Skip Navigation

Weather and Amenities

Snow Covered RoadTraveling in the wide open Nevada desert can be dangerous without knowing what to expect and taking precautions.  Gasoline, cell phone service, and other amenities are scarce and road conditions can change rapidly during your journey. 


Ruby Valley is high desert country.  The sun is piercing when it’s up and temperatures can drop dramatically as soon as the sun goes down.  Keep well hydrated, use sun protection, and bring layers of clothing to use as temperatures drop.  Drifting snow in winter can make roads impassable, even with only a few inches of snowfall.  Check the local weather forecast before you come.  

               Average        Record          
    Summer High (August)                    85.5 F          102 F
    Summer Low (August)               49.3 F          25 F
    Winter High (February)               42.5 F          69 F
    Winter Low (February)               18.1 F          -23 F
    All-Time High (Any Month)            102 F
    All-Time Low (Any Month)            -29 F
    Annual Precipitation               12.97"          23.86"
    Annual Snowfall               51.9"          102.7"
    Driest Months on Average               July - 0.51"  
                August - 0.59"  
    Wettest Months on Average                       December - 1.45"     
                January - 1.40"  

 Local Cities 


Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge is fairly primitive, with a few restroom facilities on the refuge and at the refuge headquarters.  On a seasonal basis, the nearby Harmons Ruby Lake Resort has a small store, bar, RV hookups, boat and trailer rental, and space rental available. 

There is currently no gasoline available in Ruby Valley, so fill your tank before you leave Wells, Elko, Ely or Eureka.  Keep in mind that you need enough gas to drive around the area and get back to a gas station at the end of your trip.  The closest available gasoline is in Spring Creek when Harrison Pass is open, 52 miles from the refuge, and much further in winter. 

Refuge Roads: 

The Auto Tour loop and other Refuge roads are accessible on most days.  Large amounts of moisture can make passage difficult.  Long Dike is seasonally closed to motor vehicles for about a month in the spring to ensure the safety of young goslings on the road.  Visitors may still access this area on foot or by bicycle.

Page Photo Credits — Snow covered road at Ruby Lake NWR by Guy Wagner
Last Updated: Feb 14, 2013
Return to main navigation