Ted's Hiking World Lamoille Canyon
Ruby Mountains, Nevada

July 24, 2008

Despite bad air from the California forest fires some 400 miles to the west, I wasn't about to forgo a visit to this very special place on our way home from a two-week loop through a number of western states.

I daresay that most folk don't associate Nevada with alpine gardens, multiple cascades, and mountain goats; yet all are present here in Lamoille Canyon — the prettiest place in the Great Basin east of the High Sierra.  There is evidence that in the spring both of the steep canyon walls are awash in running water; I would like to see that sometime.

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Entering Lamoille Canyon

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The Ruby Crest

Although the trail traverses the mountains southward for some forty miles, I have opted to postpone a serious investigation of this area until next summer.  Today's "hike" actually is just an exploration of the abundant garden in the vicinity of the trailhead.

Many of the usual suspects are here, of course:

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Sun Ray Indian Paintbrush
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Mountain Asters American Bistort

Alongside the bubbling brook I find some more familiar types:

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Lamoille Creek Elephant Heads
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Fireweed Alpine Shooting Stars

I also encounter a number of species that are new to my camera:

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Meadow Larkspur A tiny Sticky Starwort
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Sedge A variety of Cranesbill
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Shrubby Cinquefoil Giant Hyssop (horsemint)

Adjacent to the parking lot, there is more activity:

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Lupine lover Yellow Penstemon

I opt to coast down the canyon on my bicycle, with my spouse following in the car.  Along the way, I stop to photograph the eastern canyon wall, as well as the thousand-foot cascade that flows from Island Lake.  I have half a mind to scale it right now; but we must drive another two hours yet, and it already is late in the afternoon.

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The eastern canyon wall

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Cascading from Island Lake


§: When a trailhead parking area is a garden of Eden, the prospect of exploring the trail itself is all the more exciting.  Next year I'll provide a more comprehensive report on the Ruby Crest Trail.

Note: should you venture to eastern Nevada in the fall, do check out the awesome aspen display in Lamoille Canyon.  I have seen it.

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