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Lamoille Canyon Scenic Drive

Steep Mountains Surround Lamoille Canyon
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Known as the "Grand Canyon" of Nevada, Lamoille Canyon should be a must-see for anyone zooming by Elko on Interstate 80. The scenery is fabulous, the drive easy, and by visiting Lamoille Canyon a traveler will be seeing a part of Nevada that only the locals ever really visit.

The Lamoille Canyon Scenic Drive is, in my opinion, one of the best drives in Nevada. Plus, the drive is short - just twelve miles one-way. The road is also paved and in very good condition. Thus, if you happen to be passing by Elko on the way to somewhere else, find the time to visit this hidden drive that is located in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada.

The Lamoille Canyon Scenic Drive begins right outside the town of Lamoille, Nevada. The road itself is called, appropriately enough, the Lamoille Canyon Road. This road begins just a few blocks outside of Lamoille, near the end of State Highway 227. As the Lamoille Canyon Road is a designated National Forest Byway, the road is well-marked. Just look for signs pointing to Lamoille Canyon and the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway.

What makes this drive so beautiful is that the Lamoille Canyon Road penetrates deep into the heart of the higher elevations of the Ruby Mountains, which is one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in Nevada. The road makes it's way through a glacier carved canyon called Lamoille Canyon.

The Ruby Mountains
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Throughout the short-drive, the traveler is rewarded with superb views of the lofty peaks of the Ruby Mountains, including the towering Ruby Dome. Since the Ruby Mountains usually receive significant snowfall during the winter rmonths, the higher peaks are usually blanketed in snow into June.

Another nice benefit of the Lamoille Canyon Road is that it is one of the few roads that can be used as a high-altitude trail head. As such, day hikers can drive up the road toward the end, and day hike into the many scenic lakes and canyons that exist in the Ruby Mountains.

Traffic on the road is light to moderate, depending on when you visit. On a nice weekend during the summer, the road will be relatively busy as the locals from Elko and the Lamoille Valley head out to hike and camp.

It should be noted that the upper portion of the Lamoille Canyon Road is closed during the winter months. The lower portion of the drive (about the first 6-8 miles), is open year-round except during strong winter storms.

Quick Facts About the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Drive

  • Trip Length : 12 miles, one-way. Road dead-ends at 8800 feet in the Ruby Mountains.
  • Road Type - The road is paved and in good condition. Expect a twisty road with occasional steep gradients.
  • RV's / Campers? - Yes.
  • Services Available - Gas and supplies can be found in Elko and in Lamoille.
  • General Location - Northeast Nevada, 27 miles southeast of Elko on Highway 227.
  • Camping - For most of it's length, the road passes through National Forest lands. There's plenty of primitive and established camp sites available.

Photos of the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Drive

The Ruby Mountains Approaching Treeline Climbing in Lamoille Canyon

More Photographs of the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Drive

Map of Lamoille Canyon & 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 Driving Through Lamoille Canyon

The town of Elko has plenty of relatively inexpensive hotel rooms available.

Lodging in Elko
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