4 Adventures near Elko, Nevada
1. Drive the Scenic Lamoille Canyon
Southeast of the town of Elko, you’ll see the Ruby Mountains towering into the sky and often snow-capped for a good amount of the year. A 35-minute drive will bring you to the entrance of Lamoille Canyon. Prepare to be awestruck as you wind your way up into this pristine alpine environment that gets better and better each minute. There are two campgrounds in the valley and multiple trailheads for both short and long hikes. At the end of the canyon is a large parking lot, washrooms and the start of several trails, one of the most popular being Island Lake. Drive carefully through the canyon, as there are countless deer on the sides of the roads.
2. Swim in Angel Lake, hike, or both!
Sixty miles from Elko and just south of the town of Wells is the beautiful hidden gem, Angel Lake. Not only will the lake itself take your breath away, so will the drive up there. A series of very steep windy roads brings you up to a pristine alpine lake surrounded by high rocky cliffs. The cooler temperatures at this altitude are welcome, and the lake is the perfect temperature for a swim. Hike around the shoreline, or if you’re more adventurous, hike to the waterfall and beyond. You can car-camp here, and both day and overnight visitors are required to pay a small cash fee ($6 for day use).
3. Hike to Liberty Lake
The trailhead for Liberty Lake starts at the end of the Lamoille Canyon road. The trail is a 5.6- miles or 9-kilometres roundtrip hike reaching altitudes of 10,450 feet. The trail to Liberty Lake takes you past Dollar Lakes, Lamoille Lake, up over Liberty Pass and down to reveal a beautiful deep blue alpine lake surrounded by lush pine trees. Expect to hike across snow patches, take plenty of water and expect to see deer, mountain goats, chipmunks and other small critters. There is dispersed camping at Liberty Lake if you want to do it as an overnight trip (highly recommended) and if you want even more of a challenge, you can continue along the Ruby Crest Trail for multiple days. Remember to leave no trace, and pack out all of your own garbage.
4. Go Stargazing!
Nevada has some of the best sunsets in the entire country, but when the sun goes down most go to sleep. Northeast Nevada has very little light pollution, so if you time your trip right with a new moon and you’re willing to stay awake, you will witness a sky full of millions of stars. The Milky Way will pass over with the core visible to the south, reaching far to the north. Keep an eye out for shooting stars, satellites and even the ISS! If you’re an avid photographer, bring your tripod and head into the Ruby Mountains to capture the magic.
This post was produced in partnership with Travel Mindset and Travel Nevada and as always, all opinions are my own.