Gold Butte National Monument is home to many examples of "rock stories," or petroglyphs, left hundreds of years ago by indigenous people inhabiting the area. Join us as hike leader Jim Boone shares his knowledge of this historically and culturally significant place. The hike is about 1.5 miles over uneven desert terrain and rock scrambling is required in 2 or 3 spots (requires reaching, squatting, and pulling yourself up onto rock ledges that are waist high, etc.) to view some of the petroglyphs. There will be ample opportunity for exploring and photographs.
Plan to meet at the junction of Gold Butte and Riverside Roads at 9:00 am, returning to the parking lot no later than 3:00 pm. We would like to carpool as much as possible, please indicate on your RSVP whether you will need a ride or can drive. The road is poorly paved and can be rough in places and there is a 2-mile stretch of dirt road that requires high clearance.
Remember to bring water and lunch or snacks, and to wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing. If you drive, please remember that there are no services in Gold Butte, so fill your fuel tank beforehand. Be prepared to pee in the bushes!
There is no charge for this event but donations to the Friends of Gold Butte are appreciated. Please bring gas money for your driver if you need to carpool.
=== LEAVE NO TRACE REQUIREMENTS ===
Petroglyphs in Gold Butte National Monument are important cultural and historic sites to Native Americans. We require that you adhere to the following guidelines during our visit:
• Enjoy rock art by viewing, sketching and photographing it. Never chalk, trace or otherwise touch rock art. Any kind of direct contact causes these ancient figures to disintegrate.
• Creating modern “rock art” is vandalism and is punishable by law.
• Keep in mind that not entering a site and viewing it from a distance will reduce the impact a site receives. People may say, “It’s just a couple of us and it’s just this one time,” but there may be thousands of people saying the same thing.
• STOP, LOOK, and THINK before entering a cultural site. Try to locate the midden area (the trash pile), so you can avoid walking on it. Middens contain important archaeological artifacts and information. They are extremely fragile, and walking over them will cause damage.
• If a trail has been built across a site, stay on it. Foot traffic, especially on the midden, causes erosion that may undermine the walls of structures above. This is the most severe type of impact caused by continual visits to a site.
• When you see potsherds and other artifacts, leave them. It is illegal to remove them and if each visitor took just one artifact, there would soon be none left.
• Moving rocks and tree branches to climb to high places destroys site integrity. Avoid touching plaster walls.
• Climbing on roofs and walls can destroy in a moment what has lasted for hundreds of years.