9/11 Trip to Nevada, Ruby Mountains

Labor Day, September 2011

I had some information about good travel opportunities in Ruby Mountains, Nevada, and we decided to visit the place on Labor Day. This is a rather long drive from our place (7 hours pure driving time without traffic jams etc), but we thought that the place is worth the driving. We were hoping to finde something relatively new. There were two families in the group - I with my wife Vera (and our doggy Sunny), and Kostya with his wife Galya.

Friday night, we drove to Winnemucca and stayed there for the night in the local motel. Saturday morning, we got to Elko - the nearest town with services near the Ruby Mountains. The town is very lively, the industry and the tourism is going well. We did not see any sign of decline or economic downturn.

Saturday afternoon we headed to the major attraction of the Ruby Mountains region - the Lamoille Canyon. This is a large, probably around 12 miles long, glacier canyon in the heart of the mountains.

I and Vera

Kostya and Galya

A good paved road goes on the floor of the canyon. Along the road, there are numerous stops for the picture taking, picnics, camping, hiking trailheads, etc. The place is very well suited for the nature tourism.


The canyon walls are high, and the views are great. Overall, this place looks somewhat like Yosemite and or the Mammoth Lakes region.

Galya is taking picture

Canyon wall

Kostya is filming the trips



We decided to take a short hike.

Vera at the hiking trailhead

This hiking trail is going through aspens, to a small lake.


Kostya & Galya



Kostya is trying to figure out the size of the animal who did that.

The road ends at the large parking area. There are lots of hiking opportunities of any kind in this area, from a short hike to a multi-days adventure.

At this point, the group temporary separated. Kostya and Galya took a hike to the lakes; we went to explore the old town of Lamoille at the mouth of the canyon. The main attraction of the town is "The Little Church Of The Croassroads" - a nice presbiterain church.

This is our Saturday trip, on the map (the highlighted line):

In the night, we were testing the Basque cuisine in the local restaraunt. Elko is a center of the Basque community in Nevada. Well, we figured out that Basques eat lots of meat. Lots.

Sunday morning, we met Dick, a local member of the Planet Isuzu web community. He is an owner of a Trooper and a pickup. His daughter was getting married that weekend, so he was pretty busy. He found some time to discuss our plans, and he gave us some travel advises.

So, on Sunday, we decided to make a counterclockwise roundtrip around the mountains. This is the map of our Sunday trip:

We went through the Harrison Pass across the mountains (a paved road, then a good gravel road). Here are the views from the pass road:

The road eventually approached the Ruby Lake marshes.

We made a circle around the marshes:

Lots of small animals in the water:

We crossed the lake on a 'dike'. The views were great:

This is the crop of the previous picture, a large bird in the center:

After the lake crossing, we drove to the north, on a sandy trail, along the eastern lake shore. We were searching for the hot springs. We found the springs, but we also found a stuck hunters truck that we helped to rescue:

Video of the rescue

This is the Ruby Lake part of the trip:

After the lake, we just finished the circle around the mountains. The mountains have a few access roads, but we were tired by the time, and we went to the hotel. Kostya and Galya had some strength to drive to the Angel Lake, near the town of Wells, but I and Vera were done. Next day, on Monday, we had a long and uneventful trip to our home. We decided to return back to Rubies, some day, for camping.