroglyphs near by. It can be very busy on the weekends.
4. Boondocking Location Near Gold Butte Monument – 19 Miles From Monument Entrance: Sand Mine Road
Sand Mine Road
GPS: 36.471602, -114.440813
Sand Mine Road Monument Managed By: Bureau of Land Management
The road in is Dirt. The maximum RV length at Sand Mine Road is unlimited. You may stay 14 days at Sand Mine Road. Dispersed camping on BLM land near Valley of Fire State Park and Lake Mead. Level, quiet, and wide open. Full sun. Services and a dump station are 7 miles away in Overton.
The road in is in great shape for the first few miles.
5. Boondocking Location Near Gold Butte Monument – 20 Miles From Monument Entrance: Snowbird Mesa aka Poverty Flats
Snowbird Mesa aka Poverty Flats
GPS: 36.48497, -114.444626
Snowbird Mesa aka Poverty Flats Managed By: Bureau of Reclamation
The road in is Dirt and 1 miles from a paved road. According to the “residents” of the mesa it is free camping from October to June and managed by the bureau of reclamation.
I found only 1 reference at the listed website (scroll down to Overton section). It listed no max stay. There were about 40 campers, some in boats, tents, trucktoppers big rigs. Water is available and dump down the road about 10 – 15 miles to Echo Bay.
6. Boondocking Location Near Gold Butte Monument – 21 Miles From Monument Entrance: Lake Mead NRA – Bonelli Landing
Bonelli Landing Road
Temple Bar Marina, Arizona
GPS: 36.083545, -114.485137
Lake Mead NRA – Bonelli Landing Monument Managed By :National Park Service
This is one of our favorite spots even after almost a year of boondock camping full time. We stayed here mid April 2018 for about 5 days and had the entire place to ourselves as far as the eye could see! Only a handful of day users came through, and most kept their distance (not all were as courteous).
The weekend however, brought droves of campers. If you prefer total privacy, then maybe avoid weekends. There are wild donkeys, wild horses, and a stray bull. The animals kept their distance as well. The water was warm and pretty clean. The road to the site is a 6 mile dirt road with some soft sand spots.
I was able to navigate it easily in a 2WD heavy van, and even saw someone show up in a 2WD sport car.
7. Boondocking Location Near Gold Butte Monument – 21 Miles From Monument Entrance: Overton Wildlife Management Area
GPS: 36.5165, -114.4241
Overton Wildlife Management Area Managed By : State Park
Overton Wildlife Management Area is open year round. There are 6-15 campsites at this location. You may stay 8 days at Overton Wildlife Management Area.
8. Boondocking Location Near Gold Butte Monument – 22 Miles From Monument Entrance: Bonelli Bay
Temple Bar Marina, Arizona
GPS: 36.043981, -114.461896
Bonelli Bay Managed By: National Park Service
The road in is Dirt and 8 miles from a paved road. Bonelli Bay is open year round. The maximum RV length at Bonelli Bay is unlimited. You may stay 14 days at Bonelli Bay. From hwy 93 take the road to Temple Bar.
The toll station for collecting the NP fee doesn’t seem to be active in winter. After 16 miles, at a sharp curve to the right, turn left into the dust road. The road has deep cross grooves that may not be passible by 2WD vehicles.
After 8 miles you get to sandy shores at the lake, either having gone straight to Bonelli Ramp, or having turned right to Bonelli Bay. The shore is swampy and the lake cannot be accessed walking.
Waste management at the turn-off from the paved road. Gas at Temple Bar daily from 8 to 5, Regular only. Next gas 50 miles at Boulder.
9. Boondocking Location Near Gold Butte Monument – 25 Miles From Monument Entrance: Meadview Overlook
GPS: 35.939639, -113.976044
Meadview Overlook Managed By: Bureau of Land Management
The road in is Dirt. You may stay 14 days at Meadview Overlook. amp near the edge of the mesa and overlook Meadview and Lake Mead. At night you’ll see the glow of Vegas to the west.
Take the road toward the Grand Canyon Skywalk then turn left(north) when you’re near the top. There’s a big gravel pile and a sign for the Skywalk and you’ll go over a cattle guard. It’s a slow 7.5 miles over a dirt road that I would not recommend for a regular car.
However there are a ton of spots within a mile of the highway that wouldn’t be a challenge. Just no view. Junipers and Josh us trees dominate this lanscape. Heard coyotes howling and chased off a dozen wild boars. Very secluded, private.
Use Google earth to figure out the roads to take. To hard to explain then all. My Garmin didn’t explained show the road I drove in on.
Gold Butte Monument Places and Things to See
Gold Butte Monument is a safe place. It features some incredible sites that are worth visiting and varied wildlife for you to see. Some of the must-visit places in this monument include:
1. Whitney Pocket
It is by far the first point of interest once you get to Gold Butte Monument. Here, you will find a dam and storage cave that was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps at the beginning of 1930s.
2. Little Finland
This is the most photographed area in the Gold Butte Monument. It is famous for its incredible rock formation that is bright orange in color; strong winds created the rock formation. These rocks are adorned by beautiful palm trees which makes it more picturesque.
3. Devils throat.
This is a 110-foot deep sinkhole at the edge of Gold Butte Monument, and it is among one of the most unusual features in this area.
When it comes to wildlife, some of the animals you will see while in this national monument include;
☛ Mojave Desert Tortoise
☛ Desert Bighorn Sheep
☛ Cooper’s Hawk
☛ Mountain Lions
☛ Desert Kangaroo Rats
☛ Golden Eagles
☛ Bald Eagles
☛ Banded Gila Monster
☛ Allen’s Big-eared Bats
Five Best Things To Do at Gold Butte Monument
The top five best activities to do while in the Gold Butte Monument include:
1. Visit the Petroglyph Panels at Newspaper Rock
In Gold Butte, you will be able to see petroglyphs. It is considered as one of the best places to visit. You will be able to see how the Nuwuvi used the landscape of the Mojave Desert. It is beyond description. There are up to 400 rocks of art panels that are covered with approximately 3,500 petroglyphs.
2. Hiking, Backpacking, Biking and Camping
These are some of the best outdoor activities you might consider doing in Gold Butte Monument. This national monument has some of the best hiking and biking trails.
Since the national monument is vast, there are several camping spots you might consider choosing including Whitney Pocket, which is said to be the most famous camping spot. When you spend a night here, you will be able to enjoy some of the best views of the Milky Way.
3. Check Out The Ghost Town
While visiting, you should not leave before visiting the Gold Butte Ghost Town. This is a remnant of gold mining times. This ghost town used to be for Gold Butte Mining District, and this is where the monument got its name.
The ghost town was established in the early 1900s and had approximately 2000 residents in peak days. Nevertheless, the town became deserted after ten years. There are some structures present in the town, and it is worth checking out.
4. Hunting (Permit Required)
If you are into hunting, then you will enjoy your visit to the Gold Butte Monument. While in this monument, you will be able to hunt some of its wildlife such as the desert bighorn sheep.
5. Horseback Riding
You will be able to enjoy horseback riding through canyons and peaks. This is one of the best ways of touring the canyons and peaks in this particular monument.
Top 10 Trails to Hike at the Gold Butte Monument
When hiking at Gold Butte Monument, some of the best trails you should consider taking include;
⚬ Gold Butte Monument Hike. It is by far one of the easiest trails in this monument.
⚬ Devils Fire through Little Finland Road (relatively easy)
⚬ Nevada Hike (relatively easy)
⚬ NPS 113 (relatively easy)
⚬ Ruby Spring (relatively easy)
⚬ The New Gold Butte Road loop (relatively difficult)
⚬ Little Finland (incredible but challenging)
⚬ Devils Cove through Cottonwood Wash (relatively difficult)
⚬ Whitney Pocket through the New Gold Butte Road (relatively difficult)
⚬ Gold Butte Townsite through Gold Butte wash road (relatively difficult)
The Gold Butte Monument is an incredible place that is definately worth visiting. It is a fantastic place for outdoor recreation activities. As we conclude, we hope that you find this article helpful as you plan your visit to the Gold Butte Monument.
You might also like some of the articles from our website about boondocking and travel.
For complete photos and videos of our trip visit our photo on our Facebook Page
You May Want to Join Our Boondocking Group on Facebook For More Information