- Desolation can be beautiful. This body of water is one of the largest freshwater lakes in North America, covering 170-square-miles. It is one of the remains of a huge inland sea that covered 8,600 square miles of land more than 50,000 years ago. The barren shoreline offers no respite from the blazing Nevada sun. It remains much the same as when John C. Fremont first viewed its shining oasis in 1844. He named the lake after the Pyramid of Cheops when he saw a large stone formation in the shape of a pyramid. Paiute tribal members are the caretakers of the lake; their reservation encompasses more than a half-million acres surrounding the water. They operate the Numana Fish Hatchery and Visitor's Center open daily from 10a-2p. The Pyramid Lake Marina offers boat rentals, launches and slips; you can purchase a tribal permit for fishing, camping and boating at the Pyramid Lake Ranger Station.
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