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Insider Guide to Reno and Lake Tahoe
Enjoy this ultimate indoor and outdoor playground, with sporting choices for all seasons and nonstop entertainment and casion action. Skiing, hiking, boating, swimming, and the 72-mile "most beautiful drive in America" are just a few highlights in the picturesque region of Reno and Lake Tahoe.    

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Angel Lake Scenic Drive

Angel Lake
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The Angel Lake Scenic Drive in Northeast Nevada, which begins right outside the town of Wells, is a scenic drive that millions of people whizz right past every year on Interstate 80. And that's a shame, as this scenic drive shatters all stereotypes about Nevada. Moreover, this drive easy to do - as the drive is only 11 miles long and the road is paved for the entire distance.

Yet the fact that everyone zooms right by this scenic gem in Nevada might be a good thing, as it saves this unique spot for the more adventurous souls who are in search of beauty and sweeping views.

The Angel Lake Scenic Drive begins outside the town of Wells. The road to Angel Lake, Highway 231, is clearly marked and easy to find. As Highway 231 runs only between Wells and Angel Lake, it's impossible to go the wrong way. It should be noted that Highway 231 is not open for winter travel. Generally, the road opens sometime in mid-to-late May and closes with the first heavy snowfall of the year (usually late October or sometime in November).

Leaving Wells, the road rapidly starts to gain in elevation. The road is almost entirely in the open for the first half of the drive, allowing for sweeping views of the Humboldt Mountains and distant mountain ranges in Utah and Nevada.

Approaching the Humboldt Mountains
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About seven miles outside of Wells, the road reaches the forest that flanks the Humboldt Mountains. Yet, the views are still outstanding - as the road is anything but hemmed in by thick forest. Due to the high elevation, don't be surprised to find snow along the road through June or early in the Fall.

The road ends at Angel Lake after eleven miles. Angel Lake is a very high elevation lake. As such, this lake is extremely cold and, early in the year, is generally covered by a sheet of ice. From the lake, you get outstanding views of the surrounding peaks of the Humboldt Mountains.

If you plan on camping at Angel Lake, be prepared for cold nights. Angel Lake has an elevation of 8,500 feet. The high elevation virtually guarantees cool days and cold nights, even during the heat of summer. So come prepared with some warm clothing.

Traffic to Angel Lake is generally either light or non-existent. Only during a handful of days during the middle of summer is there any real traffic on the road. The rest of the time, the road is virtually empty.

Quick Facts About the Angel Lake Scenic Drive

  • Trip Length : 11 miles. Closed during the winter.
  • Road Type - The road is paved for it's entire length, but it steep and twisty in spots.
  • RV's / Campers? - Yes. But make sure you have enough horsepower under the hood.
  • Services Available - Gas and supplies can be found in Wells.
  • General Location - Northeast Nevada, right off Interstate 80, outside the town of Wells.
  • Camping - There is a campground off the Angel Lake Road about 6 miles outside of Wells. You can also camp at Angel Lake, too. The town of Wells also has some normal RV camping spots.

Photos of the Angel Lake Scenic Drive

Angel Lake & The Humboldt Mountains The Humboldt Mountains Approaching Angel Lake

More Photographs of the Angel Lake Scenic Drive

Map of Angel Lake & Nearby Scenic Drives

Suggested Books

Benchmark Nevada Road & Recreation Atlas : This topographic map book shows ALL roads in Nevada. This book is a mandatory requirement if you'll be venturing off the main highways shown on the tourist map. Additionally, this book shows many historical sites, points of interest and recreation areas.

More Info at Amazon

Where to Stay When Visiting Angel Lake

If you don't want freeze at night by camping at Angel Lake, both the town of Wells and Elko (about fifty miles away) have plenty of relatively inexpensive hotel rooms available.

Lodging in Wells Lodging in Elko
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