The Ruby Mountains are nicknamed the "Alps of Nevada," and the 36-mile long Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail winds it’s way through the entirety of this beautiful range. From sweeping vistas over arid sage lands to rugged and remote peaks, this trail truly has it all. While the Ruby Crest technically has two trailheads, the trail is commonly completed from south to north starting at Harrison Pass and ending at Lamoille Canyon. There are two main reasons for hiking in this direction: the sun will be at your back, and the scenery only gets better as the hike goes on.
Harrison Pass is relatively low in elevation, and in this part of the country that means a sagebrush-dominant landscape with very little shade or protection from the elements. The first 5 to 7 miles of the hike are on a four-wheel drive road, and this section is probably not what the average hiker would expect a beautiful trail to look like. Have no fear, though. After the 10-mile mark, the scenery begins to open up and the Rubies start to show off their magic with the majestic Tipton Peak in the foreground.
After ascending the first pass you will be greeted with an incredible view of Overland Lake, which is a site for sore eyes after traversing a mostly arid landscape. After Overland Lake the trail goes up and down through several drainages, and it eventually ends up on the true crest of the range. From the crest the hiker can see for what seems like forever, and the heart of the Rubies come into sight.
The Ruby Crest Trail ends in Lamoille Canyon, which features many alpine lakes and incredibly beautiful peaks. For the backpacker looking for wilderness solitude and a unique mountain range to explore, the Ruby Crest Trail is a must do.