Scenic USA - Nevada

Ruby Mountains Scenic Area

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Ruby Mountains Scenic Area - Lamoille, Nevada

Photos by Paula Krugerud
Paula Krugerud Photography


   Just south of Elko and I-80, Lamoille Canyon Road leads to Lamoille Canyon - Lamoille, Nevada this beautiful, yet uncharacteristic Nevada landscape scene. Carved out by ancient glacial activity, this scenic section of the Ruby Mountains sits under the watchful eye of Ruby Dome, topping 11,000 feet in elevation. Following Route 227 from the town of Lamoille, the 13 mile scenic drive leads to a string of alpine lakes, waterfalls, and an icy cold Lamoille Creek. Here in the canyon, covered in groves of aspen, white and limber pines, the marmot, pika, beaver and mule deer let byway travelers know this is a well preserved and wild ecosystem. Mountain goats and Rocky Mountain bighorn have a distinct advantage in valley. While enjoying edible plants and grasses in the low lying meadows, their keen eyesight easily detects the movement of mountain lions, coyotes, and bobcats. Even the very young bighorns are able to head quickly to safety among the rocky peaks above the valleys.
   Designated the official state animal of Nevada in 1973, desert bighorn sheep are well known for their sure-footedness and epic mating battles. The desert bighorn, smaller than the Rocky Mountain bighorn, exists for long periods without water. Although Nevada supports an ever dwindling herd of desert bighorns, in Lamoille Canyon, one of the wettest sections of the Humbolt-Toiyabe National Forest, this unique adaptation is not necessary. Here in the Ruby Mountains, Rocky Mountain bighorn the much stockier and muscular Rocky Mountain bighorns prevail.
   Named after the gemstone garnet, the Ruby Range is one of Nevada’s remarkable scenic wonders. Its U-shaped canyons, hanging valleys and granite mountains have inspired the nickname Little Yosemite. Lamoille Canyon and a web of side canyons can be enjoyed at a distance from the Lamoille Canyon National Forest Service Byway. For close up views backcounty routes, such as the Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail and Overland Lake Trail, lead hikers further into this mountain oasis.

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Nearby Points of Interest


 

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