Pyramid Peak via Lyons Creek Trail is a 12 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pollock Pines, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is best used from June until October.
Most people do this route as an overnighter, camping at either Lyons and Sylvia Lakes. Although it involves a long day, this trip can easily be done as a day hike for strong parties. The one-way distance is about 5.7 miles, with about 3,300' of elevation gain. Located at the southern end of the Crystal Range, at 9,983 feet Pyramid Peak is the alpha peak in Californias Desolation Wilderness Area. Named after its unmistakable shape, from a distance it looks like a huge granite pyramid. Pyramid Peak is a prominent Tahoe landmark, which can be seen from as far away as the Coastal Range, and on clear days it can be clearly seen from Sacramento, almost 100 miles away.
Let me preface this by saying this is NOT a hike for the timid. After 5.25-mi hike to Sylvia, there's just 1-mi separating you from the summit, but about another 2,000' of elevation to gain.
The trail peters out after Sylvia, and from that point on you're on your own to find a way up to the summit. SummitPost has the scramble up the West Ridge rated as Class 2. I will say that this is one of the longer, and steeper scrambles that I've ever done in the Tahoe area.
After topping out on the West Ridge, there is a faint trail leading up to the final scramble to the summit. The view from the summit is highly rewarding and definitely worth the effort, but be mindful that the descent is equally as challenging as the ascent.
In total the hike took about 7 hours.
Great views, did it in one day, took 7 hours. once you get past lake Sylvia there isn't much of a trail and much scrambling up the mountain. Hard is right.
Backpacked to Lake Sylvia and spent the night. Next morning summited Pyramid Peak. Very difficult rocky climb, scrambling up boulders all the way. 50+ mph winds at the top. Outrageous view of Lake Tahoe and Aloha Lakes. Descent equally as tough.
Great weather! 4th of July weekend so it was busy.
I got started on the trail by 5:45am and reached the summit of Pyramid by 11:00 with plenty of breaks on the way.
Creek crossings were a little full from snow runoff but overall a beautiful trail.
I did this hike with my daughters on Fathers Day. We had an early start by 6:30 and made the summit at around noon. The first 4 1/2 miles are easy with the trail passing thru woods with a lot of wild flowers and coming along side Lyons Creek several times during the hike. It was at Sylvia Lake that the trail got a bit confusing for us with no markers to show the way. We scrambled up the ridge behind the lake and made our way to the summit. It was a steep climb followed by a climb over large boulders to reach the top, but well worth the effort. The view made you forget about the hard climb to get there. You can see forever, but be careful, we had winds in excess of 60 mph. The round trip took us about ten hours to complete.