Were it a country, Nevada would be the 5th largest producer of gold in the world. The marvel of modern mining pulls over 80% of the US gold production out of remote, rugged, rural Nevada.

But today’s gold isn’t easily found, so focus your hunt on more easily caught treasures, many of which may be hooked in and around the Ruby Mountains.

There are more than two dozen alpine lakes sprinkled throughout the range with fish awaiting your line. On the southeast side of the range outdoor enthusiasts will discover one of the most remote refuges in the lower 48 states. The 37,000+ acre Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, home to the Gallagher State Fish Hatchery which stocks Rainbow and Tiger Trout, offers unlimited options for fishing, boating, wildlife viewing, photography and waterfowl hunting. The surrounding area offers opportunities for hiking, cycling, running and other outdoor recreation activities.

Those who take their adventure to higher elevations may find garnets (where the Rubies got their name), wildflowers and arborglyphs along with more lively mountain goats, bighorn sheep and the elusive Himalayan Snowcock. However, these areas aren’t always accessible. The elevation of the Ruby Mountain Range lends itself to year-round snow in some areas and early- as well as late-season snowfall.

If you take your expedition away from the Rubies, there are several other reservoirs throughout the region, some offering year-round fishing opportunities for those willing to brave any climate.

For those who find themselves in the area when it’s a little cooler outside, or need a break from the summer heat, take your adventure indoors to check out one of Elko’s wonderful museums celebrating the heritage and culture of the region. The Northeastern Nevada Museum offers exhibits chronicling the history of mining, railroads and ranching in the region as well as the Native American, Basque, Chinese and cowboy cultures still thriving today. The California Trail Interpretive Center, Cowboy Arts & Gear Museum and Western Folklife Center also offer insights into how Elko became the hidden gem it is today. Each also offers the opportunity to purchase locally crafted souvenirs to commemorate your time here.

Celebrate your catch, quench your thirst and satiate your hunger at one of Elko’s many restaurants and watering holes, where you’ll inevitably encounter a local ready to share their stories and raise a glass to the great times to be had in northeastern Nevada’s great outdoors. Happy trails until we meet again!

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