All About Pyramid Lake

All About Pyramid Lake

River History, Truckee River Watershed
Northern Nevada is known for many things: the nice people; its proximity to Lake Tahoe; the small-town feel in a growing city. The Truckee River flowing through Reno and Sparks is often a pleasant surprise to visitors (and some residents!). Even more unknown than the river, however, is what lies at its end: Pyramid Lake. [caption id="attachment_3925" align="alignleft" width="500"] Photo courtesy Flickr user Ron Reiring. Pyramid Lake in 2008 looking southeast.[/caption] The Truckee River flows out of Lake Tahoe and, after 121 miles of mountains, Reno/Sparks, and the desert, enters Pyramid Lake at its southern end. Pyramid Lake sits entirely within the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Reservation, and is one of the tribe's most valuable assets. Pyramid Lake was mapped and named by the same fellow who first mapped the Truckee…
Read More
Truckee River Watershed: Mogul Creek

Truckee River Watershed: Mogul Creek

One River, Truckee River Watershed
Similar to Chalk Creek, Mogul Creek is a minor tributary flowing down from Peavine Mountain into the Truckee River. Mogul Creek flows south through the Peavine foothills between residential developments, past Somersett Park - East, around a few golf holes of the Somersett Country Club, and down through a small valley before reaching more houses, slipping under I-80 and plopping into the Truckee River. [gallery grids="News" image_size="large" ids="3056,3057,3058"] Mogul Creek's lower reach is in a concrete-lined channel just west of River Christian Center. The creek enters the Truckee River on private property. As stated in our Chalk Creek post, the Mogul and Chalk creeks sit on the Hunter Creek Sandstone Formation -- a geologic formation containing high amounts of salts in the soil. Before major population growth in the area,…
Read More
Truckee River Watershed: Alum Creek

Truckee River Watershed: Alum Creek

One River, Truckee River Watershed
Alum Creek is an extremely pretty creek to follow if you're in the mood for a walk. The creek flows through west Reno through the Caughlin Ranch area and enters the Truckee River just west of Crissie Caughlin Park. A footpath can be found next to a majority of the creek, and thanks to Steamboat Ditch flows diverting into Alum Creek at five different points, the creek flows almost year-round. The greenbelt on Caughlin Parkway just west of the Plumb/McCarran intersection has multiple ponds to wander around. [caption id="attachment_3027" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Icy pond within the greenbelt off Caughlin Parkway.[/caption] As the City of Reno states it in a Truckee River Watershed guide, there are opportunities for revegetation along Alum Creek, particularly right before entering the Truckee River (pictured below). [caption…
Read More
Truckee River Watershed: North Evans Creek

Truckee River Watershed: North Evans Creek

One River, Truckee River Watershed
North Evans Creek is the creek that you might not realize you're seeing if you've wandered around Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno. Flowing south from the Panther Valley area, this creek flows along North Virginia Street before entering Rancho. North Evans Creek follows Evans Canyon Trail from Vista Rafael Way to the Nature Trail in the northern portion of Rancho, and under North McCarran Blvd. Once the creek passes McCarran, rock weirs capture the flows to create a wetland. More on the wetland from the City of Reno's watershed map: "This wetland was constructed to manage the higher flows coming down Evans Creek (in lieu of building a dam just above the Nature Trail across McCarran), allow pollution to settle out in the flat areas, and reduce flooding of Sierra…
Read More
Truckee River Watershed: Chalk Creek

Truckee River Watershed: Chalk Creek

One River, Truckee River Watershed
Sitting up in Northwest Reno is Chalk Creek -- one of multiple tributaries trickling down from Peavine Mountain and the surrounding hills into the Truckee River. Prior to urbanization in the area, Chalk Creek flowed only in response to storm events. Once residential and commercial buildings began to appear, the lower parts of Chalk Creek began to flow year-round. [caption id="attachment_2883" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Taken off Crown View Drive. Here, Chalk Creek is flowing in a low valley between residential neighborhoods. Just around the hill on the left side of the picture the creek will pass under I-80.[/caption] The creek flows alongside many parks and walking trails in Northwest Reno; along Robb Drive, past McQueen High School, through residential neighborhoods, by Rainbow Ridge Park and through a valley, under I-80 and…
Read More
Truckee River Watershed: Dog Creek and Sunrise Creek

Truckee River Watershed: Dog Creek and Sunrise Creek

One River, Truckee River Watershed
We lumped Dog Creek and Sunrise Creek together due to size and location -- basically, Sunrise Creek is teensy and it's right next to Dog Creek. Dog Creek and Sunrise Creek sit up in Verdi, flowing down from the east-facing mountains between Stampede Reservoir and Verdi and into the Truckee River. Dog Creek passes through Dog Valley, a beautiful spot in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest made up forests, streams and meadows. Once Dog Creek enters Nevada, it pretty quickly empties into the Truckee River. [caption id="attachment_2831" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Dog Creek emptying into the Truckee River. Photo taken from the Crystal Park Bridge in Verdi.[/caption] According to the Forest Service, "Dog Valley is... home to two rare plant species, Dog Valley ivesia and Webber’s ivesia. Dog Valley ivesia can only be found…
Read More
Truckee River Watershed: Dry Creek

Truckee River Watershed: Dry Creek

One River, Truckee River Watershed
We promise we won't make any cliche jokes about how Dry Creek isn't very dry right now.......... Dry Creek is a tributary of the Truckee River that starts in the Southwest Reno area (Lakeside/Holcomb Ranch), shimmies northeasterly past the airport and into Boynton Slough, where it joins Steamboat Creek on its road to the Truckee River. Below are shots of Boynton Slough, which is fed by Dry Creek. [gallery grids="News" image_size="large" ids="2812,2810,2809"] (Thank you to the Canada geese for modeling for us.) The following plants, among others, are common along Dry Creek: Incense cedar, Jeffrey Pine, red and white fir, Pinyon pine, juniper, willows, Native rose, Russian olive, elm, and cattails. Wildlife found is similar across the entire watershed, and includes:  black bear, bobcat, red fox, rattlesnake, bald eagle, golden eagle,…
Read More
Truckee River Watershed: South Evans Creek

Truckee River Watershed: South Evans Creek

One River, Truckee River Watershed
On the Friday before Christmas, we headed to South Evans Creek to do some 'sploring. South Evans Creek drains from the foothills on the western edge of Reno. The headwaters emerge from alpine springs in vast meadows surrounded by dry forests, and trickle down canyons, through residential developments, through Bartley Ranch Park and into Dry Creek and Boynton Slough, where the water eventually ends up in the Truckee River. In the upper South Evans Creek watershed, common plant-life includes Incense cedar, Sugar pine, red and white fir, Tobacco bush, rushes, sedges, lupine, phlox, and Arrowleaf balsamroot. Down in the lower part of the creek, you'll find Desert peach, Mormon tea, dogwood, Russian olive, broom snakeweed, Indian paintbrush, cattail, Medusa head grass, tansy mustard, and clover. Wildlife found is similar across the…
Read More
Truckee River Watershed: Steamboat Creek

Truckee River Watershed: Steamboat Creek

One River, Truckee River Watershed
One of the last tributaries on your way out of town (heading east) is the famous Steamboat Creek. "Now how in the world is a creek famous?" you may wonder. Well, around these parts, Steamboat Creek drains over 156,000 acres of land -- more than any other creek in the Truckee Meadows region! Steamboat Creek starts down south at Washoe Lake and heads north, collecting water from Mount Rose, Southwest Reno, and the airport, and ultimately ends up in the Truckee River, right next to the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility. [caption id="attachment_2744" align="aligncenter" width="525"] The Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility (TMWRF) sits on the eastern edge of Sparks, just south of the Truckee River.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2743" align="aligncenter" width="525"] A view from the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway, looking at the Truckee River.…
Read More
Truckee River Watershed: North Truckee Drain

Truckee River Watershed: North Truckee Drain

One River, Truckee River Watershed
In an effort to explore not just the Truckee River, but more of its watershed, we've started visiting each tributary feeding our favorite river. To kick things off, we chose the North Truckee Drain, located in the Sparks/Spanish Springs area. Thanks to our friends at the City of Reno and this spectacular watershed map, we know this drain begins in the Wingfield Springs area in Sparks, and travels south by fields and pastures, through flumes and channels, along Sparks Boulevard, across I-80 and ends up in the Truckee River. [caption id="attachment_2729" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Taken at the intersection of Spanish Springs Road and Bria Circle.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2730" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Taken just north of the intersection of Spanish Springs Road and Bria Circle.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2731" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Taken at the intersection of…
Read More