Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail

Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail
Ruby Mountains
Ruby Mountains, NV 89815

From Elko, head south to the Ruby Mountains—named after the abundant garnets present in the range—and hike among 11,000-foot peaks and picturesque high-altitude lakes on the Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail. This rugged 38-mile route roughly traces the crest of the Rubies. It begins in Lamoille Canyon and ends at Harrison Pass. A strenuous hike? For sure, but it is perhaps the best way to encounter North America’s only population of Himalayan snowcock, a quarry that was featured in the movie The Big Year. The Nevada Fish and Game Commission introduced these birds from their native Pakistan in 1961, and a wild population has become established. In the movie, Steve Martin and Jack Black hire a helicopter to bag the elusive snowcock, but you don’t need to go to that extreme. They stay above tree line and have been reported at higher elevations on Thomas Peak, Wine Peak, and Tipton Peak, among other locations on the trail. In addition to snowcocks, the high peaks of the Rubies offer opportunities to spot mountain bluebirds, golden eagles, Clark’s nutcrackers, black rosy-finches, and bald eagles.

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