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. 


 Last weekend Duke 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, pronghorn antelope and collected lots of obsidian and other cool rocks before heading home to Reno.

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

Author: marionvermazen

I am a traveler, hiker, avid reader, Sun alumnus, computer geek, Spanish and French language student, knitter and genealogist. I am retired after working for almost 30 years in the Computer Industry. I live in Reno, Nevada with my husband Duke.

2 thoughts on “Blue Lakes – Glacial Lakes in Northern Nevada”

  1. I liked your blog I, probably like you, love to explore Nevada and like going places where there aren’t many other people. I think Nevada is amazing.


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