Ruby Mountains?

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tahoe23
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Ruby Mountains?

Post by tahoe23 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:39 am

Hi,
As an avid High Sierra cross- country, off-trail backpacker, I am searching for a week long trip this summer that does not include extended snow travel or life-threatening river crossings. I have always been interested in the Ruby Mountains in Nevada. I am wondering if A) I will be disappointed when comparing to the High Sierra
b) If there is enough off-trail hiking to keep me entertained
c) is there enough area for at least 5 days?

Any informed responses are appreciated.
Many Thanks.

PS: any other ideas for alternatives for this high snow year?








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Fly Guy Dave
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Re: Ruby Mountains?

Post by Fly Guy Dave » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:29 am

Hi Tahoe23-

My experience with the Rubies (admittedly not super extensive) is that they are pretty bushy and overgrown in most places, so any off trail excursions would be a whole lot of bushwhacking, which is my book, is not a good time. You might look into the Gila Wilderness in Western New Mexico or perhaps the Wind River range in Western Wyoming. I would wager the Gila would be good now, while the Winds will be ready a bit later this summer. Wandering Daisy, a regular here on HST, wrote a book on hiking the Winds, so I think she (or her book) would be an excellent resource of info on that range. I hope this helps.

Best,

--F.G. Dave
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AlmostThere
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Re: Ruby Mountains?

Post by AlmostThere » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:34 am

I hiked the Ruby Crest trail. The crest is above 10k and quite open with expansive views of the surrounding Nevada landscape. Enjoyed it immensively. I was contemplating off trail adventures to some of the more remote lakes for the purpose of fishing, as the fishing is generally very good. Not all routes are bushwack-y by a long shot. One in particular that interested me was Verdi Lake. But I had not nearly enough time for the adventure, and intend to go back.

Here is more info: http://www.rubymountains.net

Cowboy John's shuttle was worth the money -- saved us several hours of driving and he is an invaluable resource for information on the area. I hope he is still operating when we return for another visit, perhaps a longer one to explore a little more while we are there.

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AlmostThere
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Re: Ruby Mountains?

Post by AlmostThere » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:35 am

And call first -- if there is snow at 10k here, there will be snow there as well.

Here they are:
https://www.alltravelcams.com/webcams/n ... _skies.php

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windknot
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Re: Ruby Mountains?

Post by windknot » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:48 pm

I've done a bit of exploratory planning for a trip in the Ruby Mountains but haven't yet been. Another range on my long list of places to backpack someday.

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AlmostThere
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Re: Ruby Mountains?

Post by AlmostThere » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:43 pm

I'm planning to check out Jarbidge next year. It's kind of cool not to have to bother with pesky permits!

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Fly Guy Dave
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Re: Ruby Mountains?

Post by Fly Guy Dave » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:28 am

AlmostThere wrote:I'm planning to check out Jarbidge next year. It's kind of cool not to have to bother with pesky permits!
The idea of permits seems to be a "California" thing. When I did my trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana a couple of years ago, I went into the ranger station and asked for a wilderness permit. They had no idea what I was talking about. There was also someone from Alaska in there and he said they didn't need permits up there either. Montana and Alaska: grab for pack and GO...
"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." --Jeff Lebowski

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Re: Ruby Mountains?

Post by Troutdog 59 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:45 pm

I don't know the specifics, but the Ruby's got hammered this winter, so the snow will be late to melt off there as well. I'm no expert of the area, but have hiked in the Ruby's twice both times in the late 70's. The first backpack was in early September up Soldier Creek to the Hidden Lakes and Robinson Lake. Decent fishing and very few people, but it rained most every day for several hours. Still, it was a very pleasant trip and off the grid so to speak. We also did a day hike over the ridge to Cold Lakes. Quite steep on the way up, but open Alpine country that was fairly easy to navigate.

My second trip was in early August over Liberty Pass to Liberty and Favre Lakes. We had planned to stay a few days, but stayed only one night due to hordes of mosquitoes with a few deer flies mixed in for fun. Lets just say that my girlfriend who had accompanied me was not happy so we escaped back over the pass and car camped around the area for a few days. The Ruby Marsh was pretty cool and the small creeks that spill out of the mountains had some good trout fishing.
Once in a while you can get shown the light
In the strangest places if you look at it right.

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Re: Ruby Mountains?

Post by wildhiker » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:59 pm

I explored the Ruby Mountains quite a bit back in the 70s. The scenery was very beautiful and reminiscent of the Sierra, but on a more compact scale - and with a lot fewer people (basically, none back then). Although I think you see more people now. The best long-distance hike is the Ruby Crest trail from the end of Lamoille Canyon south to Harrison Pass, but that results in a long car shuttle. There are also numerous trails up canyons on the west slope, but access can be limited by private property. Back in 1975, we managed to get to the mouth of Box Canyon (I believe we did some cross-country to there through the sagebrush from the nearest public road) and that was a beautiful hike up the canyon through gorges and magical aspen groves, eventually connecting with the crest trail, and then south and back down Long Canyon (walking the jeep trail). Check with the forest service in Elko to find out what road access is open to those westside canyons. My wife and I also did a nice shorter loop in 1978 from the end of Lamoille Canyon to Lamoille Lake, then cross-country over the pass to camp in the head of Box Canyon, which was a beautiful open alpine valley. Next we went down that canyon to hit the trail back over the pass to the south to Kleckner Creek and up to the crest trail, then south to camp at North Furlong Lake. We took a side hike up to the top of Wines Peak for the view (saw mountain goats there - an introduced species), and then back on the crest trail to Lamoille Canyon. Back in the 70s, many trails on the map other than the crest trail were pretty faint. I don't recall any difficulty with cross-country once you are up in the alpine zone. I keep thinking I will go back, but it is a loooong drive from the Bay Area and you have to cross the Sierra to get there, which always stops me :-). Also, it can be very snowy in the Ruby Mountains. On July 4 in 1971, we had pretty much solid snowpack above 9000 feet. My other trips were in August with minimal snow. Oh, and I've seen some terrific thunderstorms there - more like the Rockies.
-Phil

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Re: Ruby Mountains?

Post by JWreno » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:34 am

My family has 6 days off around the weekend following Labor day. We were going to do Emigrant Wilderness. The smoke now stinks in Reno. I can hardly see Mt Rose from my office.

New plans is to do a Lakes Loop hike in the Ruby Mountains. I am using this trip report as a starting point but will add some peaks and a few more lakes to stretch it out to a 4 night trip.

http://www.backpackingintherubymountain ... sloop.html

It goes to the following lakes:

Island Lake
Goat Lake
Box Lake
Echo Lake
Favre
Castle
Liberty
Lamoille Lake
Dollar Lakes

We will add North Furlong Lake and Wines Peak to the trip as an out and back from Favre lake to add one day to the trip. I though about doing the Ruby Crest trail but didn't want to deal with the low altitude southern part south the North Furlong Lake.

I hope for a bit of trail less solitude on parts of the trip.
Jeff

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