The Dirt: Ruby Mountains



The Ruby Mountains is a popular visitor attraction in a remote mountain range in Central Elko County. While much of the National Forest land and the Wildlife Management Areas have strict rules for OHV use, there are a large number of trails open to all users around Harrison Pass and the Southern Ruby Mountains. The area features extraordinary verdant hills, beautiful views, primitive camping, and lots of wildlife viewing, especially at Franklin Lake and Ruby Lake. The mountains are also a popular winter location for snowmobiling, downhill and cross-country skiing. Pay camping is available at South Ruby Lake Campground and in many locations in the northern Ruby Mountains, there are also primitive campsites for free in Southeast Harrison Pass. Please see our Plan Your Visit section to view campgrounds.

The trails consist almost entirely of old Forest Service roads in various conditions. Some routes have been recently re-graded, while others are eroded and overgrown. Some areas on the North side of Harrison Pass Road were damaged by wildfire. Always ride with caution, and be aware that backpackers and equestrians may use dirt roads to access parts of the Ruby Mountains.


Roadside staging can be found in several locations along NF-113/Harrison Pass Rd and Old Nevada 228. 

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: United States Forest Service - Elko Office

Mountain Ranger District

660 South 12th St.

Elko, NV 89801


Always plan ahead and prepare for uncertainty. Travel with warm clothing, first aid, food, water and appropriate tools to fix a problem.

Traveling in groups is always a good idea, as well as informing someone of where you will be going.

  • Register Your Vehicle
  • Make sure your vehicle is equipped with a spark arrestor
  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Trail Users

Leave No Trace

Tread Lightly

Historic Preservation

Plan Your Visit