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41View W from 5040 Peak.jpeg


Contributed by Dave Dobak


Country: United States
Location: East Humboldt Wilderness,  Nevada
Round trip:km
Start elevation: 2550 
Final Elevation: 2772 m
Maps:  Humboldt National Forest recreation map of “Ruby Mountains and East Humboldt Wildernesses”



The trailhead is reached by Angel Lake Road from Wells, NV.  12 miles, paved


Calochortus nuttallii

Comandra umbellata

Heuchera cylindrica

Pellaea breweri

Cryptogramma stelleri

Monardella odoratissima

Phacelia sericea

Frasera speciosa

Ipomopsis aggregata

Castilleja sp.

Gallium sp.

Arenaria sp.

Artemisia sp.

Penstemon sp.

Frasera speciosa.jpg
Aquilegia formosa.jpg
Castilleja nana.jpg

Even Including the drive, this is not quite a full-day excursion even at botanical speed.  You may want to spend time at Smith Lake looking for Bighorn sheep on the rocky slopes above the lake, or botanize around Angel Lake, or on the ridge above Angel Lake.


The trail begins in open meadow, and occasional clumps of trees provide shade; but mostly the trail is in open sun.


In the meadow, Artemisia provides structure, and a great variety of plants makes a colorful scene.  Castilleja and Calochortus nuttallii are striking. 


In amongst rocks Pellaea breweri and Cryptogramma stelleri grow.

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.


Click the arrows to start the slideshow or click on an image to expand.

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