Can't believe it's been this long since I posted pictures! Slacking off, I guess.
The trail takes off from the first pullout at the mouth of Lamoille Canyon, above the Powerhouse Picnic Area. Eventually, we'll look at building a trailhead parking area here, but for right now parking will be at the pullout.
These photos are from last summer's biological survey trip.
The trail pretty quickly starts climbing out of the canyon, through some rock outcroppings and a beautiful pinyon-juniper forest. I'm thinking the shade will be pretty welcome in the summer.
It crests out in a gorgeous mahogany grove - really amazing valley views.
Once the trail hits the 7000' contour, it starts snaking along the front of the range, winding in and out of three steep drainages. This is really pretty country and shows off the best of the Ruby Mountains' lower altitude ecosystem. The NE aspects are full of serviceberries, currants, arrowleaf balsamroot, indian paintbrush... lots of low flowers and shrubs. There's a grove of scrub aspen in the centers of each that will make a cool, shady tunnel on the trail - and then you're back in the mahogany forests on the northwest aspects. Really, really nice.
Getting through these drainages without the trail in place is - in a word - ugly. It wasn't bad through the brush and mahoganies, but the scrub aspen groves are a real tangle. I was wishing for a machete right about here.
Back into the mahoganies again. I love mahoganies.
More valley views. I just couldn't get enough.
There's only one real campsite along the first segment - this little spur ridge about 4.5 miles in. That said - it is a magnificent campsite, with a little spring nearby and views that won't end. You feel like you're sleeping in a bowl of stars, and the lights across the valley are really beautiful.
Once the trail drops off the ridge it winds through Snell Canyon, and the only place on this portion of the trail where we cross private property. It's a good thing the trail is in a real tangle of trees at that point - not very likely that visitors will wander off the trail. It crosses Snell Creek just before hitting the private property - a good water source all season.
After leaving Snell the trail wanders through Jewett Canyon, and we start seeing signs of grazing. We were darned glad to see them, too - made the traveling much easier. My guess is that it'll make trail construction a lot easier, too.
And, here we are - Talbot Canyon! Closed to public trail access for decades, even though there's a Forest Service trail up to Verdi Lake at the canyon's head. Absolutely gorgeous.
I have some great photos of Talbot Canyon, too. Will post those for you one of these days.