- 13.5 miles (21 km)
- 30 minutes to drive or 1 hour to take in all the sights.
- There are no fees along the byway proper.
Just twenty minutes from the town of Elko, Lamoille Canyon Road provides a fertile and green respite from the surrounding area's sparser desert ecosystem. The route's rapid elevation gain takes you up into the state's attractive recreational oasis of Ruby Mountains Scenic Area. During the byway's twelve miles you'll pass bright white granite cliffs, ice-cold waterfalls, and a well-preserved and wild ecosystem. Take a long hike, spend the night camping, or just enjoy an afternoon drive and spectacular scenery.
Stock up for your trip in Elko, a unique western-themed town with a lot of personality. A popular stopping point for travelers across the west, Elko offers unique activities and friendly people. Relax a moment in the city park and visit the nearby Northeastern Nevada Museum's exhibits and wild animals. Sample fine Basque cuisine in one of several authentic restaurants or stay in one of the town's large casino hotels for the night before heading out into the Ruby Mountains on Lamoille Canyon Road.
After leaving Elko, you'll pass through the tiny communities of Spring Creek and Lamoille before you spot the Forest Service signs that mark the beginning of the byway. The high mountain desert ecosystem of shrubs and grasses gradually gives way to green forests, sheer granite formations, and a multitude of waterfalls, creeks and beaver dams. Stop and read the interpretive signs along the way for a self-guided tour of the Ruby Mountain Range's environment. Learn more about glacial movement, a delicate watershed, and the geological history of the area. A short nature walk in the canyon gives you a more in-depth glimpse at the region's natural wonders.
The trip through Lamoille Canyon will amaze you with gorgeous scenery and views, but for hikers and backpackers, the end of the road is really the beginning of the adventure. Leave your car and lace up your hiking boots to tackle the Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail. This forty-mile epic passes eight mountain lakes as it travels through untouched mountain splendor. Hop across rocks in frigid mountain streams, watch for wildlife, and camp and fish in pristine wilderness. Portions of the trail work as great day hikes, but if you plan on tackling its entirety, give yourself five or six days and arrange for a ride back on the other side.
Whether you're traveling through the area on a road trip or need a new spot to take the family camping and hiking, Lamoille Canyon Road offers an abundance of outdoor activity and beauty, and a great escape from the hot Nevada summers.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
This forest is the largest National Forest outside Alaska.