Pocket Arches

Round Trip Distance: 0.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 2983 - 3020 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Whitney Pocket Staging Area
Fee: none
Attractions: natural arches

Gold Butte National Monument is located south of Mesquite, Nevada. Hidden within it's beautiful, yet rugged and sometimes forbidding, desert landscape of colorful sandstone geology, sparsely dotted with picturesque joshua trees and other tenacious flora common to the ecosystem, are a good number of small to medium sized natural arches. This post pertains to 3 such arches that can be found in close proximity at Whitney Pocket.

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 just over 21 miles to Whitney Pocket.

At Whitney Pocket the pavement comes to an end. Following the dirt road to the left leads past The Cistern and a good number of primitive campsites. After another 6 miles it reaches Arizona. Continuing straight ahead (south) from Whitney Pocket leads to Little Finland and the Gold Butte townsite. Off to the right of this intersection is a large staging area where there is a porta-potty and the kiosk in this photo.

The arches are in a redrock sandstone fin at the base of a hill only a short distance away. For this post we began from the southwest corner of the large parking area and worked out a course in that direction.

Just before reaching the redrock sandstone there is a small wash to scramble across. This photo might make it look more difficult than it is actually. Regardless, even easier crossings can also be found nearby.

The first arch that comes up is near the lower end of the fin. As the sun was quickly setting we didn't take the time to climb up to this one.

To get to the second arch you can either scramble directly up the slickrock or bypass it by circling around on the left.

Another easy scramble is needed to get all the way up to the opening of the second arch.

The west side of the second arch looks out over sort of a scenic secret garden area that is hidden behind the different sandstone outcrops.

Some of the variegated sandstone of Whitney Pocket creates a pleasant scene in the opposite direction.

For those that aren't up to scrambling around on slickrock there is also a nice view of the arches from the secret garden side of the rock.

This photo is of a small arch that is very low to the ground on that is passed on the roundabout route up to the larger arch.

Previous to hiking up to what we are calling the Pocket Arches we had been hiking around the large outcrop that can be seen in this photo just beyond our pickup. While doing so the larger arch had attracted our attention and still having some daylight left we searched it out and stumbled upon the other 2 arches. 

There are more than a handful of primitive campsites located all around First Rock and Whitney Pocket from which this hike can be commenced. The nearby Poop Panel is also within easy walking distance. As far as the Pocket Arches go, if you would like to see them for yourself, all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.