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Frederick Afield – Gargoyles in Finland

This is our latest series featuring travel reports from the creative mind of Matt Frederick . The series of travel reports are called Frederick Afield and feature his photography and words. We hope you get inspired to hit the road. Enjoy.


Three hours (or so) outside of Las Vegas is a place with some real magic that’s known as Little Finland. Its a small spectacular landscape feature found on BLM land and accessed via graded dirt roads and some wash roads out along the Gold Butte Scenic Byway.


I did my research ahead of time regarding the route and road conditions, loaded my GPS (iPad with Bad Elf GPS and Motion-X application) with the appropriate maps, printed out some notes and packed my gear into my truck, a 4WD Toyota Tundra with a mild lift and all terrain tires. Minus one stretch of soft sand, a 2WD truck could have gotten back in there – in dry conditions – any rain and it would be a different story.


There are petroglyphs in the area and on my drive in I stopped and looked for them at the Waypoint I had marked for them. I spent an hour and a half wandering through the formations looking, couldn’t find them.


Once I had the tent and other gear set up I went for a stroll through the formations. It is hands down the reddest earth I’ve ever seen, and the formations are fantastic – literally. It was handy to have a little handheld GPS as you could easily get turned around wandering through the features.

The next day after getting up and having some coffee and oatmeal I went back to look for them. I parked the truck off to the side of the wash, looked up, and there they were, I had literally parked the truck right in front of them, both times.

I set up camp at the base of this large sandstone formation, there is a spring nearby and the earth is almost wet to the touch. It was January so a bit chilly with damp grey skies almost the entire stay, fortunately it was pretty calm wind-wise. I am glad I packed the little Mr. Heater.


The days went by with a relaxing pace filled with reading, some painting and a few fun Lego shots. I keep a little battery-powered speaker in my camp kit, pair that with an old iPod and a small solar panel and throw on some Sons of the Pioneers and it felt like home away from home.


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