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Kohta Circus & Little Finland

Death Valley Trip 2013 | Day 1
Saturday, February 9, 2013

It’s been an unusually long and cold winter this year in Grand Junction. That’s why I’m glad I started planning my first trip to Death Valley a few months earlier. It would be nice to get out hiking and camping in temperatures that were a bit warmer than back at home. Though my main destination on this week-long trip would be Death Valley, I planned on spending the first weekend exploring a few locations in Nevada. On Saturday morning I left home bright and early and started my drive west.

As I approached Salina the sun started to come up and painted the clouds above a pink hue. I pulled over for a quick photo over the interstate.

Salina Sunrise

A layer of fresh snow that fell overnight coated the landscape and caught my attention.

Fresh Snow

When I reached St. George I needed to get out of the Jeep and stretch my legs a bit. I drove over to Anasazi Ridge along the Santa Clara River and hiked to a few petroglyphs.

Two large rectangular-bodied bighorn sheep.

Two Big Sheep

A very alien-like figure pecked into the top of a large boulder.

The Alien

There were some real nice panels around this area.

Anasazi Ridge

After a quick lunch back in St. George, I continued on to Mesquite where I topped off the fuel tank in my Jeep before heading south on the Gold Butte Road.

Low clouds hide the tops of the mountains in the distance as I made my way to Whitney Pocket.

Gold Butte Road

I soon reached my first destination in Nevada- the trailhead to the Kohta Circus petroglyphs. After a nice hike across the desert I soon spotted the petroglyphs I was searching for.

I liked the ripples in the sand below the large panel of petroglyphs and made sure to include them in this shot.

Sand & Petroglyphs

Here’s a wider view of the same panel.

Long Panel

High above I spotted this pristine petroglyph panel and made sure to use my long lens for a closer look.

Kohta Circus Panel

Hiking back across the desert to my Jeep I stopped for this photo as the clouds opened up and let a little light through in the distance.

Stormy Spotlight

After returning to my Jeep I started the drive over to Little Finland, where I planned to photograph at sunset and spend the night.

On the way I stopped at this petroglyph panel above the wash.

Mud Wash Petroglyphs

I reached Little Finland just as the late afternoon light was getting nice, so I grabbed my camera and started to explore the area.

Little Finland

Through the Eye

The Claw

Standing Tall


Reach for the Sky

Finland Creature

Catching the Sun

After the sun had set for the evening there was a nice glow on the sandstone that I stuck around for.

Stained Sunset

Scream to the Sky

When the light was gone for the day, I hiked back down to my Jeep and setup camp for the night. I read for a little while and then quickly fell asleep. It was a great first day to the trip.

>> Kohta Circus & Little Finland Photo Gallery


  1. Stan Burman
    Stan Burman February 26, 2013

    Really very nice photographs Randy. You had a good trip.

  2. Tammy
    Tammy March 5, 2013

    Excellent photo’s of your trip!!

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat March 5, 2013

      Thank you Tammy

  3. Philippe
    Philippe March 17, 2013

    Hello Randy,

    Nice report and beautiful photos.

    As you have been there recently, how is the condition of the dirt road to Little Finland? Do you think it is possible to make it with a 2WD SUV?

    Thank you in advance for your answer,
    Kind regards

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat March 17, 2013

      The road to Little Finland was in good shape. A 2WD SUV ‘should’ be able to make it.

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