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Reno, Nevada

Explore The Needles at Pyramid Lake

2 Miles Total - 50 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Alex E

The Needles on the North shore of Pyramid Lake offer dramatic landscape photo opportunities. Photograph this awe-inspiring and sacred place, which the Paiute Tribe calls home.

From Reno, Nevada take US-395 North for roughly 2 miles to exit 70A for N McCarran Blvd. Take N McCarran Blvd for 2 miles to Pyramid Way/NV-445. Turn left and take NV-445 for 31 miles until you reach the marina in Sutcliff, Nevada. Since the entire lake is within the Paiute Indian reservation, you must obtain a day pass for $10 for any travel off the main road. (NV-445) If you plan on just photographing the lake from the main road, you do not need to obtain a day pass.

To photograph the needles you need to obtain a day pass and then continue north on NV-445 for 15 more miles. There is an unimproved and very bumpy dirt road. Once you reach the end of the lake you will see the needles on your right. Although there is a clear hiking trail leading directly towards the needles, the needles are currently off limits. In order to get those great shots you need to break out that high powered zoom camera lens or a drone to get some up close shots of the needles. If you kayak or boat in from the south you can get a much closer view of the rare rock formations. These large Tufas mounds as they are known, were formed 26,000-13,000 years ago when the water level on the lake was much higher. The large structures formed under water when calcium from a hot spring combined with the carbonate in the lake water. The lake offers many great opportunities to fish, boat, camp, mountain bike and hike this beautiful salt water lake in the middle of the Nevada desert.

Although the lake offers many awe inspiring photo opportunities, check with the park rangers, because many sections of the lake are restricted due to recent vandalism in the area. Areas such as the needles are currently off limits to the public. The rangers are currently working on a solution to reopen these areas for people to be able to enjoy respectfully.

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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.

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