The best way to describe to someone who doesn’t has the pleasure of knowing the Lamoille Canyon is very easy. Combine a hearty serving of Yosemite’s wildflowers, waterfalls, and greenery with a dash of the Grand Canyon’s rugged terrain, and you’ll get this beautiful site.
Lamoille Canyon is located roughly 22 miles south of Elko and is considered the Ruby Mountains’ jewel -and that’s something for a mountain chain named after a mineral. From the 11,387-foot summit of Ruby Dome to canyons carved from ancient Ice Age glaciers, the beautiful Lamoille Canyon scenery is a lot to take in, so try planning a day out of it.
Once you’re in the canyon, a four-stop self-guided auto tour with interpretative geology exhibits leads past quiet alpine lakes, meadows full of flowers, avalanche chutes, waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. Picnic grounds and nature trails are available for those looking to hang out in the valley just a little longer.
Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway
This byway serves as the getaway to the Ruby Mountain wilderness and the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Area. To get to this scenic byway from Lamoille, head 20-22 miles southeast on State Route 27. Turn right one mile before you reach Lamoille town, following the signs that read, “Lamoillle Canyon Recreation Area.” The Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway is officially known as FS Road 660 and is an all-paved path; watch out for sudden weather changes if you’re not in an all-wheel drive vehicle.
Suppose you ever find yourself driving along this scenic byway. In that case, you’ll pass through fishing spots, camping sites, and plenty of picture-perfect areas for you to pull over, grab your camera, and take dreamy pictures; if you do, keep an eye out for different wildlife -mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, and other inhabitants that can often be spotted as you pass by. The Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway is generally open from May-October, but open days might be affected due to weather conditions.