LIBERTY PASS Hike

 
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FACTS

Country: United States

Location: Ruby Mountains, Nevada

Round trip: 10 km

Start elevation: 3050 m

Final elevation: 3350 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

Primula parryi





partial plant list

Linanthastrum nuttallii

Aconitum columbianum

Calochortus eurycarpus

Helianthella quinquenervis

Aquilegia formosa

Lewisia triphylla

Ranunculus eschscholtzii

Primula parryi

Oxyria digyna

Sedum roseum

Vaccinium caespitosum

Erysimum asperum

Chrysothamnus

Arenaria fendleri

Dasiphora (Potentilla fruticosus) floribunda

Cymopterus nivalis

Eriogonum

Geum rossii

Valeriana acutiloba

Primula parryi

Boykinia heucheriformis

Erigeron watsonii

Physaria chambersii

Cymopterus nivalis

Penstemon

Shepherdia canadensis

Astragalus kentrophyta

Eriogonum kingii

Smelowskia calycina

Silene acaulis

Frasera speciosa

Penstemon sp.

Draba sp.



 
 


The trail passes through a variety of meadow, forest, and rocky habitats.


In the wet meadows and forests near the trailhead we found Aconitum columbianum, Calochortus eurycarpus, Helianthella quinquenervis, Aquilegia formosa, Lewisia triphylla, and Ranunculus eschscholtzii.


About the first of August, Primula parryi was flowering abundantly in two locations, one rockpile and one streambed.


Above Lamoille Lake, the trail ascends more steeply on open, rocky hillsides.  Boykinia heucheriformis is found here, along with the buffalo berry, Shepherdia canadensis. 


Approaching Liberty Pass, the alpine cushion plants make their appearance:  Astragalus kentrophyta, Eriogonum kingii, Smelowskia calycina, and Silene acaulis.


The pass itself is a broad saddle; a fine place for lunch overlooking Liberty Lake to the south.


References:


For a detailed trail description with scenic photos, visit rubymountains.net .


“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

(grayjaypress.com/hiking.htm) .


Ruby Mountain Flora, by Steve Anderson et. al. (www.museum-elko.us), a popular wildflower guide, is somewhat useful.


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