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Pyramid Lake is a saltwater lake in Nevada, United States.


A large lake (188 sq mi/487 km²) in Western Nevada, the terminus of the Truckee River rising in the Sierra Nevada and flowing out of Lake Tahoe. Since the lake has no outlet, salt and other soluble minerals accumulate making the water about 1/6 as salty as sea water.

Pyramid Lake is of great significance to the area's natives, the Paiute people who have lived in the area for centuries.


This is the largest remnant of Lake Lahontan that formed during ice ages, reaching an area of square 8,500 mi (13,700 km).


Flora and fauna[edit]

  • Cui-Ui (Chasmistes cujus), a type of sucker, found nowhere else and classified as endangered.
  • Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi), native to the Lahontan-Humboldt sub-basin of the Great Basin, but decimated by water withdrawals, pollution, dams, competition with introduced fish species and interbreeding with introduced Rainbow Trout and classified as threatened. Pyramid Lake originally had a relatively long-lived strain of this species that was adapted to the lake environment and grew large enough to prey on adult tui chub.
  • Tui Chub (Gila bicolor), up to 18" (45 cm), but averaging about 10" (25 cm.)


The large lake that does not freeze in winter has a moderating effect that reduces seasonal and diurnal variations. Due to the open water, temperatures tend to remain above freezing when it is significantly colder away from the lake. Likewise the water moderates summer heat.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

From Reno[edit]

Take the NV 445 north.

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport is Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO IATA) in Reno.

Fees and permits[edit]

Get around[edit]


  • 1 Museum and Visitor Center, 709 State St, Nixon, +1 775-574-1088. Tu-Sa: 10:30AM-4:30PM, Su-M: Closed.

Rock formations[edit]

  • The Great Mother. A rock symbolising the creation of Pyramid Lake according to the Paiute people.
  • Pyramid. A pyramid rock formation is on the on east side of lake.
  • 2 Monument Rock.


  • Fish for Lahontan Cutthroats to about 10 lb (4 kg). You will need a tribal permit as well as a Nevada fishing license. Fishing is mostly by trolling or flycasting from stepladders.
  • Visit hatcheries for Lahontan Cutthroats and Cui-Ui








Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

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