Lahontan Dam We Visited: Constantly
39 27' 48"N, 119 04' 00"W - LAHONTAN DAM quad

Directions: West out of Fallon on U.S. 50; turn left at intersection of 50 and 50A, staying on U.S. 50; proceed 7.9 miles from this intersection; turn left onto Lahontan Dam Road.

From Fallon: 18.1 miles

What Was

For years, the Carson River meandered through the desert only to vanish into the Carson Sink. Then someone got the bright idea to throw up a dam in and see what would happen. Completed in 1915- with some Truckee River water added for good measure- the newly-formed Lake Lahontan did more for Fallon and Churchill County than all the gold and silver ever dug out of the hills.

What is

We tried to get over to the dam for some "official" vists to some of the more interesting and inaccessible places around the dam (inside the power house, as an example) but unfortunately, this was after September 11th and they weren't letting anyone take any pictures. I kinda doubt Lahontan Dam is high on Osama's list of targets, but you never know. We'll have to try again some day. With the recent low water, you're able to poke around in places you wouldn't normally be able to go- walking out to one of the islands, for instance, or around the growing beaches and finding all the cool stuff people dropped off their boats.

Dam Site
(Photo courtesy Churchill County Museum)
A view of the dam - 1932
(Photo courtesy W.R. Frenchu collection)
Water's gettin' kinda low
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