Lamoille Canyon National Scenic Byway
|Description: This 12-mile auto tour features a rock-walled canyon with spectacular hanging valleys and alpine lakes. Look for mountain goats and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep on high rock ledges. Canyon wrens and violet green swallows can be seen in canyon wall crevices. Limber pines and aspens on the south slopes attract the Uinta chipmunks, Clark’s nutcrackers, blue grouse, and songbirds. Yellow-bellied marmots and pikas can be found in the rocks of the north slopes. Mule deer often feed or bed among the aspens. Keep an eye to the sky for prairie falcons, golden eagles, and other birds of prey. Creeks and springs attract American dippers, lazuli buntings, warblers, and other birds. Take the .25-mile Changing Canyon Trail, a guided walk that explains the canyon’s formation and leads to active beaver colonies. Hardy hikers may want to visit 9,600-foot Island Lake. Mountain goats, bighorn sheep, Himalayan snow cocks, and other birds may be seen here.|
Wildlife to Watch: Viewing is excellent from camps, picnic areas and trails along this route. Very good chance of seeing deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, small mammals, birds of prey, and songbirds from spring through fall. Many beaver ponds and occasional daytime beaver sightings. Varous campgrounds and picnic areas are available along the road. Fee camping. The Roads End trailhead leads into the Ruby Mountain Wilderness.
Special Tips: Road is not plowed in the winter. Be prepared for snow, and be aware of avalanche danger after storms, and mud slides after heavy rain. During the winter there is snowmobile activity in the area. During the summer, numerous people ride their bicycles along the road, which can be dangerous due to the narrow, steep, windiness nature of the road.
Ownership: USDA Forest Service
Closest Town: Elko, NV
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: