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Ruby Mountains

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Ruby Mountains

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu May 05, 2011 10:21 am

We are going to Pocotello ID (end of June) for a reason unrelated to backpacking and want to try a new area in Nevada on the way back. We can do a 2-4 day backpack. I was thinking of the Ruby Mountains. Other option is Great Basin. We do not want to drive too much out of our way returning via I-80. It is a bit too early for the Tetons, and I thought Nevada, being much drier, would be a better bet. I realize that Ruby Mountains are 9,000 - 11,000 elevation. Any suggestions?



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Re: Ruby Mountains

Postby hikerduane » Thu May 05, 2011 8:31 pm

Nancy, its been over 30 years since I have bped there. Out of Elko, drive out toward Lamoille and head up the canyon to the TH. The BLM in Elko should be able to help. It is possible to hike from there to Harrison Pass but you would need a car there to drive back or double back, not many trails there if I recall, my maps are from the early '70's and not with me at the time since I work out of town. Last time I tried bping there the weather turned bad at least for my early bp days and since I was not prepared, a week trip turned into a day or two.

PS, might consider the Jarbridge Wilderness also, not many see that place, too far in and too far for me, although I did drive to Pinedale straight thru last summer after half a day at work.

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Re: Ruby Mountains

Postby tightline » Fri May 06, 2011 1:28 pm

The Ruby's would easily be your fastest and easiest option as compared to Jarbidge. The Lamiolle suggestion is fine. Just get a map of the area (to state the obvious). I've read quite a few of your posts so I know you are plenty experienced enough to pick out whatever loop route. The Ruby's do not have nearly as many trailed routes, or lake destinations as the Sierras. However, in my opinion, the wildlife viewing oppotunities are much better. Two years ago I saw mountain goats, bighorn sheep, deer, himalayan snow partridges, and more. We hiked a canyon that branches off of Lamoille (right hand canyon?-- can't remember for sure)--but it is the one big branch off canyon form Lamiolle that you can drive to--there is a boy scout camp at the mouth of it. Anyway, we went up that until we ran out of trail then headed out cross country. This canyon was beautiful. You'll enjoy the lush vegetation in the canyons. If you can do without having to camp at a lake, you can really find some nice creek/quaking aspen type country where you will be alone. I do not believe (but am not 100% sure) that fires are an issue. You will probably have company at the lakes near the trailhead. You can catch some trout for a meal too if you are into that. When you leave, stop in Elko for some Basque food, a family style dinner that you will enjoy.
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Re: Ruby Mountains

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat May 07, 2011 9:11 am

I downloaded the USGS maps off of Maptech. And I have found several trip reoports on the internet. The more I look at them, the more I like the Ruby Mountains! Since this would be our first trip there, we plan to stick to major trails. Once we get an idea of the terrain, maybe next year we can do some more remote or off-trail travel. Thanks for the suggestions. My husband is a bow hunter and he is interested in the area with respect to future hunting. So I guess my specific question would be where is the best deer hunting? We will have a 4wd truck so are able to drive over some poorer roads. My main concern is access. Looks like some private land surrounding the Wilderness area, particularly on the west side.
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Re: Ruby Mountains

Postby tightline » Sat May 07, 2011 9:16 pm

It's blacktop up Lamoille Canyon. No worries re driving. This canyon gives you the best access into the Ruby high mountain lakes, and the most "alpine" type area. There are not a ton of them. They have their own appeal but in reality they don't really compare to what I am sure you have seen a lot of in the Sierras. They have their own appeal, that being a different area, a different feeling than the more highly visited and much more heavily regulated Sierras (I'm not even sure you need a permit). I'd recommend planning your hike out of Lamoille. If your husband is a fisherman there are mackinaw in Liberty Lake and reportedly some nice ones. They put them in there to thin the brookies out. There are a couple of other lakes with nice cutthroat, although overall I really cannot put the fishing ahead of a lot of Sierra destinations, although my son did catch easily the biggest alpine trout that I have ever seen taken--on this web-site or anywhere else but I'm sorry I'm not giving that spot up:)---As far as the bow hunting, if your husband is a more of a trophy horn hunter there are better options in Nevada, but the Rubies probably have the highest population of deer. Not necessarly the in the Lamoille area but I could give a recommendation or two if he was serious about it. As for the goats and big horn sheep, we saw those in the cliff and highest ridge areas---you could day hike into some of these places from a base camp up somewhere on the trail out of the Lamoille area. There are not a ton of lakes in the Rubies-but enough for the the time period you are considering. It is a beautful range of mountains in its own way. A lot of what is great about the range in my opinion are the out of the way canyons that may not have a trail to them but you can access easier that you think once you get on top on the "Ruby Crest Trail". Tell your husband to bring his binocs--if you're lucky you might see some things you would enjoy.
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Re: Ruby Mountains

Postby maverick » Sun May 08, 2011 10:57 am

Thanks Tighline for the info on the Ruby's, I had someone ask about this area recently, and
I will pass on this info.
Got any pictures by any chance?
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Re: Ruby Mountains

Postby tightline » Mon May 09, 2011 8:41 am

Mav, I have to admit that I am being a bit lazy about learning how to post pics--I'll have to read the directions on ths site and make a go of it. I have some decent photos. Really though, you can go to google earth (latest version) and there are numerous photos posted that will give you a flavor for the area. Also, I think that I may have been somewhat vague re WD's request about bow hunting scounting for her husband. If you are interested in incorporating a backpacking trip with scouting, I think I would probably start out at Harrison pass (south of Lamoille). Pick up the Ruby Crest trail there and hike north towards Green Mountain. The country spreads out nicely there with big quaking aspen groves mixed in with open areas and ridges for glassing...keep heading north towards Overland Lake. You will have plenty of country to scout trust me. But Overland may be the only lake you might be able to take in on this route if that is a big deal to you--if you are really into scouting and glassing which requires slowing down a bit..If you choose to do this, when you study your map make a note of creek crossing and springs. Water should not be an issue at that time of year but in this area with the trail up towards the highest ridge sometimes there can be a dry stretch or two. If you guys are 10 mile a day hikers you can push further north into more high alpine type country out of Lamoille but you will probably have to come out the same way you came in. Along the same scouting lines if you would prefer you can car camp (but day hike) driving up different canyons like green mountain creek, carville canyon--the trail out of Harrison pass, Right canyon out of Lamoille (very pretty canyon)---there are some options. You could contact BLM or Dept of Wildlife in Elko for info on public access canyons. You are correct in that there are a few canyons where access is cut off by landowners.
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Re: Ruby Mountains

Postby Troutdog 59 » Fri May 13, 2011 6:14 pm

WD,
Like Duane, Ive been to the Ruby's twice but years ago in 76 and 79. Both hikes were short, but enjoyable and uncrowded. Both trips were mainly fishing trips, but the Ruby's are worth visiting simply for their beauty.

My first trek was up Soldier Creek to Robinson Lake. Dirt access, but no 4X needed. Did it in my 66 Chevy Biscayne :) . Robinson itself is rather bleak sitting in an open high sage setting, but the fishing was good for brookies and the wildlife was superb as previously mentioned. Lots of partridge, martens (I think),a porcupine, etc, as well as some really big mule deer (we weren't hunting). Our main destination was to nearby Hidden Lakes that at that time were reported to have Goldens, but we didn't even see any. Based on what I have read since, the Hidden Lakes now have Cutts. We day hiked over to Cold Lake and found a much more Alpine Lake with terrific fishing for Brookies.

Saw three groups in the four days we were there. One group of two were camped at Robinson when we arrived, but left the next day. We talked with them the next morning and it turned out they were from Hayward, CA. Go figure. The second group was a pack train we saw in the distance. The third group of two was interesting indeed. We were making dinner when our dog perked up looking to the east when up walk two young men who looked like cowboys with rifles. This unnerved us a bit at first, but it turns out they lived in the valley to the east and had hiked all they way up looking for rabbits, or at least that was their story. We talked with them a awhile and they recommended the day hike to Cold Lake.

In 79 I went up Lamoille Canyon and hiked over Liberty Pass in early August to Liberty Lake. A pretty easy hike if I recall correctly. Gorgeous Lake with good fishing, but I didn't see any macks. Just nice brooks. We also took the stroll down to Favre Lake and it had very good brookie fishing as well. Again, very few people even in mid season. The one negative about the 79 trip was it was the worst case of deer flies I have ever experienced. My GF at the time barely came out of the tent even with head nets so we only stayed 2 nights.

I have no idea about the snow pack, but just exploring the trailheads and creeks would be worth the visit.
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