Explore Nevada’s wild northeast corner on the Rubies Route Road Trip.

A dirt road leading into the distance, with snowcapped mountains on the right and yellow flowers on both sides of the road and in the middle.
Taking in the views along the way to Angel Lake

Road trips call to those who seek a little adventure in their travels, and the Rubies Route is a jewel that sparkles particularly bright in the summer sun. With Elko as your hub, you’ll have the choice of three main spokes that lead to scenic slices of recreation-packed paradise. 


A young woman with a hiking backpack, walking on a trail leading along a mountain ridge.
Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail

Regarded as the Swiss Alps of Nevada, the Ruby Mountains’ craggy peaks—capped by Ruby Dome at 11,387 feet—rise nearly a mile above the valley floor. A 45-minute drive puts you at the top of the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway, where spectacular trails offer everything from afternoon jaunts to multi-day thru-hikes on the Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail. Whichever you choose, you’re never far from beautiful, trout-packed alpine lakes. In winter, the byway generally closes to cars and becomes a snowmobile superhighway. 

Elko’s hotels and motels offer all the amenities, but closer to the mountains are the rustic Hotel Lamoille and two swanky Ruby 360 Lodge yurts—one high atop a Ruby Mountain ridge, another tucked back in the woods on a babbling brook.


An alpine lake at the base of snow-capped mountains
Angel Lake

Take the mostly unpaved Harrison Pass to visit a bona fide Sagebrush Saloon, Jiggs Bar, on your way to Ruby Valley. Afterwards, drop into the valley toward Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, a nearly 40,000-acre panorama of watery grandeur home to hundreds of species of birds.

Just 12 miles from Interstate 80, head up to the wildly picturesque Angel Lake via another scenic byway to discover an aspen- and wildlife-laden gem beloved by hikers, fishers, campers, and stargazers. 


A young man sits in the grass at the edge of a canyon, looking out with binoculars

The picture-perfect Jarbidge Wilderness Area is one of the most remote corners of the Lower 48. The dirt roads from Elko only get plowed once a year (around July 4) and can be snowed in as early as October. This Wild West town (seasonal population: 11 to 100) was home to one of the last American gold rushes—and stagecoach robberies. The area draws campers, anglers, off-roaders, shutterbugs, and nature-lovers. With all the effort to get there and all the splendor waiting at the end of the trail, we recommend an overnighter at the Outdoor Inn.

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