We arrived mid-day after spending Saturday night in a BLM campground (Water Canyon) above Winnemucca. Our site at Water Canyon was spacious and shaded in this hot, dry terrain, and surprisingly—especially given that it was a Saturday night—we were the only people there, except for the camp host.
Shortly after setting up camp, a BLM ranger stopped by to welcome us. And to tell us that we had chosen the favorite “party site” for the locals, who generally show up on Saturday nights. Great. He told us they wouldn’t bother us, but would just move further up the canyon. Shortly after he left, a parade of ATV’s and beat-up Jeeps started to cruise up and down the winding canyon road. We had our doubts about our campsite choice, but found everyone friendly, waving at us as we took a late afternoon hike up the canyon. During the night, we heard a few vehicles drive slowly past our site, hesitate, and then move on—just as the ranger predicted. Fortunately, it turned out to be a fine place for an overnight and was perfectly quiet after about 10:00. The price was right, too, at $0.
Obviously, though, we much prefer our site in Lamoille Canyon. We’re situated with gorgeous views of the canyon rising high above us in every direction. Our campsite is spacious, surrounded by aspens. And just a few hundred yards from our door is the start of the Thomas Canyon Trail, a spectacular two-mile hike that follows a stream up to a glacial lake.
Because it was late afternoon, we only had time to follow the trail for about a mile up into the canyon. We hiked along a series of cascading small waterfalls, through groves of aspen, and discovered along the way the largest beaver dam that we’ve ever seen. We crossed the stream to get a closer look and had a spectacular view of the dammed up creek. This must be where landscape designers got the idea for infinity pools—the beavers certainly chose a fantastic location, with the rocky canyon reflected in the waters around their lodge.