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Scenic Driving Adventures - Full-Day Driving Tours

South Fork State Recreation Area, Jiggs, Harrison Pass and Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge

 

drivingtoursDrive southeast on State Route 227 towards the residential community of Spring Creek (7 miles / 11.3 km). A stoplight marks the intersection of State Route 227 and 228. turn right and drive towards Jiggs. After traveling about 10 miles/16 km, you will reach the South Fork State Recreation Area. This is Nevada's newest state park and features prime fishing, boating, camping, hiking and riding areas. 

Returning to State Route 228, the small ranching town of Jiggs is roughly 20 miles/32.2km south. Jiggs was once the hub of a large cattle ranch in Mound Valley. Three miles/4.8 km past the town of Jiggs, the paved road continues to Harrison Pass Road. This leg of the tour takes you through beautiful high desert mountain country by way of Harrison Pass to the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Continue driving after the blacktop road ends for another 15 miles/24 km across this mountain range and over Harrison Pass at 7,247 feet. 

The gravel road dead ends at Country Road 788. turn right (south) and follow the road and signs to the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters. In the south part of the refuge, you can explore the Ruby Marshes formed by more than 200 springs. The bird watching and bass fishing here in the marshes is well worth the drive out. From the refuge, continue north until you reach State Route 229, turning left on the blacktop road. 

Along the northbound route you will pass through Arthur. About 12 miles further you will reach State Route 227 on your left where you continue straight to Elko (12 miles / 19.3km). 

Total Driving Distance: 110 miles (177 km)
Road Conditions: Paved/dirt road
Services Along Route: Limited services available in Jiggs
Map: View Map

Tuscarora, Jack Creek, Mountain City, Wild Horse State Recreation Area and North Fork

 

Drive north from Elko along State Route 225 towards the Independence Mountains. At the intersection of State Route 226, turn left (west). This is gorgeous open ranching country with plenty of wide open spaces for wildlife viewing. 

After traveling 19 miles/30.6km along State Route 226, a sign will direct you to turn left onto a graded dirt road leading to Tuscarora. This living ghost town is nestled in the Independence Valley, just west of the mountains of the same name. Mining prospectors first explored this area in the mid 1800's. They were followed by thousands of people hoping to strike it rich, including a large Chinese population that settled here. Some of the remains of those historic buildings still remain to be investigated. Today the town is permanent to several world-renowned artists who are thriving in this solitary area. 

Returning to State Route 226 by the same graded road, turn left to visit Jack Creek, another outpost ranching stop. After passing through Jack Creek, turn right onto Country Road 732. This dirt road passes through the Humboldt National Forest and past the Jack Creek Campground. During periods of wet weather, this road can become hazardous and visitors not in 4WD vehicles should avoid this route. This peaceful drive offers many opportunities to enjoy the open and unspoiled beauty of ranching country. Once you reach the intersection of State Route 225, turn left towards Wild Horse State Recreation Area and Mountain City. On your return trip to Elko along this paved road, you will pass through North Fork, another mining ghost town. Finishing your tour, make your way back the remaining 54 miles south on State Route 225 to Elko. 

Total Driving Distance: 130 miles (209.3 km)
Road Conditions: Paved/dirt road
Services Along Route: Limited services available along State Route 226 and in Mountain City
Map: View Map