Ruby Mountain Wilderness Area (flickr: Jim Morefield)

The Wilderness Land Trust creates public access on the west side of Nevada’s Ruby Mountains Wilderness Area

The Wilderness Land Trust creates public access on the west side of Nevada’s Ruby Mountains Wilderness Area

Jul. 16, 2015

413-acre addition helps secure an awe-inspiring alpine landscape


Imagine Nevada.  Do you have that picture in your head?  Does it include Himalayan Snowcocks?  Brook, Rainbow and threatened Lahontan Cutthroat Trout?  How about dozens of alpine lakes and hanging valleys described as the Yosemite of Nevada?  Welcome to “The Rubies”, the Ruby Mountains Wilderness Area.  After three years of hard work, The Wilderness Land Trust announces that 413 acres of private land in and on the west side of the Rubies are now part of treasured wilderness, under public ownership and managed by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.


The parcel completes the northern boundary of the wilderness area and the Murphy Creek drainage provides critical wildlife habitat and accesses world class hiking.  The Wilderness quietly boasts ten peaks over 11,000 feet, more than two dozen alpine lakes and year-round snowfields. Prehistoric hunting blinds and once inhabited caves show that these are long treasured lands.  The wettest mountain range in the state, this wild and primitive landscape is also home to the largest mule deer herd in Nevada.  The Ruby Mountains Wilderness contains Lamoille Canyon, which is the signature glacier-sculpted canyon of the wilderness due to its dramatic granite canyon walls.  


“The Ruby Mountains Wilderness is a spectacular, alpine oasis that hosts an amazing diversity of plants and wildlife and offers outstanding recreation opportunities.  Thanks to  a willing seller and the Wilderness Land Trust, access and the Murphy Creek Trail are now secured and complete for the benefit of all Americans,” said Bill Dunkelberger, Forest Supervisor on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.


The 33-mile long Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail, which leads through the heart of the Ruby Mountains Wilderness and its high alpine lakes, has a new extension with The Wilderness Land Trust’s purchase of the 413-acre Murphy Creek parcel.  Previously, access required crossing private lands where landowners can shut off access at any time.


The purchase was made possible with the financial assistance of two Nevada lenders.  Both supporters have been wilderness lovers for years and have spent countless hours assisting with wilderness stewardship, mapping and designation.   With the transfer, The Wilderness Land Trust has now added over 1,000 acres to Nevada wilderness, including projects in the East Fork High Rock Canyon Wilderness and the Jarbidge Wilderness.




Map of Ruby Mountains Wilderness Area (Boundary is faint pink line)


The National Wilderness Preservation System is a refuge for animals, plants, clean water, clean air and a foundation for 21st century conservation.  It may hold the key to future conservation and the tools for adapting to global climate change.  However, the system is still filled with holes, 180,000 acres of private lands that fracture the whole.  Across the country there are plans to develop mines, retreats, logging operations and resorts deep within wilderness holdings, fragmenting a resource that cannot afford to be lost.  The Trust’s continuing mission to eliminate these pockets of inholdings and create a seamless wilderness system is vital, echoing the spirit and intent of the original Wilderness Act.  The Wilderness Land Trust is the only national organization dedicated solely to buying these lands and adding them to the National Wilderness Preservation System.


The Wilderness Land Trust

The Wilderness Land Trust is a small, highly specialized nonprofit organization established to buy and protect wilderness land.  Since it was founded in 1992, the non-profit organization has preserved 417 parcels comprised of more than 42,200 acres of wilderness inholdings in 92 designated and proposed wilderness areas.  The Wilderness Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) organization, has offices in California and Colorado.  For more information visit our website


The Wilderness Land Trust is an accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and is supported by individual donors and foundations.  We invite you to visit and learn how you can help keep wilderness wild.         


Contact: Lisa Janeway, Administrative Director,

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