Pyramid Peak Trail is a 6.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kyburz, California that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from June until October.
I did this last several years ago. A short, aggressive trail with a huge payoff when you reach the peak. Basically a stair master so make sure you're ready for a very challenging hike before you go. If you make good time it can be a relatively quick one...back in time for siesta ;)
Hard but fun
What an amazing challenge and fantastic hike! Hit the trail head around 9am. The steady incline resulted in an average speed around 1.5 miles per hour. Hit the top just past noon. Wanted to hang out up there for a little bit but between the hot midday sun and the bees or hornets or whatever stinging pests up there I decided to beat feet somewhat quickly. Got back to the trail head around 4pm. Expecting a 7 hour day on this trail is a good bet. However I will try again soon either alone or with a stronger hiking partner so we can really get cooking... I know I can make better time. AMAZING HIKE!!!!
Loved the challenge of this trail .. Better yet loves the fact I didn't see a person the whole day .. Which is nice since I can allow my dogs to roam free and be dogs ! Will say I wished I looked into how much elavation change there was . All in all I will be back
Great hike! Tough hike; one of the steepest I've done.
Parked in the turnout on the south side of Hwy 50, just under the electronic sign between Strawberry and Twin Bridges (38.807755, -120.136978). Crossed the highway and walked up (eastward) the road for 60 seconds then headed straight up the embankment. Trail was easy to find.
The trails is very steep, but shaded during the first half of the trail that runs along the creek. About halfway up the trees became more sparse and the trail becomes less steep. The last 15 minutes of the hike is a scramble up some large talus.
Weather was great in October. No snow, but some wind at top which can be mostly avoided by staying on the East side of the peak of huddling in one of the wind shelters at the summit.
I found a topo map to be helpful as the trail is sometimes easy to stray from, especially on the way down above the tree line. Make note of landmarks during the last mile beneath the summit and keep an eye out for the many cairns that mark the trail.
I did not take the western approach to the summit. I followed Rocky Canyon Creek which goes up from the southeast. From summitpost: The Rocky Canyon route up Pyramid Peak is probably the greatest vertical climb in the Tahoe Sierra. Starting from a base elevation of 5,900', the route climbs up nearly 4,100' to the summit of Pyramid Peak.
This trail starts from Hwy 50. There is no official trailhead. Park in the turnout before mile marker 59, directly below the electric road sign. Find the "marked" rock directly across the 43 Mile granite marker. Be careful crossing the highway!
The trail is not very scenic, standard Desolation Wilderness views. I was the only person until the summit, so it was a very peaceful hike to the top. The trail is very steep from the start, but becomes more gradual about 2.5 miles in. The trail steepens again the last half mile until you reach the base of the summit where the scramble begins.
The scramble is supposed to be Class 2, but for this shorty girl, it felt more like a class 3. I found myself using my hands a lot not just for balance but crawling over the boulders. It is very steep. I only had a daypack, so take extra care if you go up with a heavy pack, especially if it’s windy.
The views from the summit are spectacular. It was hard work getting to the top, but so worth it.
I've been backpacking my whole life but I thought this hike was fantastic! Leaving from Lyons Creek TH the route all the way to lake Sylvia was gentle and passes through several beautiful meadows and depending on the time of year is covered with wildflowers. There are multiple areas to get water all the way to the lake but once you start gaining elevation from the east side of the lake the only water you'll get is what you bring with you. So be careful and make sure to bring enough, and there are moderate sections without shade. The view from the top is spectacular in every direction and definitely worth the bit of effort it takes to reach the summit=)
Plan for wind, light snow and cold if you're going to hike this trail in the fall, and review maps before heading out. The trail breaks up in many places and there is some climbing involved, but hikers are good about leaving totems for you to know that you're headed in the right direction and you can free climb without difficulty. The view from the summit is definitely worth the effort!
A pretty difficult hike on the following trail. There is an alternate trail head that starts on the north side of 50 about 100 yards above the chain control sign just before the horse tail falls parking lot. This trail is just shy of 8 miles with the same 4000 ft of elevation gain. Park just under the chain control sign on the south side of 50 (room for about 7-8 cars, cross 50 and head up. A large fallen tree running parallel with 50 at the top of the embankment marks the trail head. Easy to follow after this. A 2 mile stretch of very steep switchbacks over a sandy trail. Cross a stream, and about 1 mile thru a meadow. Trees thin, and a few more shallow switchbacks 3/4 mile until the final 1/4 mile ascent over large boulders to the peak. You don't really see anything until you reach the tree line and peak, but this has got to be one of the most dramatic views of Desolation Wilderness and the Lake Tahoe Basin that I've ever seen.