No matter what the season, there are plenty of things to do in Elko. If you love exploring the outdoors, the landscape of Northern Nevada has many opportunities for families and experienced travelers alike.
The Ruby Mountain range watches over the town of Elko with its beautiful snowcapped peaks. In the warmer months, go for a hike over the hills to experience its spectacular views. Be sure to start out easy as Elko itself sits at 5,060 feet in elevation and many area trails reach close to 9,000 feet in elevation; those not accustomed to the altitude may experience shortness of breath or altitude sickness.
Start your hiking adventure with Island Lake, an easy trail with a round trip distance of about 3.5 miles, this hike is perfect for families and beginners. You’ll often see mountain goats and birds along this trail which ends at a beautiful glacial lake.
Head out for a mountain biking adventure. The Ruby Mountains area has many trails to explore, but for one closer to home check out Hamilton Stage Road Loop. Just outside of Elko, get great views of the city and the old Oil Shale Mine on this route that can range between 15 and 30 miles depending on the loops chosen. This is a great route for beginner and intermediate riders due to the minimal changes in elevation.
With so much beauty and untouched landscape in Northern Nevada, hop in the car during your next trip to the Ramada Elko Hotel and Casino for a scenic drive.
Head for the Ruby Mountains on State Road 227 just south of Elko and drive towards the popular Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway. Along this route, you’ll see meadows of wildflowers, wildlife, waterfalls, lakes and mountain majesty. Click here to view a map of this loop.
Drive north out of Elko towards the Independence Mountains. You’ll come across beautiful open ranching country before reaching the town of Tuscarora which is home to several artists and historic buildings. When heading back to Elko, stop at a ghost mining town. Click here to view a map of this loop.
With so much untouched land in the Elko area, there are many places to camp. Spend time outside for a couple of days before heading back into town for an exciting stay at Ramada Elko Hotel and Casino. Most camping spots are managed by the U.S. Forest Service and require a minimal nightly fee. Consider the nearby South Fork State Recreation Area, Tabor Creek, or Zunino/Jiggs Reservoir campsites.
The lakes and streams around the Elko area are prime with trout and bass fishing. Enjoy the serenity of the area as you take in the region’s rolling hills and mountain ranges.
Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge is just on the other side of the Ruby Mountains and is known for its bass and trout catches. This is a marshy area with open ponds and grassland. Motorized boats are permitted.
To the northeast, Angel Lake provides the opportunity to fish and fly fish for mountain trout in a scenic alpine lake.
South Fork State Recreation Area features beautiful stream fishing with plenty of trout to hook. Below South Fork Reservoir bass can also be found.
Lamoille Creek just to the east provides for easy access to an abundance of trout just off the paved road. The water’s flow is punctuated by beaver dams which create the opportunity for great pond-like fishing.