Summary: This is high country hiking and you'll have afternoon thunderstorms almost daily thru summer. A wonderful trail, you are exposed on the slopes for most of the way, so I prefer to hike early in the morning. The trail is a gradual climb, with helpful switchbacks, and one wooden bridge to cross (wide for horses). It's rare if you don't encounter a pack string of horses using this trail, so be sure you talk to the rider and move off the trail -- horses have the right of way. After admiring the wildflowers along the trail, and the spectacular peaks and ridges across the canyon, you top out at this wonderful little (7.5 acre, 22 ft. deep) lake at 9,800 ft. elevation. There are a few primitive campsites with rock fire rings, but it's pretty much isolated most of the time. It can get cold and windy so be prepared and wear layers & rain gear. This is both a wonderful 1/2 day hike that most people can handle, and makes a isolated, easy overnight camp. Respect the weather!
Trailhead: Lamoille Canyon is located in the Ruby Mountains, SE of Elko. You can come from Lake Tahoe and head E/NE on I-80 to reach Elko; you can come from Salt Lake City, heading west on I-80, past Wells to reach Elko; or, you can come north from Las Vegas on the shortest route 93 N to (Hiko) 318 N to 6 E to Ely, 93 N to Wells, 80 W to Elko; or the scenic route 93 N (Great Basin Hwy) to (Wells) 80 W to Elko. However, you get there; the trip will be worth it. The Ruby Crest National Rec Trail uses the same parking/unloading area in Lamoille Canyon (Road's End) as Island Lake Trail. From Elko, take Hwy 227 SE through Spring Creek, and follow the signs to Lamoille Canyon, drive the scenic byway through the canyon to the end of the road. You'll pass many trailhead signs (WONDERFUL) hiking/packing area. Thomas Canyon CG is the only developed CG in the area; there are plenty of motels, B&B, etc. in Lamoille, Spring Creek, and Elko. Snow in winter ! (Lat:40.60472 Lon:-115.37547)
Trail Guides for Island Lake Trail:
USFS Free trail guide for Ruby Mtns. Ranger District
by USFS - Humboldt-Toiyabe NF (USFS either Elko or Wells NV)
Forest Visitor Map (topo) for Ruby Mtns. Ranger District
by USFS (costs $7 at ranger station) (U.S. Dept of Agriculture)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses,
Ranger Contact: USFS - Humboldt-Toiyabe NF (Elko) at (775) 738-5171, (Wells) at (775) 752-3357
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Kat Green, who has posted 86 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by JO Bob on 10/4/2007
this was an awesome lake although the fihsing wasn't that great on july 21 2007 at 6am but me and my kids had fun
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Nevada Hiking, Nevada Trails, Nevada Hikes, Elko County Hiking, Elko County Trails, Elko County Hikes