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Nevada Scenic Drives: Pyramid Lake Scenic Byway

Highlights of Pyramid Lake Scenic Byway

Serene views of Pyramid Lake are common along Pyramid Lake Scenic Byway.
Serene views of Pyramid Lake are common along Pyramid Lake Scenic Byway.

Travelers driving Pyramid Lake Scenic Byway for the first time may be surprised at the scenic beauty that a cold, blue lake offers in the middle of the desert. The lake is situatied in a valley amiddistant hills and snowcapped mountains. It is an unexpected oasis in the middle of the dry landscape of Nevada.

A drive around Pyramid Lake offers an enchantin view of this remnant of ancient inland sea that changes from green to turquoise to deep blue. The sunset casts a red glow on the lake and surrounding formations that you can behlod at scenic turnouts. During the day, just the sight of the deep blue waters of Pyramid Lake is a refreshing experience for hot travelers.

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On this Pyramid Lake must-see tour, you can start in either Sparks or Wadsworth because the driving directions given here start and end in the Reno/Sparks area.

: Start your trip in Wadsworth, and then drive north along Route 447, following the course of the Truckee River. You can stop at the Numana Hatchery and Visitor Center to learn about the area's natural history and the Native American fisheries program or take a walk along the wetlands nature trail, where you experience the unique habitats of the river valley.

Scenic Byway Visitor Center : As you continue to drive north, you will come over a rise and see the lake spread out before you. Just ahead is the Scenic Byway Visitor Center and Tribal Museum. From here, you can take a side trip north on Route 447 into the town of Nixon, site of the Tribal Headquarters, and beyond to Marble Bluff Fish Facility and Lake Winnemucca.

Pyramid Lake: You can also head west on Route 446 toward Sutcliffe. Route 446 follows the west shore of Pyramid Lake, with plenty of beaches for swimming, fishing, or enjoying a picnic lunch. In Sutcliffe, you'll find the Pyramid Lake Marina, with a visitor center and museum, as well as stores and visitor services. North of Sutcliffe are more beaches, especially at Pelican Point and Warrior Point.

Mullen Pass: Returning south from Sutcliffe, take Route 445 south toward Sparks. As you drive up toward Mullen Pass, you can stop at the pull-off on the left for a scenic vista of the lake. If you get a chance to visit here as the sun sets, the Pyramid, Anaho Island, and the slopes of the Lake Range may be bathed in a red glow, offering a dramatic counterpoint to the urban glitter awaiting you as you return to Reno.

Come to Pyramid Lake to see the unusual rock formations, stay to fish for some cutthroat trout!

Find more useful information related to Nevada's Pyramid Lakes Scenic Byway:

  • Nevada Scenic Drives: Pyramid Lakes Scenic Byway is just one of the scenic byways in Nevada. Check out the others.
  • Sparks: Find out what there is to do in this city along Pyramid Lakes Scenic Byway.
  • Scenic Drives: Are you interested in scenic drives beyond Nevada? Here are more than 100 scenic drives throughout the United States.
  • How to Drive Economically: Fuel economy is a major concern when you're on a driving trip. Learn how to get better gas mileage.

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