Winnemucca Lake

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Jump to navigationJump to search Winnemucca Lake. This lake lies to the east of, and parallel with, Pyramid Lake, from which it is separated by only a single ridge of gray rock and sand. It lies principally in Humboldt County, though a part reaches south into Churchill County. The lake is now about sixty miles long, with an average width of twelve miles. Of late years it has been rapidly increasing in size, as more water has been flowing through its feeder than formerly. It has on the east side a high rocky ridge, like that which separates it from Pyramid, therefore it lies in a trough between two ranges of hills. Though so near to each other, the surface of the water in Winnemucca Lake is, forty feet lower than that in Pyramid. The Piutes remember a time when all was one lake. Were the waters of these twin lakes now united they would make a lake quite as large as the great Salt Lake of Utah. The inlet to Winnemucca Lake contains several old rafts of drift-wood, which prevent a free flow of water through it. Some years ago a freshet lifted these rafts from the bed of the stream, and the water found a channel beneath them. Since that occurred Winnemucca Lake has been steadily increasing in size. There are many Indian traditions connected with these lakes, one of which is in regard to immense animals that once herded in the neighborhood. This seems to be a tradition of the elephant or mastodon. All this region was once covered by an inland sea of fresh water, over 200 miles in length, and 80 or 90 miles in width.