The Angel Lake Scenic Byway is a spectacular 12-mile route through beautiful landscape, offering plenty of options for hiking, picnicking and camping. You can catch this state byway at the intersection of I-80 and Hwy. 93 in the town of Wells. From Wells, take SR 231 or Angel Lake Road, south and west. Angel Lake Road winds its way into the East Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The drive takes you past sagebrush, piñon pine, mountain mahogany and aspen trees. En route to Angel Lake, the byway’s end, the surrounding mountains feature scarps and spires shooting into the sky. The mountain range provides an impressive backdrop as you make your way toward the lake. Eight miles toward the lake is Angel Creek, a popular campground. The remaining four miles to the lake are steep and windy, and you’ll notice how the terrain changes with increasing altitude.
At the top of the road sits Angel Lake Recreation Area, a 26-site campground and popular site for day use and picnicking. Potable water, picnic tables and restroom facilities are available at the campground. If you feel like hiking, try the Greys Lake Trailhead, a well-maintained trail that leads six miles to Greys Lake, or a quick one-mile trip to Smith Lake. Angel Lake is a natural body of water. The dam you’ll see was built in the 1900s, and the water is still used today to irrigate surrounding farm valleys, eventually flowing into the Humboldt River. From the lake, at an elevation of 8,400 feet, you’ll be able to see Chimney Rock, known as the “oldest rock in Nevada” and a celebrated landmark of Wells.