Lamoille Canyon is the largest valley in the Ruby Mountains, located
in the central portion of Elko County in the northeastern section of
the state of Nevada, in the western United States. Approximately 12
miles (19 km) in length, it was extensively sculpted by glaciers
in previous ice ages.
Lamoille Canyon begins at
Liberty Peak at an elevation of
11,032 ft (3,363 m). It quickly descends to a glacial basin
now occupied by Lamoille Lake. A nearby granite shelf contains the
picturesque Dollar Lakes. Further down the canyon is a large stand of
Whitebark pine and the Road's End Trailhead, the high point
(8,800 ft (2,700 m)) of
Lamoille Canyon Road, which is a
National Forest Scenic Byway. This is also the northern terminus of
the 38-mile (61 km) Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail, and the
start of the much shorter trail to Island Lake.
Road's End is where
Lamoille Canyon begins a sweeping turn around the
flanks of Thomas Peak, 11,325 ft (3,452 m). The glaciers
have deeply carved the canyon, leaving a classic U-shaped cross
section and, high on the side of Thomas Peak, four hanging valleys
(including Island Lake). The road then passes the Terraces Picnic Area
(featuring more glacial remnants) and Verdi Peak. A nearby nature
trail exhibits the diverse plant life in the canyon bottom.
The canyon continues to descend to its junction with Thomas Canyon,
which enters from the south. At the head of Thomas Canyon is majestic
Mount Fitzgerald (11,215 ft (3,418 m)), and at its outlet is
the Thomas Canyon Campground. About a mile below the campground,
Lamoille Canyon passes through a narrow slot and then drops quickly to
its junction with Right Fork Canyon, which also enters from the south.
Near this point are Lamoille Falls, Camp Lamoille (available for group
rental), and the precipitous north face of Mount Gilbert
(11,120 ft (3,390 m)).
At Camp Lamoille the canyon has descended to 7,100 ft
(2,200 m). In the remaining 3 miles it descends another
1,000 ft (300 m) and exits the range at the Powerhouse
Picnic Area, the site of a powerhouse built in 1913 for the
Elko-Lamoille Power Company. It burned down in 1971, leaving only the
foundation. Nearby are the communities of Lamoille and Spring Creek.
View from the northwest end of the right (southwest) rim
Lamoille Canyon in the winter
Aspens along the nature trail
Lamoille Canyon and Thomas Peak, viewed from atop Verdi
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lamoille Canyon.
"Lamoille Canyon". Geographic Names Information System. United States
Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
Coordinates: 40°41′30″N 115°28′27″W / 40.6915939°N
115.4742251°W / 40.691