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Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail

This trail in the Ruby Mountains has you winding in and out of alpine meadows, lakes and glacier carved mountains.
Trail Uses
Hiking Horseback riding
Elko County
40.00 miles (One Way)
Elko, Spring Valley, Wells, West Wendover
Permitted on Leash
Wilderness Areas
Ruby Mountains Wilderness Area
Other Activities
Cross-country Skiing


If your looking for a quiet place to backpack and escape into nature, this is the perfect place! The most common way to hike this trail is to start at Harrison Pass (40.3302576, -115.5143611). From here follow the forest service road for a few miles until you reach the official trailhead. This trail is open year-round allowing the opportunity to traverse it as a cross-country ski trip. Snow is usually fully melted by July, but some spots will be very muddy and snow may still be in the shadows.

Recommended segments: 

Day 1: Hike from Harrison pass to South Fork of Smiths Creek. This is about 12 to 13 miles with 5,600' elevation gain. 

Day 2: Hike from South Fork of Smiths Creek to Overland Lake. This segment is about 7 miles with 4,700' elevation gain. 

Day 3:  From Overland Lake to North Furlong Spring. This section is the most difficult and the most exposed. It is 14 miles long and has about 6,000' of elevation gain. This section also summits 6 peaks, has very little tree cover and no water resources. Be sure to be prepared for this long day by packing extra supplies. It is not recommended to separate this section into 2 days given the lack of resources. Although this is the more exhausting stretch of the trail, it will be the most rewarding. 

Day 4:  Furlong Springs to Lamoille Canyon. This final stretch is 9 miles with 2,600' of elevation gain. 

This is only a recommendation. The trail can be broken up into how every many days you see fit. 


If you are not ready to complete the full trail, try out some of the other day hikes in the Ruby Mountains, they won't disappoint!

Other Information

Given that portions of the Toiyabe Range are designated wilderness, only hikers and equestrians are allowed within the wilderness boundary. Motorized and mechanized use is only permitted on surrounding non-wilderness trails. Please be respectful of the wilderness boundary and only travel on designated roads and trails for your activity type. Horses are allowed and only certified weed free hay can be brought in.

Be sure to do thorough research before backpacking along the Ruby Crest Trail. There is no cell phone service and very little resources along the way. 

Hunting and fishing is allowed along the Ruby Mountain back country. Be sure to apply for a permit through NDOW beforehand. 

Trail Manager

For more information visit the U.S Forest service website or contact: 

U.S Forest Service - Mountain City - Ruby Mountains - Jarbidge District

U.S Forest Service - Mountain City - Ruby Mountains - Jarbidge District
660 South 12th St. Elko, NV. 89801
Suite 108
Ruby Mountains:

140 Pacific Ave. Wells, NV. 89835
P.O. Box 246

Phone: Elko: 775-738-5171 Wells:775-752-3357
View website


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Be prepared for extreme weather. Bring rain/wind gear, warm clothing, and matches/fire starters.
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Trailhead Information

The trail is one way and be be started from either Harrison Pass Rd. or along the Lamoille Canyon Scenic drive. 

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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