Elko, Nevada Wilderness Areas

If your idea of a weekend well spent is one that happens outdoors, these Nevada wilderness areas near Elko will have you ready to pack your bags and head for the northeastern corner of the state. Recreation opportunities abound in Elko County’s recreation areas, from the ruggedly beautiful Ruby Mountains to the scenic wonder of Lamoille Canyon.

Once here, there’s plenty to keep the most demanding of outdoors types happy, from birdwatching to serious hiking and backpacking to four-wheeling to boating, fishing, winter skiing, camping, cycling and more. Explore the Ruby Mountains on foot in the summer or throttle up and see them on a snowmobile in winter. Bring the whole family and see the Rubies on a fun-filled horseback ride. However you spend your time in Elko’s wilderness areas, we guarantee you’ll find something new and exciting every time.

Nevada Wilderness Areas

Hike, walk, run, ski, ride, fish or even boat your way through these favorite Nevada wilderness areas on your next trip to Elko.

nevada wilderness areas

A four-stop self guided auto tour with geology interpretive exhibits leads visitors past meadows full of wildflowers, abundant wildlife, waterfalls and avalanche chutes.

ruby mountains in elko

Traversing the breathtaking 12-mile Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway, the mountains offer a perfect choice for activities ranging from a leisurely drive to a week-long backpacking/hiking adventure.

elko wilderness area

Elko’s wilderness areas offer many ways to experience nature while having fun. Boat, fish, camp, partake in water sports and birdwatch at the Wild Horse and South Fork recreation areas.

Birding & Wildlife Viewing

There are plenty of birdwatching spots around Elko, but the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge just might top the list. With 37,632 acres of marshes, open ponds and wet meadows, more than 200 of Nevada’s 456 bird species are found here.

More About the Refuge