Ruby Mountains Recreation Area/Lamoille Canyon
Elko, Nevada 89835
The Ruby Mountains are flush with wildlife, mountain scenery, lakes, streams and valleys. The Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail on the spine of the Ruby Mountains is well-maintained for backpackers and horseback riders. The Ruby National Wildlife Refuge offers fine fishing and bird watching.
The Ruby Mountains Wilderness sits astride a high ridgeline of mountains and totals more than 90,000 acres. The wilderness runs from Secret Pass south for 90 miles in the Ruby Mountains range. Known to locals as the Rubies, the range includes ten peaks above 10,000 feet (Ruby Dome, 11,387 feet is the highest) and more than two dozen alpine lakes.
Around 300 miles of trail can be accessed from several trailheads. The main trailheads are Roads End in Lamoille Canyon, Harrison Pass, Soldier Canyon, and Overland Lake. Access is mainly on improved dirt roads, except for Lamoille Canyon, which is a 12-mile paved route ending at Roads End. Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail runs along the wilderness for 40 miles.
Lamoille Canyon, the largest and arguably the most stunning valley in the Ruby Mountains, has no shortage of camping and picnicking options. One of the most historic is the Powerhouse Group Picnic Area, so named for the nearby remnants of the old powerhouse that generated electricity for Elko and Lamoille beginning in 1911. The early system used a pressure pipe that moved water 3,000 feet down the canyon at a speed of 180 miles per hour, which in turn powered the turbines to generate electricity. In 1971, the powerhouse was destroyed by a fire, but it is remembered today both in name and in the lilac-dotted foundation and pipe remains.
Today, Powerhouse Group Picnic Area, which is tucked in a stand of aspen trees along Lamoille Creek, is nicely outfitted with group picnic shelters and tables, a group grill and cooking facilities, a pavilion, fire rings with benches, restrooms and river access. It’s also ideally located close to the Lamoille Canyon Road Scenic Byway, a wonderful route perfect for bicycle tours of the breathtaking area. Powerhouse Group Picnic Area is a day use facility only, and reservations are required. It’s a beautiful spot to enjoy the spectacular beauty of both Lamoille Canyon and the Ruby Mountains.
From Elko, take SR 227 south for approximately 25 miles. Turn south on FR 660 (Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway) and continue for 12 miles to Roads End trailhead and access to Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail.
Snowfall averages about 8-10 feet with winter average lows of 15°F in January. Summer temperatures range from average lows of 45°F to highs of 80°F. Thunderstorms often occur during late summer and fall months.
Elko and Lamoille
Area Managed by:
Ruby Mountains Ranger District
140 Pacific Avenue
Wells, NV 89835
Monday - Friday, 7:30am - 4:30pm
Summer Activities (Season Mid-June to October):
• Horseback Riding
• Mountain Biking (outside the wilderness area)
• Scenic Driving
• Wildlife Viewing
• 4-Wheeling (outside the wilderness area)
Winter Activities (Season late October to April):
• Cross-country skiing
• Snowmobiling (Snowmobile routes are open when there is sufficient snow, approximately eight inches in most places. Snowmobiling is not allowed inside wilderness areas)
25 miles south of Elko
View Website Or call: 775-752-3357