Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ruby Crest

I ran the Ruby Crest in Nevada in June. I've been hearing about a couple trails in Nevada for the last few years: the Ruby Crest and the Toiyabe Crest. 35 and 70-mile long National Recreational Trails, built by the CCC during the Great Depression, and supposedly still hikeable. Having hiked some epic CCC trails, and with the word "Crest" in the name, I was pretty excited to do the Rubies. It was a very nice run, but it wasn't as great as I'd hoped. Maintenance on the trail is poor (but does appear to happen on rare occasions) so it wasn't too hard to follow, but long chunks, especially in the southern portion, aren't necessarily run-able with the overgrowth. I also didn't think the trail was particularly crest-y, in that it didn't really seem to follow the ridgeline. The northern half is definitely scenic, with high alpine lakes.  The trail is worth hiking, but I probably wouldn't go too far out of your way to do it.

Yep, George came along for the whole trip.

You might see mountain goats right around here. George expressed some interest, but a pair of large males stood impressive guard over the herd and after a staring contest he didn't do anything stupid.

It was a fun trip, but it was definitely disappointing to fail so miserably on what was supposed to be Day 2: running the East Humboldt range, just one range to the east of the Rubies. Old maps show trails that can be connected to hike the length of the range on the western slope, but those trails definitely don't exist on the ground anymore. After an hour or so of painful bushwhacking, we knew there was no way we were going to make it the whole way, so we gave up.

Access to the southern end of the East Humboldt range requires crossing some private property and a bunch of fences. Access to both ends of the Ruby Crest trail is more straightforward.

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