On to the Rubies, I've just come over a rise where I can see the Ruby Mountains. From here, very Sierra like, snow on southern exposures, spiky peaks. I'm going to snake around on a couple of different pieces of road to get to the southern end of the Ruby Range and then go around to the east side. Hopefully the roads will do what I want them to do. I just crossed over Huntington Creek, which is pretty surprising; it's a good flowing creek with substantial volume. It's got a lot more water than the Reese River. This is a well-watered country.
Well, I've just come over Overland Pass at the south end of the Rubies, and I hit the worst dust that I've ever seen in my life. It was a foot deep and actually came up over the dash and over the windshield like dry powder snow. The stuff got into the car now there is dust all over everything including the laundry I just did and had hanging out in here to dry.
The Ruby Marshes, are well worth seeing. An extensive set of marshes running for miles along the road. I went out to a hot spring listed on the map as Ruby Hot Springs, and it's a good one. It's a pool, well several pools, but one main one, probably twenty feet in diameter, almost perfectly round, a swimming pool-type ladder at one end and about five and a half feet deep, I suppose. I could stand with my head sticking out of the water. It has a beautiful view of the Rubies
Looking up the Harrison Pass road, I can see a dome land up there. There must be 7 or 8 domes. Looks like some of them could have routes of 4, maybe 5 pitches on them. Pretty fair chance there hasn't been much climbing up there. Pretty isolated.
Along this east side of the Rubies there's a City of Rocks kind of place, dozens of granite spires and points and promontories and buttes. Good climbing. Ruby Valley has been quite a surprise, I've been driving along it for -- I don't know -- 30 miles, it's green! Gorgeous pasture land. Cows here are big and fat, and grazing pretty thickly down in the lush green meadowlands. It's a paradise.
With the rugged and beautiful Ruby Mountains to the west, it looks to me that anyplace else you live in Nevada is second best compared to Ruby Valley.
Probably without much of a doubt, the prettiest drive in Nevada is from Lamoille to the Secret Pass Road. The road is a little country lane that winds past green pastures and tall stately cottonwoods and ranches. You'd never know this is Nevada. It's green. The grass is high. The cows are fat. The cottonwoods are tall and thick. The Ruby Mountains rise to the east, giving a dramatic backdrop. Cattails along the ponds. It's just gorgeous.
I spent two nights at the Thomas Creek Campground. in Lamoile Canyon. I went on a good hike yesterday, crossed Lamoile Creek, which is pretty raging and rushing, and headed up Thomas Creek. Thomas Canyon is a great Sierra-type canyon, Thomas Creek dashes over the rocks and rills, with wildflowers everywhere. I ascended to the head of the Canyon. Some nice waterfalls there. I climbed up amongst the rocks into the cirque area at the head of the canyon and ascended a snowfield up to a notch at about 10,200 feet. The snowfield was pretty steep, I used the ice axe. There were old, age-hardened ski tracks coming down from the notch. Looked like someone had ascended from the Lamoile Canyon side and then into Thomas Creek and down and out.
From that notch at the head of the Canyon, tremendous alpine Sierra-type vistas of ragged, rugged peaks. spread away to the south. The canyon over the notch is called Box Canyon. It dropped way down below and out to the valley. The lake at the head of Box Canyon was still mostly frozen. I circled around to the head of the cirque of that west-facing Box Canyon, crossed to the divide of Box Canyon and Lamoile Canyon. Pretty steep snow area, traversed that to the south until I could see Lamoile Lake far below, it was also frozen. A steep snow slope reached down to the lake. I had a good glissade down.
At Lamoile Lake there were a few people. Then as I wandered down the trail 2-3 miles back to the trailhead where I had parked my truck there were crowds. Lots and lots of people. The great problem with Lamoile Canyon is that it is so spectacular and so far beyond anything I've ever seen in the rest of the state it could spoil you. You could wind up coming here all the time. It is truly far more worthy of national park status than Wheeler and at least as worthy as Zion or Yosemite.