Recreation at Pyramid Lake

August 18, 2016

Amazingly enough, there are people living in the Reno area who have never been to Pyramid Lake. If you are one of those, it’s high time you learned what you’ve been missing.

Pyramid Lake is less than an hour north of Reno and located within the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Reservation. That means it is not open to public recreation like the National Forests and BLM land. However, visitors are welcome to enjoy the recreational opportunities at Pyramid Lake as long as they buy permits for the activities of choice and abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the tribe.

Perhaps the most well-known (world famous, actually) activity at Pyramid Lake is fishing for huge Lahontan cutthroat trout and other species inhabiting the waters. Other things you can do include boating, camping, photography, bird watching, and swimming. In the town of Nixon, be sure to stop by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitor Center for more information about the reservation and its people.

Just sightseeing at this desert lake is worth the drive. The sight of deep blue water surrounded by desert mountains is unusual indeed. The water in Pyramid Lake comes from the Truckee River, which flows some 121 miles from its source at Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada. It is a remnant of ancient Lake Lahontan, which covered a large area of northwestern Nevada at the end of the last Ice Age.

For more information about permits, activities, and getting to Pyramid Lake, refer to “Pyramid Lake Recreation Activities.”

Note: Wildfires this summer have caused some closures and access restrictions at Pyramid Lake. Be sure to check for any access issues before driving out to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Reservation.

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