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Nevada shares Lake Tahoe with California and some parts of Nevada may be considered part of the Eastside.  Here we list areas in the real Nevada, the country of wide open vistas of seeming endless basins and ranges.

Backcountry ski opportunities abound in Nevada.  The tops of the ranges receive abundant snowfall and even in the broad valleys the snow lingers in the cold midwinter air.  So far, few skiers have discovered this backcountry paradise.  The season is short, the distances are far, the accommodations are often sparse. However, the snow can be epic.

In the northeast, the Ruby Mountains, Independence Range and, on the state’s eastern border, Schell Creek range and Great Basin National Park offer rugged terrain and big descents.  In central Nevada, the central Toiyabes offer high rolling terrain.  Large stands of aspen punctuate sagebrush vistas.  Low pinyon pine and juniper forests can be thick mazes or airy glades.

Eastern Nevada

Elko Area

Partly Cloudy
Saturday
High 51°/Low 31°
Clear
Sunday
High 66°/Low 32°
Clear
Monday
High 65°/Low 30°
Clear
Tuesday
High 68°/Low 33°
Clear
Wednesday
High 69°/Low 30°

 

  • Elko is bracketed by two large mountain ranges, the Independence Range to the northwest and the Ruby Mountains to the east.  Both provide great opportunities for touring, backcountry skiing and seeing wildlife.
    • Independence Range has two areas to explore, Jack Creek and Wild Horse Recreation Area.
    • In the Ruby Mountains,  choose from the Angel Lake Scenic Byway in the North, the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway on the western Slope, Harrison Pass in the south, and the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge on the eastern Slope.

Ely Area

Clear
Saturday
High 55°/Low 26°
Clear
Sunday
High 68°/Low 31°
Clear
Monday
High 67°/Low 31°
Clear
Tuesday
High 69°/Low 31°
Clear
Wednesday
High 71°/Low 34°

 

  • At Ward Mountain Recreation Area near Ely off of Hwy 6, the BLM and the USFS provides 20 miles of marked trails for skiers, wandering through thick pinyon and juniper forest to a class ridge line in the basin and range.  The Ward Mountain Recreation North  is groomed by the BLM weekly when conditions exist. The USFS manages Ward Mountain South.  The 15 miles of skier groomed trails reward the skier with outstanding views.  There are three warming huts on the trail system for breaks. Dogs are allowed.
  • 66 miles east on Hwy 50 is Great Basin National Park . Two paved roads access high terrain in Great Basin National Park.  The Baker Creek road continues past the gate closure approximately [6] miles.  The Wheeler Scenic Road is gated at Lehman Creek campground, where you can follow Lehman Creek in the shadow of Wheeler Peak.  Dogs are not allowed.

Central Nevada

Clear
Saturday
High 54°/Low 29°
Clear
Sunday
High 65°/Low 31°
Clear
Monday
High 66°/Low 32°
Clear
Tuesday
High 68°/Low 34°
Clear
Wednesday
High 70°/Low 32°

 

  • The Toyiabe Range runs almost 130 miles in length. The highest peak, Arc Dome, tops out at 11,788 feet.  From Bob Scott’s summit on Hwy 50 the mountains and their bounty can be had with relative ease.

    Bob Scott Summit

    Bob Scott Summit

  • From the Big Smokey Valley on the east, Kingston is a great jumping off point to the range and Bunker Hill.

Lodges

  • Though not technically a lodge, the Silver Jack Inn in Baker, NV offers a great spot for your access to Great Basin National Park beginning in March. Nordic and snowshoe gear rentals are available.
  • Hidden Canyon Retreat northeast of Baker, NV provides remote comfort for your touring day beginning in March.
  • Red’s Ranch located at the base of the western Ruby Mountains near Lamoille rewards the backcountry skier with a luxurious stay.

Guide Services

All backcountry winter travel in Nevada is dangerous.  There is significant avalanche terrain, the distances are huge, help is far away and, in most places, you are unlikely to meet anyone else or be noticed if you do not return.

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