Country: United States

Location: Ruby Mountains, Nevada

Round trip: 6 km

Start elevation: 2680 m

Final elevation: 3050 m

Map: Humboldt National Forest recreation map of “Ruby Mountains and East Humboldt Wildernesses”

Contributor: Dave Dobak

getting there

Drive Highway 227 and Lamoille Canyon Road, south of Elko, NV, to the trailhead.  Approximately 30 miles, paved.

featured plant

Vaccinium caespitosum

partial plant list

Rudbeckia occidentalis

Aquilegia formosa

Lonicera involucrata

Sedum debile

Eriogonum microthecum

Mimulus primuloides

Hypericum formosum

Epilobium angustifolium

Streptanthus cordatus

Rosa woodsii

Comandra umbellata

Holodiscus microphyllus

Cryptogramma stelleri

Polygonum phytolaccifolia

Cymopterus nivalis

Pedicularis groenlandica

Lewisia pygmaea

Vaccinium caespitosum

Zigadenus elegans

Monardella odoratissima

Pellaea breweri

Penstemon sp.

Eriogonum sp.

Agastache sp.

Gallium sp.

Castilleja sp.

Delphinium sp.


The trail is about 3 km one way to the lake; an extra 1 km should be allowed for wandering among the ponds on the bench above the lake. 

The trail ascends gradually and continuously mostly through open meadows or lightly forested areas.

You may want to spend time at Island Lake looking for mountain goats on the rocky slopes high above the lake.  The bench above Island Lake should definitely be botanized.  You may wish to extend the hike on an unofficial trail up to the pass that leads toward Thomas Canyon.

This hike may not occupy a full day; extra time could be used for botanizing along the road in Lamoille Canyon.


For a detailed trail description with scenic photos, visit .

“Montane Islands in a Desert Sea” by Theodore Cochrane in Rock Garden Quarterly, Spring 2002, 60:1.

Hiker’s Guide – Trails in the Elko Area, and Ruby Mountains Visitor Guide, both by Larry Hyslop

( .

Ruby Mountain Flora, by Steve Anderson et. al. (, a popular wildflower guide, is somewhat useful.