AAA Editor Notes
Pyramid Lake is off SR 445. An ancient remnant of colossal Lake Lahontan, the inland sea that once covered most of Nevada, this is one of Nevada's largest natural lakes. Long before it became part of a 475,000-acre Paiute Indian Reservation established in 1874, the lake and surrounding region served as the tribe's homeland. About 25 miles long and 4 to 11 miles wide, it measures 350 feet at its deepest point and is surrounded by reddish-brown sandstone mountains.
The color of the lake changes from gray to pale green to deep turquoise depending on the sky and clouds. A drive along narrow, winding SR 446 between SR 445 and the hamlet of Nixon is a delightfully scenic journey that traces the southern shore, and there are numerous pull-offs where you can admire both the lake's beauty and unusual rock formations like the Stone Mother, named for its shape. The north end is sacred to the Paiute and is off-limits to visitors.
Fragmentary remains of an elephant, bison and camel found at the nearby Astor Pass railroad excavations offer clues to the area's prehistoric inhabitants. Pyramid Lake is considered one of the state's best recreation areas. Warrior Point, a park 9 miles north of Sutcliffe, offers various shoreline facilities.
Pyramid Lake is home to the endangered cui-ui, a type of sucker fish. But what draws sports anglers for miles around is the Lahontan cutthroat trout, a feisty game species that can weigh up to 20 pounds. A Nevada fishing license is not required, but a permit is necessary in order to fish or boat on the lake. Permits can be obtained at the Sutcliffe Ranger Station, 2500 Lakeview Dr. (just off SR 445). Other popular activities are hiking, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
Pets on leash are allowed. Recreational activities are permitted. Camping is permitted. Picnicking is permitted. Food is available.