Current Protection

Designated Wilderness

Management Agency

U.S. Forest Service

Year Protected


Total Area

93,030 Acres

Initially set aside on March 29, 1904, the Ruby Mountain Forest Reserve was formally established on May 3, 1906. After 25 years of work and advocacy by individuals and organizations like Friends of Nevada Wilderness to realize the Wilderness Act promise of protection for Nevada’s wild places, the Nevada Wilderness Wilderness Protection Act of 1989 designated the Ruby Mountain Wilderness (see more on the Conservation History of the Ruby Mountains in the Additional Resources Tab). The Ruby Mountains are the traditional home of the Western Shoshone who have been living on and with these lands for countless generations.

The Ruby Mountains Wilderness is truly the crown jewel of Nevada’s mountain ranges, characterized by high, multi-faceted peaks soaring above lush green meadows and sparkling sapphire blue lakes. Nowhere else in Nevada is there such a spectacular, classic alpine landscape, featuring hanging valleys, paternoster lakes, and snow-fed streams flowing down the U-shaped glacial valleys on the west side of the range. Because they were so heavily glaciated and have such abundant water, the Ruby Mountains Wilderness represent classic mountain wilderness. Lamoille Canyon, adjacent to the northern end of the Wilderness, stands-out as a textbook example of an ice scoured, U-shaped valley created during the onslaught of the Ice Age.

Photo by Richard Sill 1962- UNR Special Collections

Friends of Nevada Wilderness works closely with the U.S. Forest Service to take care of this beautiful Wilderness. Our on-going stewardship projects include: monitoring and mapping the Wilderness and its trail system for use and impacts, wilderness character monitoring, and trail maintenance. Friends of Nevada Wilderness is committed to ensure the Ruby Mountains Wilderness remains wild and accessible for future generations to enjoy and explore.

Agency Information

Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service

Local District: Ruby Mountains Ranger District

Address: 140 Pacific Avenue, Wells, NV 89835

Phone: (775) 752-3357