The Jewel of the Ruby Mountains is a trip not to be missed. Nevada is an enticing spot for an RV vacation, with its glacier-carved canyons, tall peaks and flowered meadows. This scenic journey will start in Elko, Nevada and take you into Lamoille Canyon to your final destination – Road’s End and a picnic to remember.
If coming from the East, you will take Interstate 80 West, through Salt Lake City and to Elko. Stop in Elko, Nevada for a meal in a nice restaurant before beginning your adventure into the wild outdoors. When you begin your RV trip, take Lamoille Highway (Route 227) south, passing through Spring Creek. Before you reach Lamoille, Nevada, you’ll see signs for Lamoille Canyon Recreation Area, and you’ll turn on Forest Service Road 660, which is Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway.
Now you are entering the canyon area of the beautiful Ruby Mountains. You can follow the interpretative signs for your own self-guided tour. The Ruby Mountain Wilderness encompasses more than 90,000 acres and here you’ll find many outdoor activities to keep you and your loved ones busy the whole day through. Don’t fail to stop at the many overlook spots along the route. You’ll marvel at the spectacular views.
Lamoille Canyon contains sights much like Yosemite National Park, with hanging valleys, towering mountain peaks, lakes and meadows. You will no doubt look in awe at Ruby Dome, where climbing and mountaineering are popular. Wildlife consists of mountain lion, elk, bighorn sheep, coyote and mule deer. You can fish the lakes and streams to catch rainbow and brook trout.
Those who love to get out and stretch those driving-weary muscles will enjoy the many trails that take you into the backcountry. You’ll discover your favorite trail among the 100 miles of trails in this region. When far enough along Lamoille Canyon Road, you’ll be in Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest with a long list of day hikes to enjoy within the Ruby Mountains Ranger District. Hike part of the Ruby Crest Trail or the whole 40 miles if you feel up to it.
Camping is available, with the Thomas Canyon Campground offering RV camping for vehicles up to 45 feet. Picnic on the natural terraces, fish in Lamoille Creek, and relax in the shade of the cottonwood and aspen. A trail from the campground will take you past a couple of lovely waterfalls and through an alpine meadow.
When you come to Road’s End at the very end of the byway, you can spread a picnic lunch while contemplating all the fun you’ve had so far in the great outdoors. If you head back to State Route 227 and continue south, you’ll come to Lamoille, Nevada, another charming stop to put on your itinerary. As long as you are so close, it is well worth the few extra miles. In the winter this little town is alive with skiers hitting the Ruby Mountain slopes for some fun. In the summer, it’s a great place to visit as a gentle re-entry point to day-to-day life.