The Lincoln Highway in Basin and Range – Jakes Summit and Environs

Jakes Summit, which leads into Jakes Valley (no apostrophe) allowed passage from Ely and the Ruth Mining District to Hamilton and the west, long before the new road over Robinson Summit was completed in the twenties. Let’s first have an overview of the area. As always, click to embiggen any image in the blog.

Jakes Valley Overview

The 1913 LHW is now not accessible in two places here: at the east end near Ruth, the road has been destroyed by mining activity; at the west end in Jakes Valley, the road no longer goes completely through Moormans Ranch.

Moormans Ranch

“Mooreman”s (sic) Ranch. White Pine County. Meals, lodging, gas, oil, drinking water, radiator water, camp site, telephone.” - The Complete Official Guide of The Lincoln Highway 1916

The road through the ranch can be seen from U.S. 50 but within the ranch it has been obliterated; a “No Trespass” sign is at the gate. I did meet with the current ranch manager and his wife, both charming, and was given pointers to the ranch archives. I will be researching further on the next trip.

Getting to Jakes Summit

Currently the only reasonable approach to Jakes leaves U.S. 50 here ( 39° 24.989′N 115°12.937′W) from which you proceed south to the junction with the old road ( 39° 19.390′N 115° 12.098′W) where you turn east.

Dale Southern, a veteran Lincoln Highway traveler, kindly allowed me to use these photographs of his trip to Jakes Summit.

Jakes Valley

An Easy Road

The First LHW Marker

Pines as You Climb Higher

Dale Southern at the Summit

LHW on the East

Dale notes that the east side of the summit needs high clearance and four wheel drive. Generally it is not recommended. Besides, the original road no longer exists there.

Rosevear Ranch

A little west of Moormans Ranch in the Illipah canyon you will find Rosevear ( 39° 21.122′N 115° 22.269′W) on the north side of Hwy 50. There are only ruins there now. It was listed in the 1916 guide as, “ranch not open, no accommodations.”

Brian Butko at Rosevear's Ranch Ruins

Brian Butko, perhaps the most well known amongst the bloggers of the Lincoln Highway, is seen here at the ruins. See his website – http://www.brianbutko.com/

Ruth and the Mining District

Although the original highway has been all but wiped out by the huge copper mining activity over the years, the mine itself is worth visiting and has a great public overlook. Turn off U.S. 50 towards Ruth and shortly follow the signs to the Liberty Pit overlook.

Liberty Pit Overlook

The size of the equipment used there is amazing. Compare the truck above with the large van nearby.

Big Toys

For the sake of safety, since the cab is on the left side, these monsters drive on the left side of the road so that they can see, and avoid, the edge.

One Last Thing

Between Robinson Summit and Ruth there is a nice two-mile section of the 1924 highway that can be easily driven.

Lincoln Highway Near Ruth Just Off U.S. 50

My van is shown on the west end ( 39° 18.650′N 114° 59.597′W). The east end is here ( 39° 17.410′N 114° 58.025′W). There are actually many sections of the LHW that are adjacent to U.S. 50 near here and can be driven in a passenger car. Go to Google earth and explore in the vicinity.

Next Up – Ely

As always, travel wisely. You are responsible for yourself.

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