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Blue Lakes – Glacial Lakes in Northern Nevada


Northern Nevada has an amazing number of beautiful spots for exploring and camping. I often think that someone looking for adventure travel would find northern Nevada a dream come true. Exploring the outback of northern Nevada often requires driving on very bad roads, following the very thin dotted line roads on the maps, (We use Benchmark Nevada Road and Recreation Atlas), and being without cell phone coverage . The rewards are many. They include widely varied scenery, wild animals, beautiful rocks, interesting geology, and lots of solitude.


A couple of week ago my husband and I decided to do some Nevada adventure travel for the weekend. We wanted to collect some obsidian for our back yard and we decided to check out Blue Lake which is described in 50 Classic Hikes in Nevada as follows:

“Not only are lakes in general a scarce commodity in the Great Basin, but glacial lakes scoured out of granite basins are even more unusual, which makes the Blue Lakes particularly appealing. Cradled into a cirque below Duffer Peak and dammed by a moraine, the Blue Lakes offer hikers some incredibly unique mountain scenery.”

We left Saturday afternoon and drove north east on Interstate 80 to Winnemucca where we headed north and then west. The last 18 miles were on rough gravel and then very rough dirt roads to our camping spot. There were three cars at the trail head. One left with some fishermen soon after we got there and the other two cars were apparently owned by a family camping at the lake. We had the trail head camp site to ourselves.


The meadow next to our camp site was covered in wild flowers. We enjoyed a stunning sunset and a great steak dinner. After dinner we sat around our camp fire and enjoyed finishing our wine and watching the almost full moon come up.


Sunday morning we got up and hiked the short (.75 mile) hike to Blue Lakes which were as beautiful as they were described. The fish were jumping and we sat by the lake and enjoyed watching them for a while before hiking back to the truck, packing up and heading west.


We explored some of the roads in Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, saw wild donkeys and pronghorn antelope, collected lots of obsidian and other cool rocks and then headed home to Reno.

If you would like to see all of my pictures from this weekend they are available on Flickr here.




Cosmo’s Snack Bar is worth finding

The true definition of a hidden gem, Cosmo’s Snack Bar is a new pizza, drinks and more restaurant in the Wells Avenue area. If you drive too quickly down Arroyo Street, you might miss it.