Monday, November 24, 2008

Ride 3 - Mud Wash and Devil's Fire

This was the first time this year we ventured "down on the Butte," as the locals call it. It is almost an hours drive to the trailhead, but the "rides" are out of this world - or at least they were.

I should mention that ATVers are not thought highly of by the leading "tree hugging" group in the Vegas area: "the Fiends of Gold Butte." This group does get out once in awhile for photo ops picking up old tires etc. but much of their "work" is through "special political connections," back door agreements and paid lobbyists.

They, along with a misguided attempt to procure a land swap for Mesquite city by the mayor, have suceeded in closing nearly all of the "destinations" on the butte to anyone but hikers. Under the guise of "protecting the rocks" no one is allowed to see the glyphs or formations except those healthy and fit enough to hike several miles in rough terrain - the most insidious form of age descrimination being practiced by the BLM. But don't get me started!

I only mention that because nearly everyone we meet is extremly angry over the debacle. Over 80% of people we met in 30 or so trips to the butte last winter were retired, the leading (and nearly only growing) segment of the population down here. Snowbirds and retiree's are the norm - no small thanks to Dell Webb.

Todays ride began at the Mud Wash trailhead and followed the often rocky trail down the wash. We met a couple of guys hiking in the wash and stopped to chat. Eventually they confided that they traveled around logging desert sink holes and showed us a new one that they had found. From there we continued in the wash to the Lollipops hike trailhead. This trail was closed off several years ago so we've never been there personally.

Just around the corner is the Mud Wash Petroglyphs in an alcove above your head. They are the most accessible glyphs on The Butte and nearly in pristine condition.

From there we rode into one of our favorite spots: the Oasis at Devil's Fire. The palm trees and small seepage is the Oasis, the formations above on the cliff are Devil's Fire. Fragile and "devilish" formations which look like flames of fire.

After a bite to eat we decided to go back around into the wash and take the trail up on the bluff. That took us around the bluff and to the cliff above Kurt's Grotto. We decided not to descend the steep cliff this trip and instead go down into the wash and take the Backcountry Byway around the bluff and back to the trailer.

A full GoogleEarth file for this trip is available at --> 3rd Day - Devil's Fire

AND please visit the companion web site: for more descriptions, photos and a complete trailset map of the Mesquuite-Bunkerville-Beaver Dam-Logandale area.


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