A great day out with friends on the shore of Pyramid Lake.
In northwestern Nevada if you talk about “the lake” most will think you are talking about Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is a beautiful blue alpine lake surrounded by snow capped forested peaks, what is not to love? But when I think of the lake, in my mind I see Pyramid Lake. Pyramid is an endorheic (closed basin) high desert lake surrounded by treeless mountain ranges and subject to extreme weather. Again, what is not to love? The two lakes are joined by the Truckee River as well as Interstate 80 and the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway. But in most peoples minds they are worlds apart.
Pyramid Lake is a remnant of the ancient Lake Lahontan and has been an important resource to all who know it from early Native Americans to contemporary visitors. Currently the lake is home to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and as land managers they are the source for recreational permits or restrictions. My inspiration for this ride was to be able to tour the lake shore by fat bike. I have ridden along the west shore via highway SR 445 and imagined what an expedition it would be to ride around the lake at the water’s edge. Unfortunately this is not permitted as sensitive areas have been damaged by vandals. Now my thought is to circumnavigate the lake using the closest route permitted.
For this outing I invited two friends Tom Driggers and Brandon Anderson to trek along the shoreline from Sutcliffe to Nixon, where the Truckee River enters Pyramid Lake. For an early January outing the damp and frozen sand provided easy passage. As a popular fishing destination we passed dozens of sport fishermen along the shore. Our fat bikes were great conversation starters. We played around on patches of ice and Tom found one that was thinner than thought over deeper than thought.