Poop Panel

Round Trip Distance: 200 ft.
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 2605 - 2610 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Poop Panel
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

The Poop Panel is located in the Gold Butte National Monument near Mesquite, Nevada. The panel, which has a good assortment of petroglyphs, gets its name from the fact that the cliff face that it was made on is located directly below a large bird nest, and well, you can guess the rest. Other than the splattered desiccated droppings that obstruct a complete view of some of the images most of them show up quite well.

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.  Due to the 20 miles of broken pavement the vehicle of choice would be something like an ATV or side-by-side. Plenty of highway vehicles make the drive although at a much slower speed. We pulled our travel trailer over the road driving under 10 MPH for much of the way.

Turn right onto the unmarked Black Butte Road. This road is dirt but it might seem smoother than the paved Gold Butte Road. The rocky outcrop at the fork is sometimes referred to as First Rock. Another red sandstone outcrop can be seen less than a mile away where the Poop Panel can be found on its east side.

Follow the Black Butte Road for 0.7 miles to where a sandy looking road branches off on the left.

After turning off of the Black Butte Road it is just over a quarter mile to the trailhead which is on the opposite side of the rock as the Poop Panel. This section of road gets a little rough and has places that require moderate ground clearance and not suitable for passenger vehicles. An alternative would be to park at the First Rock and hike over from there.

As you walk around the point of the cliff there is a dense panel of inscriptions and other graffitti. Just south of that is where the petroglyphs start.

Sitting in a nook near the top of the cliff is a large nest where it looks like someone kicked over the parlor bucket.

There are actually scores of good petroglyphs on the rock faces below the nest.

It's easy to have your attention diverted by the splatterings of pooh and become almost blinded to the actual images. The main panel seems to be depicting a map of sorts. Included is at least one image of what looks like a large saguaro cactus. Some of the anthropomorphic characters almost get lost within all the sprawling geometric ones.

Parallel wavy or zigzag lines can be found on several other panels in the area. Here they are below a horizontal wavy line perhaps depicting a waterfall or cascade on the nearby Colorado River.

Other petroglyphs can be found on both sides of the mail panel.

There are plenty of nice primitive campsites around First Rock and Whitney Pocket. Hiking from any of those to the Poop Panel would be a good morning constitutional or something to do toward the end of the day after exploring elsewhere or simply to pick up in passing. Our opinion is that the Poop Panel is well worth having on your list of places to see at Gold Butte National Monument. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.