BLM Camping

Gold Butte National Monument

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for 1 in every 10 acres of land in the U.S.

The Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, is responsible for watching over federal lands all over the United States, and many of the sites they administer are excellent destinations for BLM camping. While not every BLM site features established campgrounds, even the ones that don't tend to offer serene, beautiful locations for adventurous campers who don't mind roughing it. If you live anywhere in the western half of the United States, search "BLM camping near me" to find campgrounds in your area. There are also fantastic BLM destinations in the eastern part of the country as well. 

The Gold Butte National Monument, located in eastern Nevada, is a unique BLM site where visitors can explore breathtaking sandstone formations and amazing ancient petroglyphs. The site is situated only a few miles from Lake Mead and the majestic Colorado River, and there are plenty of nearby opportunities for hiking, off-roading, wildlife viewing, and numerous water-based activities.

What to See and Do

What to See and Do

Hiking and BikingHiking and Biking

Little Finland Loop

The Little Finland Loop lies right at the Gold Butte National Monument site and offers lots of beautiful rocky scenery. The trail, which is considered moderately challenging, takes two or three hours to complete and doesn't usually get especially busy. Along the route, you'll observe many cool rock formations, which look even more incredible if you happen to visit at sunset.

Length: 6.6 miles

Intensity: Moderate

Gold Butte

Gold Butte is a loop trail that's also found very close to the BLM site. The hike offers a great opportunity for some peaceful solitude, but the true highlight is the awesome wall of petroglyphs at the farthest point from the trailhead. Visitors should be careful, as there's virtually no shade to be found along the trail, and it can be fairly easy to get lost in certain areas.

Length: 7.6 miles

Intensity: Easy

Whitney Pocket Overlook

Located near the town of Overton, NV, the Whitney Pocket Overlook is a relatively challenging out-and-back trail. Those who make the trek will enjoy some remarkable views of the colorful Whitney Pocket formations. The trail takes only around 80 or 90 minutes to complete, and it's unlikely that you'll come across many other people during your visit.

Length: 3.2 miles

Intensity: Moderate

Fishing and BoatingFishing and Boating

The most popular fishing destination in the area is Lake Mead, located roughly 15 miles southwest of the BLM site. You will need a valid Nevada fishing license with a "special use stamp" to fish in the lake, but if you do, you'll likely be rewarded by catching some largemouth bass, striped bass, channel catfish, crappie, and bluegill. You can also go boating in the vast lake, but your vessel will need to be registered and have the proper safety equipment.


One of the most popular destinations for climbing near the Gold Butte National Monument is Valley of Fire State Park. Rock climbing is only permitted in certain areas of the park, but the rock formations that you can climb are excellent for beginners. Those who climb the formations will also enjoy stunning views of the park and its unique geology. Roped climbing is not allowed in the park, and you would be wise to check in at the visitor center to learn of any other restrictions or regulations.

Wildlife ViewingWildlife Viewing

Many interesting species of mammals, reptiles, and birds call the Gold Butte National Monument area their home. You may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of desert bighorn sheep, Mojave desert tortoises, banded Gila monsters, desert kangaroo rats, or mountain lions. You may also get the chance to spot bald eagles, golden eagles, Cooper's hawks, or even Allen's big-eared bats.


If you're planning to enjoy a picnic, and your preference is to use a table, your best bet will be to visit one of the few campgrounds found around the Gold Butte National Monument. Otherwise, you can look for a spot that isn't too rocky or rough to lay out your picnic blanket. You may be able to find a pleasant elevated spot where your lunch can be accompanied by an impressive view of the area.


Bureau of Land Management Camping

RV Camping Caravan Icon

Although there aren't any designated Bureau of Land Management campgrounds at the Gold Butte National Monument site, RV camping is still a possibility. You could either stay at one of the nearby campgrounds, such as the Calville Bay Campground or the Echo Bay Lower Campground, or you could stake out a primitive campsite of your own at the BLM site. If you go the latter route, though, you won't have any access to services or amenities. However, the Calville Bay and Echo Bay Lower Campgrounds both offer full RV hookups and plenty of nearby recreational opportunities.

Free Camping Campground Icon

If you choose to camp overnight within the Gold Butte National Monument site, then dispersed Bureau of Land Management free camping will be your only real option. You'll need to rough it and provide for yourself, but it should offer a fantastic chance to connect with nature and experience some refreshing serenity.

RV Rentals Near Gold Butte National Monument Plan your next adventure

Planning Your Trip

Credit: Vanna Mae, @vannamaeart

Planning your Gold Butte National Monument BLM trip

If you're planning a trip to the Gold Butte National Monument BLM site, you should know that vehicles frequently experience flat tires when driving to and around the site. If possible, it would be wise to travel to the site in a high-clearance or four-wheel-drive vehicle. If you end up checking out the fascinating ancient petroglyphs found at the site, remember not to touch the rock art. Believe it or not, the natural oil from your fingertips could actually cause damage. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about BLM camping.

Leave No Trace Leaf

To ensure that the Gold Butte National Monument is open to the public for many years to come, the BLM needs your help to preserve the beautiful natural site. You can do your part by practicing basic common sense, courtesy, and respect. If you see any animals, remember that you're a guest in their home, and give them plenty of space. Avoid leaving any trash or food behind at the site, and don't take anything with you that you find in nature.

Leave No Trace

Gold Butte National Monument Location

To reach the Gold Butte National Monument BLM site from Las Vegas, NV, follow I-15 N for about 69 miles and then take exit 112 for Riverside Road. Follow Riverside Road for approximately 17 miles, then take a right onto the Gold Butte Backcountry Byway. After about 12 miles, you'll enter the National Monument.

Ready to visit Gold Butte National Monument? An RV rental is a great way to experience your destination. Not only will you be close to all the action, but at the end of a long day exploring, you’ll have your RV to return to for the night where you’ll enjoy a full kitchen, bathroom, and nice soft bed. Not sure about renting an RV? Here’s a step-by-step guide to renting an RV with RVshare.