21 Goats Panel

Round Trip Distance: 0.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 2286 - 2327 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: 21 Goats
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs, CCC dam

The 21 Goats Panel is located in the Gold Butte National Monument near Mesquite, Nevada. A short hike up a wash on the north side of Black Butte is all it takes from your feet to see the panel but your seat will have to endure a couple hours of sitting as you negotiate the 20 miles of broken pavement that connects Gold Butte to civilization. A short side trip on the hike leads to a dam that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) back in the days of the Great Depression.

From Mesquite travel west on Nevada 170, the South Riverside Road, for about 9 miles and turn left onto the Gold Butte Road. Continue on this very memorable road of broken pavement for 19.7 miles and turn right onto the unmarked Black Butte Road. The road is dirt from here but might seem smoother than the Gold Butte Road.

Follow the Black Butte Road for 3.2 miles to the trailhead taking care to stay to the left at each fork. Turn left up the gravely wash where it is 0.3 miles to the trailhead. During good conditions most any vehicle with moderate ground clearance and a careful driver should be able to make it to the trailhead although the gravely wash might present a problem for passenger cars. We didn't need 4wd ourselves but we didn't have to drive slow and worry about bumps. Due to the 20 miles of broken pavement the vehicle of choice would be something like an ATV or side-by-side.

The road forms a cul de sac at the trailhead that doesn't leave an abundance of room to park. Be sure to leave room for other vehicles to turn around.

From the trailhead the route follows the wash where the sand and gravel base provides semi firm footing.

Right when the wash begins getting interesting a side canyon opens up on the left less than a half mile from the trailhead. At this point leave the main wash and head over to the cliff in this photo where there is a brown mylar marker reminding you to help protect our fragile archeological resources.

The easy to spot petroglyphs are strung out on several levels on the face of the cliff.

Here you will quickly realize that rather than goats we are actually dealing with bighorn sheep. It is a common mistake made by tenderfoots but it seems odd that the name would stick and not be corrected to something like '21 Sheep'.

There are a lot of other interesting images included in small panels below the long string of bighorn sheep. There is also at least one other image on the rock in front of the panel a short distance away.

On the return trip to the trailhead we made the short side track up the dam road to see the dam.

We also hiked around the dam and through the tunnel arch to the small valley behind the dam but we didn't find any dam(n) water so we retraced our tracks back down the dam road to the trailhead.

It is easy enough to add the short hike to the 21 Goats Panel after completing the longer Khota Circus trail and makes sense since you are already so close. The scenic wash and the petroglyphs are well worth the little bit of extra effort. The dam is a novelty that some might also find interesting and the outcrops of sandstone with the little hidden valleys are pretty enough to make that also worthwhile. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.