Climb of Ruby Dome

Date of trip: 08/13/2017

Mileage: 10.4 Miles

Elevation Gain: 4900 Feet

Time: 10:03 Hours

Class: 3

Partners: Carrie, Steve, Margo

GPS Track: View Here

Peaks Climbed on Trip:
Peak Name Elevation Prominence Range Close to County highpoint Range highpoint Map
Ruby Dome113874809RubySpring Creek, NevadaElkoYes40.6217, -115.4754

Trip Report

Ruby Dome is 11,387' in elevation and the Elko County Highpoint. It also sports 4,809 feet of prominence. It is quite visible from several areas in the town of Elko, Nevada. It is also scenic and a worthy goal!

To escape the wildfire smoke in Boise, we headed down to the Ruby Mountains south of Elko. Our first day in the area we did a short hike to the top of 2 peaks near Liberty Pass at the end of Lamoille Canyon. Here is that trip report.

We met up with Margo and Steve at Thomas Canyon Campground the evening before the climb. Ruby Dome is a tough day, so it was off to bed early.

We had gotten a key to access the Spring Creek Homeowners Association campground/trailhead. This saved us mileage and gain, but there is also some debate over whether or not it is considered trespassing to hike around the gate. Whatever the case may be, we went ahead and got the key.

Since the hike starts on desert-like slopes at 6500', we got an early start to avoid the heat. This proved smart as it also allowed us to be in the canyon shade for the entire 2 hour hike to Griswold Lake.

The trail is easy to follow until it gets in some rocky areas before Griswold Lake. You can always find cairns, but I think for the most part if you stick near the path by the creek you will be fine.

At Griswold Lake, I filtered water and we all ate, hydrated, and put on sunscreen.

The next stage of the hike was to get from the lake to the 10200' saddle east of the lake. This looks intimidating from the lake, but a nice climber's trail will get you through it.

From the saddle, we hiked south towards Point 10425. Here we went climber's left of the knob (10425). The number of cairns can be confusing through this section. We followed a snowfield up to around 10600' and then followed cairns from there. Instead of zig-zagging up the rocky slope above us, I more or less made a bee-line for a saddle just west of Ruby Dome. This line worked and got us to a ramp that led to the saddle. However, I think there are easier routes if you have more patience than I did.

From the saddle west of the peak, it is an easy 350 foot climb to the summit of Ruby Dome on bouldery terrain.

The views from the top are great! You really get a feel for how large the Ruby range is, but also how they stick out from the much smaller hills in all directions.

After selfies, signing in the register, some Facebooking, and rest; we headed down. The route down was easy, aside from getting really hot once we got out of the trees. The last 2 miles tested our endurance and ability to fight off the heat.

We were all elated to finally reach the trailhead and enjoy some beverages while soaking our feet in the creek.

Great peak, great partners, great day in the mountains!!!

Disclaimer:
Don't get too nervous about the time commitment... we moved at a relaxed pace all day. We pumped water and chilled at the lake on both the ascent and descent. We also spent a long time on the summit. I would think most parties can do this route in 9 hours.


Getting There

From Elko drive 17.2 miles southeast on SR 227 toward Lamoille. Turn south onto the signed Pleasant Valley Road. Follow this high-speed dirt road for 3 miles to the locked gate of the campground/gun range. If you picked up a key you can drive another 1.5 miles to the trailhead. Otherwise, walk from the gate.

This road is accessible by a sedan, although there are a few rocky spots beyond the gate.


Hiking Directions

See the GPS track: https://www.gaiagps.com/public/bEdDnUUFOLt5pWDj4lSji2GM

Basically follow the trail up Hennen Canyon to Griswold Lake. From Griswold Lake, follow the climber's trail to the 10200' saddle east of the lake. From the saddle, starting hiking towards Ruby Dome, staying climber's left of Point 10425. Follow ledges along the rocky face to reach the flat saddle just west of Ruby Dome at 11,000'.

For information on getting the key to the gate I mentioned in the trip report, please go to the Spring Creek Association's website: http://www.springcreeknv.org/.


Photos

View Slideshow

Trailhead (the mileage is off)
Trailhead (the mileage is off)
Carrie hiking along a ledge as we near Griswold Lake
Carrie hiking along a ledge as we near Griswold Lake
Griswold Lake
Griswold Lake
Lee Peak
Lee Peak
Carrie hiking through flowers
Carrie hiking through flowers
Carrie climbing a snowfield, Ruby Dome looms beyond
Carrie climbing a snowfield, Ruby Dome looms beyond
Margo coming up the snowfield
Margo coming up the snowfield
Climbing at around 10800 feet
Climbing at around 10800 feet
Margo and Steve on the crux
Margo and Steve on the crux
Looking down at our route
Looking down at our route
Looking south from the top of Ruby Dome
Looking south from the top of Ruby Dome
Ruby Pyramid and Ruby Dome
Ruby Pyramid and Ruby Dome
Steve and Margo descending the snow field
Steve and Margo descending the snow field
Ruby Dome from a distance post hike
Ruby Dome from a distance post hike
Our summit selfie on Ruby Dome
Our summit selfie on Ruby Dome




Please send comments, suggestions, and questions to Dan.
© 2017 All Rights Reserved IdahoSummits.com