<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Evanescent Light : Little Finland


evanescent
: fleeting, transitory
evanescent wave: a nearfield standing wave, employed for total internal reflection microscopy

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Little Finland (aka Hobgoblin's Playground)

Little Finland, also known as Hobgoblin's playground, is located in a very remote area of Nevada, off a backcountry road named Gold Butte Byway.   The road is rough, and cost me two new shock absorbers. Worth the effort and expense, however, as this is a place of extraordinarily  twisted sandstone formations, with unusual and photogenic shapes remeniscent animals or other creatures. The formations take on very nice colors in late afternoon and early evening; but my favorite times for photography were about one hour after sunset and again an hour before sunrise. Click HERE and HERE for other interpretations of this magical place.

A note on access - 1/23/09. Some time after Spring 08 the BLM errected a stout barrier blocking the wash leading to Little Finland. This is no big deal, as it is only about 15 min walk from the barrrier : but it does mean that the nice sites at the base of the cliff are no longer available for car-camping, and is likely to confuse those following the directions in Laurent Matres' book for the first time. Thus, I give here some directions that should enable you to reach Little Finland without map or GPS. From I15 Northbound, about 1hr from Las Vegas, take the exit signed to Bunkerville. After crossing the bridge over the Virgin River, take an immediate right on the paved road signed 'Gold Butte'. Follow this road to the prominent orange rocks (signed) at Whitney Pocket (about 45 min). At the junction, follow the sign to Gold Butte and drive about 7 miles down this good dirt road. Look for a small sign on the right to 'Devil's Throat'. This dirt road leads shortly to a fork. The left branch leads to the Devil's Throat - an impressive sinkhole, but diffucult to photograph. Follow the right branch for a few miles, until it drops down into Mud Wash. Continue in the same direction down the wash. You will pass an obvious corral on the right, and about 2 mile further, make a very sharp right turn into a wash joining from the right. This is the first wash you come to on the right.. Follow this wash, which roughly parallels Mud Wash (i.e. you will be virtually retracing your path, but further to the East. If you get lost at this point, climb up onto high ground and look for a red cliff with a large palm tree at the base - that is Little Finland. After 2-3 miles the wash forks. The right branch leads in a few hundred yards to the barrier blocking vehicular access to Little Finland. There is room to park and turn around. The left branch also quickly leads to another new barrier. There is a nice campsite on flat grass just before the barrier.

The roughest section of the trail comes after the corral in Mud Wash. High-clearance 4wd is recommended. Another possibility is to stop at the corral and hike cross-country for about 1 mile to the North-East (heading right from the corral at about right angles to the direction of the wash. This will bring you directly into the heart of Little Finland, and may make access possible (in good conditions, and with care) by a regular passenger car.

Access update. May 2012. The barrier blocking direct access remains absent. (It is not clear whether this was removed by the BLM, or 'unoffically'.) It is now possible to drive to the base of the cliffs, or up to the plateau next to the formations. The route was in very good condition - no problem with high clearance 2wd. A rock step in the wash about 1/2 mile from Little Finland will probably stop passenger cars, but with care it might be possible to get that far. The BLM have installed new signs. There is one just a couple of miles after Whitney Pocket pointing down Mud Wash. This is the quickest way to Little Finland, unless you want to take the longer way round to see Devils Throat.

 














You talking to me?? :
Little Finland, Nevada


Jaws : Little Finland, Nevada



Sandstone fantasy : Little Finland, Nevada

Orange sculpting : Little Finland, Nevada

 


IanParker
1146 McGaugh Hall
University of California,
Irvine, CA 92717-4550

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