When you think of Nevada, i'm certain the first visions that make their way to the forefront of your mind include bright lights, all-nighters, and money signs. Though all those things are fun if you're seeking some hustle and bustle, but our journey through the mining state looked a little more like this. We traveled to Northeast Nevada for a weeks escape and I can certainly say we were not disappointed. From driving through the flats of Salt Lake and gliding through the free range rolling hills towards Elko, our trip to this breathtaking state is one we will never forget.
Salt Lake City to elko
We arrived in Salt Lake City around 10pm at night in early August. Though we did not get the chance this trip, we plan on exploring this historic city for at least a few days once we return again. Our sights were set on Elko and Carlin this time around, so we rented a car and drove into the night for 3 hours. Driving through Northeast Nevada in the middle of the night was something to be experienced in and of itself. The millions of stars shining brightly on the silhouettes of the mountains gives you a sense of solace never experienced before. Unfortunately around the time we visited there were several wildfires tearing through the sagebrush. Though it made for a gorgeous shot, it was an extremely heavy sight to see how much destruction the fires actually caused. We chose Elko as our home for this trip after doing some research into the places around the city we would be able to explore.
The drive out to the Canyon is just under 30 minutes from Elko. On your way there you can expect to see free range cattle and horses, cacti, sagebrush, and endless miles of federally owned property waiting to be explored. The flat plains and rolling hills seem to disappear once arriving at the breathtaking terrain that is Lamoille Canyon. The massive Ruby Mountains overlook several lakes, streams, trails, and camp sites. The unimaginable height of the peaks that reach past sky offer textural views while trekking through the wildflowers below. There are several different trails to choose from, each with their own reward at the end. We chose to hike to a lake about 3 miles out. You have the option to bring your pets and you can rent horses to ride along the trail at certain times of the year!
Wild horse reservoir
If you're a fan of outdoor activities, especially fishing, you must visit Wild Horse Reservoir. This well-hidden secret is about an hour drive from Elko and you may actually get to see wild horses on the way there! Wild Horse Reservoir offers a gigantic lake and river that houses a wide variety of fish, though mostly trout and sun perch. You'll want to get a fishing license (about $12) for the day or just go relax near the stream taking all of the landscape in. You might find trails near the lake and road but don't be afraid to wander even father. Get off the beaten path and explore the unexplored. Nevada is known for their precious stone mining, so keep an eye out for shiny things on the ground!
camping in the desert
Nevada has 56 million acres of federally owned land. You are free to camp on any acre of this land for no fee. There are limits on how many days you can camp, but if you're in it to win it, you can just pack up and move to another location!
One of my favorite activities while visiting was hunting for gemstones. This is because you can literally hunt for them anywhere; on the side of the road, random veins in the mountains, anywhere! Be on the lookout for geodes, quartz, turquoise, and TONS of other varieties.
along for the ride
Though known for its nightlife, Nevada offers so much more than you could ever imagine. The peace you feel wandering through the diverse landscape is like no other. This one is for the people who have immense appreciation for the outdoors and seek to find themselves by getting lost in nature. Experience hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, and all other activities you could possibly dream up. The wildlife you'll see and the memories you'll take back with you will be something dreams are made out of!