Pyramid Lake (Los Angeles County, California)

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Pyramid Lake
Lake-Castaic-pano.jpg
Pyramid Lake and San Emigdio Mountains.
LocationAngeles National Forest / Los Padres National Forest
Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates34°38′39″N 118°45′51″W / 34.644153°N 118.764258°W / 34.644153; -118.764258Coordinates: 34°38′39″N 118°45′51″W / 34.644153°N 118.764258°W / 34.644153; -118.764258
TypeReservoir
Primary inflowsWest Branch California Aqueduct
Piru Creek
Primary outflowsWest Branch California Aqueduct
Piru Creek
Basin countriesUnited States
Water volume222,000 acre·ft (274,000,000 m3)
Surface elevation786 m (2,579 ft)
ReferencesU.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Pyramid Lake
 
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For the lake in El Dorado County, see Pyramid Lake (El Dorado County, California).
Pyramid Lake
Lake-Castaic-pano.jpg
Pyramid Lake and San Emigdio Mountains.
LocationAngeles National Forest / Los Padres National Forest
Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates34°38′39″N 118°45′51″W / 34.644153°N 118.764258°W / 34.644153; -118.764258Coordinates: 34°38′39″N 118°45′51″W / 34.644153°N 118.764258°W / 34.644153; -118.764258
TypeReservoir
Primary inflowsWest Branch California Aqueduct
Piru Creek
Primary outflowsWest Branch California Aqueduct
Piru Creek
Basin countriesUnited States
Water volume222,000 acre·ft (274,000,000 m3)
Surface elevation786 m (2,579 ft)
ReferencesU.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake is a reservoir formed by Pyramid Dam on Piru Creek in the eastern San Emigdio Mountains, near Castaic, Southern California. It is a part of the West Branch California Aqueduct, which is a part of the California State Water Project. It's water is fed by the system after being pumped up from the San Joaquin Valley and through the Tehachapi Mountains. The 386 foot tall earth and rock dam was built by the California Department of Water Resources

History[edit]

In 1843, gold was discovered near Pyramid Lake and in the Santa Feliciana Canyon, just south of what is now Pyramid Dam. But the small find failed to trigger a rush to the mountainous countryside. Only Francisco Lopes, owner of Rancho Temescal, a Mexican land grant, and a handful of ranchers attempted to settle the region.[1]

This lake was created in 1972,[2] and completed in 1973, as a holding reservoir for the California State Water Project. Travelers between Los Angeles and Bakersfield christened the landmark “Pyramid Rock,” which still stands just adjacent to the dam.[1]

Completed in 1973, the lake was named after a pyramid-shaped rock carved out by engineers building the Old Highway 99[citation needed].

Geography[edit]

Pyramid Lake is the deepest lake in the California Water Project system. The 180,000 acre-foot reservoir is in the southern portion of the Los Padres National Forest.

The 222,000 acre·ft (274,000,000 m3) reservoir lies on the border between the Angeles National Forest and the Los Padres National Forest, in the northwestern portion of Los Angeles County. It is to the west of Interstate 5 south of Tejon Pass. The former alignment of US Route 99 is below the waters here, replaced by I-5.

Downstream is Castaic Lake, which is the terminus of the west branch of the aqueduct. Pyramid and Castaic act as the upper and lower reservoirs for a 1,495 megawatt pumped storage hydroelectric plant.

Pyramid Lake and San Emigdio Mountains.
View south towards Pyramid Dam from boat.
Pyramid Lake earthworks.

Description[edit]

The 118 m (387 ft) earth and rock dam was built by the California Department of Water Resources and was completed in 1973. Pyramid Lake is part of the California Aqueduct, which is part of the California State Water Project. Outflow goes downstream to Castaic Lake, which is the terminus of this West Branch aqueduct line.

Pyramid and Castaic act as the upper and lower reservoirs for the Castaic Power Plant; a 1,495 megawatt pumped storage hydroelectric plant.[3] It is the deepest lake in the California Water Project system.[citation needed] Its name comes from the Pyramid Rock, created when a ridge was cut through in 1932 by the Ridge Route Alternate (US 99). Pyramid Rock still exists directly in front of the dam.[4]

Recreation[edit]

Pyramid Lake offers boating, fishing, jet skiing, and picnic areas (including 5 unique sites that are accessible only by boat), and courtesy docks.[3][5] Vista del Lago Visitors Center overlooks the lake.[6] Access is from Interstate 5 exit on Vista Del Lago..

Fishing is allowed from every location at Pyramid Lake. You can catch fish such as large mouth bass, small mouth bass, striped bass, blue gill, crappie, and some trout.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]