A peculiar lake in Northern Nevada, located about 33 miles NE of Reno. The closest town is Nixon, part of a Paiute reservation. Named for a rock formation near one end, the lake is the only home of the endangered prehistoric cui-ui fish. Because of its proximity to Reno, the lake is host to many a kegger or camping trip.

The remarkable thing about Pyramid is that it turns itself over every few years, letting all the muck and nastiness that's settled to its bottom float up to the surface with eerie buoyancy. About five or so people can be crossed off the regional missing persons list due to this event.

Aside from bloated corpses, the following has popped up:

The lake usually has a very beautiful turquoise shade and is a welcome relief from the rest of the desert, but it's usually best not to be around it when it's burping.

There are a few theories concerning the cause of the great turn over, the most likely of which involves undercurrents from the Truckee River. I like to think that it somehow involves an ancient Indian burial ground, but that's highly improbable. Personally, I like the idea of a body of water that gets so fed up with all the crap that people throw into it that it occasionally regurgitates.

Pyramid Lake and Dam was completed in 1973 as part of the California Water Project. The name of both the lake and dam is the result of the pyramid-shaped rock that towers above the dam itself. The lake was created by damming Piru Creek and provides a surplus water supply to the Los Angeles as well as the regulation of water to the nearby Castaic Powerhouse. Subsequently, Pyramid Lake's is also used as a recreational area...go figure.

Prior to the flooding of the region, nearby Pyramid Cut which used to carry traffic, but is now the bed of Piru Creek. This was done as a cost saving effort instead of having to enlarge 2 bridges across the creek that were part of US Highway 99. Today, an entire portion of US 99 is submerged under the lake.



  • Capacity: 171,200 acre-feet
  • Surface: 1,297 acres
  • Shoreline: 21 miles
  • Maximum depth: 355 feet


  • Height: 400 feet
  • Elevation: 2,606 feet
  • Length: 1,090 feet
  • Volume: 6,860,000 cubic yards

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