Explore difficult hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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I recommend doing this trail counter clockwise so you save all the fun stuff till the end!

This trail was super fun. Was able to run for a good half of it. There is a lot of poison oak though, so long pants and caution is advised. gorgeous views even with fog. Once you get to the top, go to the cave. Much more satisfying than the electric plant on north peak.

Wonderful trail for all experience levels. Some friends and I went on a two night backpacking trip this past weekend and enjoyed the scenery regardless of the smoke from the fires nearby. Hope to go again soon when fire season is over.

this thing just kicked my ass. I'm not in great shape but was able to do it, but hardest hike I've ever done period!

hiking
8 days ago

Extraordinary hike which will keep your heart rate elevated for a couple hours. Trail leads you through breathtaking scenery and a variety of terrain. From woodland, through intimate shrubbery to dirt packed mountain and last but the least the last stretch up the big boulder climb only for the bold. Peak at 4k elevation offers a spectacular 360 view into the valleys and blue lakes. Inspired by the view you will find a green ammo box at peak where you can leave the deepest of your thoughts only to be read by those who conquer the Pyramid. Heading down do not let your guard down the boulders are unforgiving. Kicking up dust while hiking back to your car, ham strings, calf’s and glutes begin to anticipate the comfort of your car seats. Driving home exhausted but still alive you will be feeling a sense of accomplishment because you just conquered a difficult trail! Have fun and stay safe fellow hikers.

Love a challenge! Very fun, beautiful views.

backpacking
14 days ago

Great hike to the top, even greater hike to reach Lake Aloha from the peak. We parked at the Pyramid Creek trial head and started to trek towards the Pyramid Peak trail. Took us a few hours to reach the summit. Views were awesome cept for all the smokiness. From the top of the peak we started climbing down going north west toward lake Aloha and man oh man did the hike get tougher. Your climbing down nothing but loose boulders for the longest time. There were some areas were you can slide down the snow and refill your water from the fresh snow melt. Took us 4hrs to get to Lake Aloha but it was worth it.

hiking
15 days ago

Summited the peak today (7/30) with my dogs, started Monday off right. Certainly an uphill battle. The hike it’s self isn’t enjoyable but the summit has great views, would be better if it wasn’t so smoky. The rock scramble to the top is as easy as walking up stairs... both my dogs followed with ease. If you don’t plan on summiting, don’t bother with the hike.

hiking
15 days ago

Difficult but rewarding. The beginning of the trail has a very steep grade. The final ascent to the summit includes climbing up large boulders that require high focus to maneuver over safely. The view from the top is absolutely amazing. The entire trip took approximately 5 hours with occasional breaks along the way.

Love Montara Mountain

There appears to be wide variance as to the distance of this hike. From the start on route 50 to the peak was 3.7 miles on our garmin watch so 7.4 round trip. We parked right under the digital “chain up” overhead sign between twin bridges and strawberry on the south side of 50 then walked 100 meters up the road and found the trail, there are many “access” points from the road follow them all uphill and within the first 50 meters they all become one obvious trail. This is not the trail from the pyramid creek trailhead, but rather an unmarked trail direct to pyramid peak. Enjoy a ton up in 3.7, took us a little less than 2:30 to the top well worth the effort !

on Pyramid Peak Trail

hiking
17 days ago

Very challenging trail but worth it. Starts off with a bang for first mile, eases up for second mile, and ends with difficult final two miles including rock scramble to the peak. Get to the peak for wonderful views. Going back down is a little easier but still no bargain. Start early and allow 5+ hours.

hard but rewarding trail.

Great Hike. I'm by no means a pro or close to, but the hike was great until near the bottom of the Sycamore line. I felt like the overgrowth hadn't been cut back like it should've and some poison oak would on occasion hang over the trail and it was just GAH. Total grueling workout but my girlfriend and I loved the views. In retrospect, we would've stayed on the Rocky Ridge View trail and then enjoyed some In n Out down the street lol.. Also once you reach the Devil's Loop it is just intensely uphill. Respect for anyone who takes less than 10 or so breaks from that butt burner.

Great hike done a long time ago. It was done in the spring and was very cool and windy. Awesome...

Strenuous but so incredibly satisfying. There are some whale bones at Tennessee Beach. Pretty cool!

This is a very well maintained trail that has amazing views of the ocean. Take the Pirates Cove Trail if you like seeing the ocean.

Windy, so bring a windbreaker.

Most of the hike is in the Hood Mountain Regional Park, so if you want to bring a dog, park at Pythian and come up from the other side of the hill, just make sure to turn around once you get into Sugarloaf. All the trails on the Hood Mountain side are rougher and more challenging, while the Sugarloaf trails are a little easier and more well maintained.

If you are looking for a challenge, this trail might be for you. It has all the ticks you could want, no source of water, decent shade in the first 3.5mi, then no shade. i decided to do this hike on a cloudless day, with 97-100° temps, and 3.5 liters of fluid....bad idea, lesson learned. i ran out of water on the way down, about 4 miles from my truck....that was a very long 4 miles. Cramped up pretty good when i finally made it to my truck. Trying to change clothes and look for ticks with cramped legs sucks!!! I had gatorade and water in my truck, thank God. I am happy to say i completed this hike, so i can scratch it off the list.

hiking
29 days ago

This was my second time hiking Pyramid Peak. Last year around September I did it for the first time and always wanted to come back. It is such amazing. We underestimated the hike last year and wasn’t preapared enough and the trail was covered with snow on the top to some extent. This time we started the hike around 08:00 in the morning and we were back by 04:30. The first one and half mile will be a straight vertical climb, so is the last one and half mile which involves scrambling rocks to get to the summit. The rest of the hike has a gradual elevation gain. But, trust me the views from the top are worth every effort. They are amazing. Lake Tahoe, Lake Aloha, Echo Lake and Fallen leaf lake are visible from the top. Better to carry around 100-120 Oz of water and a good snack to have once you reach the summit. Knees might take a hit while coming down. Overall, this is one of the best and tough hikes in the tahoe area. Definitely, a must one.

We hiked this trail yesterday. It took 8 of us 2 hours to the top and we trail ran down, back to the trailhead. Because of the fires, the trail is 75% sun. The dynamic change in landscape and elevation made this hike both challenging and amazing. I highly recommend it you are up for a challenge

My daughter and her boyfriend were up from SoCal. They joined my son and I who had hiked this trail back in the Spring. We all left San Jose at 6:30 am to try and beat the heat. We were on the trail at roughly 8:30 am with plenty of water, cooling towels, and provisions.

We added the hike to the caves so my daughter could experience it, but hadn't seen that they were closed. We were shunted around to the reservoir. We charged our cooling towels in the reservoir and headed up the high peaks.

As we were expecting, it was warming up as the day wore on, but it was comfortable. There was occasional shade and we stopped for breathers. We made it to the bench in about 2 hours. We stopped and ate our snacks and enjoyed the view. We saw a few other hikers although more coming from the opposite direction.

We continued the high peaks. Saw some birds that may have been condors. No bird experts in our group

As we worked our way down, the temperature rapidly rose and our towels were losing their cooling ability.

It's a long, dry, steep hike back down to the cars on Condor Gultch Trail. The scenery is gorgeous, though, and well worth it.

We got back to the car, exhausted. It was about 12:30 pm when we arrived.

Everyone loved the hike. What really surprised me was how many people we passed heading up as we were coming down and the heat was rising. Very impressed.

We stopped at the park store on the way out and enjoyed some cool drinks. The ladies in the store were delightful.

It was a great day at Pinnacles.

went on a 100 degree day at 2:30pm...

1. bring water. i often bring water but never drink it. so glad i had it on this trip. went though 24 oz because i didn’t have more.

2. california condors look like turkey vultures. “they” say there are 30 or so in the park. i saw 6-8 of them. win!

3. i really liked the trail. rapid ascents and switchbacks. some hand rails at the top and narrow passages. good leg workout day.

word !

Backpacked the loop clockwise two weeks ago. As soon as we hit the pass before Piute Lake, mosquitos became unbearable. Camped the first night at Gem Lake and regretted that decision. We woke up early and had a great second day fishing Rainbows in Buck Meadow Creek and Cherry Creek West Fork. Camped at Grouse Lake second night and bugs were still bad but much better than Gem. We caught three Brown at dusk and one Rainbow at sunrise. Can’t wait to check out this area again without the skeeters.

hiking
1 month ago

As you will read in most reviews, this is hard hike and not be taken lightly. If you desire to reach the peak, you better be ready to bear crawl up boulders and navigate rocky terrain. Back to the beginning; yes the start of the trail is hard to find but I will try to put it in my own words. Just as you enter the passing lane the 50 E. Bound, you will see the overhead chain control signs with a small dirt lot between Strawberry and Twin Bridges and that's where you will need to park. Cross the street at this point and walk about 500 yards traveling East on the 50. Keep looking for the trail marker, I have a picture of it loaded. You will notice one trail marker at the start and another slightly higher where begin you ascend. The Trail: Hard and steep, from the very beginning you are put to an approximate 1,500ft gain over the first mile. After that; there are parts where you get relief but you will still be gradually gaining elevation. The home stretch gets difficult again as you are taking a single track straight up to the pyramid. The pyramid: is no joke as it will require you to negotiate boulders as you climb, hope, and bear claw your way up a very, very windy summit. If you put in all the work to this point...enjoy the view. The reward is worth every step. We started our hike around 7am and I am glad we did because I would not want to fight the climb and the sun. I recommend carrying no less than 6L of water, but if you have a water purifying system, then you can refill at about the halfway point and only have to carry 3L at a time. Hiking sticks would be a good idea as long as you can strap them to your pack when climbing the pyramid. The only reason I rated this 4 stars is that they call out 6.3 miles; however I recorded 9.9miles on my Garmin watch (watch stopped recording the first hour which was an additional 2hrs) and my buddy recorded 11miles on his Fit-bit. I think this distance needs to re-evaluated. Still a great hike and worth the challenge.

nature trips
1 month ago

loved this trail. It's moderately hard, although I didn't end up going all the way up. it's shaded most of the places which makes it more enjoyable and easier to hike uphill..

I would say that the view at Scout Peak and Hawkins Peak is way better than what you get at the Condor Gulch overlook point. And it is easier to start clock-wise than climbing up from the Condor Gulch Trail.

This trail has everything - incline, a bit of rock climbing, if you extend 1 mile to see the reservoir then you'll get to hike through caves too. There's no shade for most part of the trail so wear a hat and bring lots of water. Go early too for a chance to see the condors. We started the hike at 7:30 AM and got to see 6 condors.

my boyfriend and I did this trail today...very scenic, but when we got to the top I was expecting an awww moment...just a bushel of rocks, however we did hike over to the right and sat in a little rock cave that fit two people ate lunch, not what I thought when you get to the top, i would go back around 1pm or so. The hike up was definitely good exercise glad I had my hiking poles for on the way down. You have to go experience it yourself.

Best workout ever. This hike is along the river and ends with a lake.

Very strenuous hike with beautiful views! Bring lots of water, a windbreaker, and high protein food.

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