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A Lake Just Made for Lazy Days

June 23, 1995|REBECCA HOWARD

Enthused after a tour of Vista del Lago, one may be more appreciative of the vastness of Pyramid Lake. Rustic picnic sites, campgrounds and coves--some only reachable by boat--are reminiscent of days at summer camp and have names to intrigue both children and adults: Chumash Island, Bear Trap, Lost Mine and Spanish Point.

Vaquero Beach, just below the visitors center, is one of two main recreation areas at Pyramid. It offers a boat ramp, a beach, picnic tables and fishing sites.

One of the primary recreation spots of the lake, however, is found by taking the Golden State Freeway a short distance north from Vista del Lago to the Smokey Bear Road exit and following the signs to Pyramid Lake.

Here, a snack bar and boat rental office, as well as a bait shop, can prepare a visitor for a lazy day of fishing for some of the largemouth bass, striped bass, catfish, crappie and bluegill swimming in the lake's depths. Piloting a rented boat allows visitors to explore some of the lake's areas unreachable by vehicle. Above the surface, one might see ducks bobbing along with the water's light ripples.

If visitors prefer to swim, a small sandy beach near Emigrant Landing is staffed with a lifeguard all summer.

Even a walk along Pyramid's shores, lined with cottonwoods and pines, can be as refreshing as a swim. Songbirds and butterflies flit among the trees.

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Picnicking seems to beckon in this setting, particularly since so many grills and tables stand ready for use.

If a day trip is not long enough, 93 sites at Los Alamos campground in lower Hungry Valley and 22 family camping units in Hard Luck Campground on Piru Creek provide ample facilities to stay a while and enjoy, with a new awareness, the waters of Pyramid Lake.

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