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Settled in the 1850s by the Basque people, the Ruby Mountain area has long been appreciated for its lush valleys fed by melting snows. This area proved great for livestock and farming. The Basque who originated from an area between France and Spain were sheepherders. Many Basque like others were headed for California gold fields and passed this way. After many hardships along the way, many Basque decided to stay and do what they were good at, raising sheep. Soon precious metals were found in the Ruby mountains. Many large productive gold mines are still being developed today in the areas surrounding the Ruby's. In the 1930s the CCC developed many of the trails that are still used for recreation today. One of those CCC camps was located at Thomas Creek. The Thomas Creek Trail starts from that campground.
Lamoille Creek passes through the campground and the clear cold water may prove to be tempting to refresh yourself at the end of the trail. The Thomas Creek Trail follows Thomas Creek to its origin high in the Ruby Wilderness. It is a steep trail and you are never more than 50 feet from the creek which due to its grade has raging water. There are countless waterfalls not only within the flow of Thomas Creek but all the tributaries from the surrounding sheer granite cliff sides. The views are outstanding and a great excuse to pause and catch your breath. It is a climb to the end as you arrive at a wetlands meadow area that has a small pond. The large box canyon you have arrived at has waterfalls flowing down on all sides. Hang out a while and perhaps you will be lucky enough to spot some deer, bighorn sheep, or mountain goats. The trip back the way you came is equally scenic and for many more enjoyable as you take in the panoramic views of some of the ten mountains over 10,000 ft that help make up the Ruby Mountains.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.