One of the best thing about living in northeast Nevada is that you do not have to travel far from home to find adventure! Our region hosts numerous known, and not so well known, spots that are ripe for adventure but easy on the pocket book due to geographical proximity. From alpine lakes in our mountain ranges to reservoirs ripe with fish to miles of ATV/OHV trails, one does not need to look far to find outdoor fun.
At the end of June, Nevada Outdoor School took to the Ruby Mountains to explore two alpine lakes with our adult and voyager (ages 14 - 17) backpacking excursions. The adult group ventured to Griswold Lake and the voyager group explored Island Lake. Both of these backpacking options are less than 1 hour from Elko via main roads. Cheap and easy to get to, a win-win!
Perhaps there is a preconceived notion that one must go far and/or long to experience adventure. While far and long may open you up into more exotic and challenging adventures, close to home adventures have a lot to offer, especially if the goal is to simply disconnect from the noise of the world and reconnect with nature. It is interesting that in the formal definition of ‘adventure’ there is the component of “danger” or “risk” included, “an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks” (Merriam-Webster). That sounds like a lot of ‘regular’ life, dangerous and unknown! Seems like any day can be an adventure if your mindset is right. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of local destinations and calling them an adventure!
Four participants of the inaugural adult Nevada Outdoor School
backpacking trip in June 2022. Jacklyn Orr, Macy Rohr, Angela Crane,
and Ashley Lavering show off the "Mountain Magnificent" awards
celebrating their successful backpacking adventure.
Our adult backpacking group camped two nights about 2 miles up the Griswold Lake trail in a beautiful quasi-meadow with a great sitting rock for pondering life. The nearby Butterfield Creek supplied an ample supply of water for filtering. On Day 2 the group tackled the climb up to Griswold Lake, and lunch tasted that much better with the lake at our toes. Few did a quick toe dip; the water was ice cold!
Our voyager backpacking group hiked up to Island Lake and camped for two nights. It was surprising how many people utilize this trail as all day long, and well into the evening hours we spied people visiting the Lake. On Day 2 we hiked up above the lake, along the back ridge and enjoyed lunch, rock balancing, and reviewed map and compass skills. The view from just over 10,000 ft provided a new perspective of Island Lake few receive.
Four participants at the second annual Nevada Outdoor School Voyagers
Youth Backpacking trip in June 2022. Mickey Wallitner, Joseph Norero
III, Bayley Mason, and Brandon Thran about to head back to camp after
enjoying time above Island Lake.
Whenever heading out on an adventure, be it in your backyard or far, far, away, always practice the first Leave No Trace principle, Plan Ahead and Be Prepared. For example, checking the weather and being prepared for what Mother Nature has in store is smart and will help ensure you are adequately prepared with necessary water and layers. Do not make the mistake of thinking because you are close to home, you do not need to prepare. Responsible outdoor recreation always includes proper preparation.
Our backpacking trips were the kick-off to our favorite time of year, “summer camp season”. Stay tuned for recaps of our other upcoming camps. There are still a few spaces available, visit nevadaoutdoorschool.org for all the latest details and information.
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