Pyramid Lake Byway Map

Overview

The Pyramid Lake experience offers unique attractions, setting itself apart from a traditional lake destination. Boating, fishing, camping, and hiking are all still on the menu for the area, but visitors have a unique opportunity to enjoy one of the largest bird refuge areas in North America – home to 8,000-10,000 White American Pelicans, and a large array of very unique rock formations – Tufa rocks, including the lake’s namesake formation – Pyramid Rock. The beautiful, colorful lake and the byway are located within the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, and the destination is sponsored by the Paiute people.

30.2 miles/ 48.6 km, Fernley to Sutcliffe

Key Attractions

  • Pyramid Rock – large pyramid-shaped rock formation that juts out of the lake – the area is home to many unique rock formations, the pyramid being the most famous

  • Tufa formations surrounding the lake – large rock formations, shaped out of calcium carbonate deposits that result from precipitation over hot springs – the shapes of these rocks are very interesting and rare, beckoning visitors to imagine specific shapes out of them

  • Anaho Island – a small island on Pyramid Lake, viewable from the shore, home to thousands of American White Pelicans – visitors can use binoculars to help see the beautiful birds

  • Sutcliffe Marina area – one of the best spots for visitors to spot both the famous pelicans on Anaho Island and the Peregrine Falcons that share the island – use binoculars or the birding scope at the marina

  • Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitor Center, Nixon, NV - visitors can learn about the history and culture of the Paiute people and the surrounding area, and view the displays of pre-historic tribal artifacts

  • Numana and Marble Bluff Fish Hatcheries, located on State Hwy 447 – learn about the endangered fish being protected and the habitats of the lake

  • Truckee River – fish or take a scenic walk along the river – particularly beautiful during Autumn

  • Pyramid Lake – the lake is famous for its stunning image as a crystal blue refuge in the middle of the hot Nevada desert, cutthroat trout fishing, boating, sandy beaches, and unique rock formations and surroundings

Location

  • 30 miles northeast of Reno, NV

  • Located near Humboldt Tolyabe National Forest, Lahontan Reservoir and State Recreation Area, Lake Tahoe, Carson City, California state line, and Reno’s National Automobile Museum, Nevada Museum of Art, Fisherman Planetarium, Bowling Stadium, and Arboretum

  • Driving the byway:

    • The byway consist of one main arm (State Hwy 447), one branch (State Hwy 446), and one small branch (State Hwy 445) – view map here

    • Start the byway at the intersection of Washeim St. and Main St. in Wadsworth, NV

    • Drive north on Washeim St. – it turns into State Hwy 447

    • Continue on State Hwy 447 until the junction with State Hwy 446 – here you can continue the northern extension on 447 or the northwest extension (446)

      • Northern arm:

        • Continue on State Hwy 447 through Nixon, NV, where that section of the byway ends

      • Northwestern arm:

        • Drive northwest on State Hwy 446 towards Sutcliffe, NV

          • State Hwy 446 runs into State Hwy 445 – turn southwest on 445 to drive to the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation – that extension of the byway ends there

        • Continue on 446 until it meets Hardscrabble Canyon Rd. - where that section of the byway ends

Other Information

  • View map

  • Web site

  • $9 day-use permit required for camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, picnicking, and driving off-road

    • Permits available at the Pyramid Lake Marina, the Pyramid Lake Store in Sutcliffe, NV, and the I-80 Smoke Shop/ Union 76 gas station in Wadsworth, NV

  • Lodging, food, phone, and restrooms are available along this highway

  • The most convenient location for gasoline along this highway is in Wadsworth, NV

  • Campgrounds are located at Dayton State Park and the Lahontan State Recreation Area

(This site is funded in part by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration.)