Camp at Tamarack Bay on Pyramid Lake

Tamarack Bay, Pyramid Lake - Search Nearby - Added by Josiah Roe

Experience the isolation and awe-inspiring desolation of an oasis in the heart of Nevada desert, at what is the last remnant of a vast inland lake which once stretched across Oregon, Idaho, California, and Nevada at the end of the last ice age.

Pyramid Lake is the last remnant of the vast Pleistocene Lake Lahontan which reached its peak at the end of the last ice-age, being the terminus of many of the glaciers and ice sheets which covered much of California, Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada.

Today it is an oasis in the heart of the Basis and Range desert and the terminus of the Truckee River flowing from Lake Tahoe 60 miles to the Southwest. It is an endorheic lake, having no outflow and roughly a salinity of 1/6 that of sea water. It is also home to the Lahontan Cutthroat trout, the largest Cutthroat trout species in the world with regular catches of 20 lbs.

The lake and Tamarack Bay on its southwestern shore is barren, desolate, and fiercely windswept year-round (secure your tent!). There is a small, first-come first-serve drive-in campground off State Highway 446 south of Sutcliffe and Mullen Pass, though there is additional camping all along the west shore. There are no facilities, but a portable toilet is often present.

The campsite itself looks directly across an Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to one of the two largest American White Pelican colonies.

The lake itself is on Paiute tribal lands and an overnight camping permit is required which can be purchased in any of the stores and gas stations in Sutcliffe, Nixon, Wadsworth (just off I-80), and Fernley. 

Distance

0.25 Miles RT

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Stand Up Paddle, Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Kayaking, Swimming, Hiking

Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

Reno KOA at Boomtown

Reno, Nevada

From $63/night

Outsite Heavenly

South Lake Tahoe, California

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Explore a Winter Wonderland!

Hot chocolate. Ice skating. Flurries of fresh powder. Sound like the makings of a perfect winter getaway? Then make plans to cozy up and roast s'mores by a fire or explore the snowy mountain landscape on snowshoes or snowmobiles. Whatever winter wonderland adventure you crave, Reno Tahoe is calling your name. Start planning!

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Catch a Sunset at Pyramid Lake

Adventure

Camp at the Fort Sage OHV Area

Adventure

Hike Hunter Creek Trail

Adventure

A Lazy (Fun) Float Down the River

More Nearby Adventures