Spring Hikes in the Ruby Mountains
Contributed by Friends of the Ruby Mountains
Tired of sitting around, ready to get out of the house, and do some hiking? Here are some lower elevation hikes you can access in March. These are easy hikes that are perfect for families to try on a nice weekend day. Brought to you by the Friends of the Ruby Mountains. Find us on Facebook at friendsoftherubymountains.
The trail begins across the road. The trail climbs the canyon wall through a series of switchbacks before traveling outside the canyon and along the mountain front. The trail offers grand views of Spring Creek, Lamoille, and the mountains north of Elko. It loops back into the canyon, so you look down on your vehicle from high up. How far you can hike will depend on the amount snow along the trail, so be prepared to turn around when the snow gets too deep.
South Fork State Recreation Area offers several walking trails. A nice hike is through the Southwest Meadows area. Drive past the headquarters. When the main road turns to cross the South Fork River and continue onto the west side, do not turn but continue straight for 100 yards. A large parking area on the right is the trailhead. The trail heads toward the river to a kiosk and picnic table. It then continues upriver offering various views of the river and the Ruby mountains off in the distance. This is a good trail for bird watching with ducks, geese, shore birds and raptors often seen overhead or on the river. The trail is a gentle three-mile loop that was recently improved for easy walking.
Remember the old road over Harrison Pass, the narrow, dirt road that followed along Toyn Creek? When the new paved road was built, they kept it away from the creek, but you can still walk along parts of the old road that were converted to a trail. Drive toward Harrison Pass, past the town of Jiggs. One and a half miles after you enter the canyon, the first side road on the right drops to the creek and the old road. If you drive another two miles up the paved road, a second road to the right leads down to the creek. You can use either of these side roads to access the blocked off old road. Using either allows you to walk upstream along the creek, where you will see beaver activity, see the first wildflowers emerging, view mule deer, and hear spring bird songs in the trees.