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on Vikingsholm Trail

walking
8 hours ago

A great trail to go with kids. Really nice views of Emerald Bay. We went with a 1.5 and 3.5 year old and they really enjoyed it, especially the beach at the end! It’s very easy on the way down, and steep on the way up (for just about a mile, so totally doable!) Arrive early for parking! Parking area is $10.

A spectacular 8.5 mile loop trail, generally well shaded, around an alpine lake. Parking is available on Mormon Emigrant Trail for a $5 self-pay day use fee. If you park inside the park (entry is just east of the cut off for Emigrant Trail), the day use fee is $13, but you can get a park / trail map at the entry station. The trail is decently marked at most places. A couple parts of the loop, especially down by the dam, force you onto roads where you’re competing with cars. Lake levels are down a bit, which lets you trim a mile or so off of the full distance at the upstream end of the lake if you stray from the trail a bit and brave some mud flats. We’ll be back: this one’s going on the regular rotation.

super super steep but so pretty... it really is worth the hike back up

Definitely a scenic hike. Had a lot of different pools to explore and involves a bit of climbing. Great for a quick trip to a waterfall.

hiking
20 days ago

This a great day-hike. The trail itself is not hard; just make sure you are wearing nice hiking shoes because of the loose rocks. This is a great time of the year to do it because of the changing colors of the trees. Lyons Lake is a must!

Hiked this up from Vikingsholm after completing Rubicon Trail. Ascent very steep.

If you're an avid hiker, this is an easy trail. If you're new to it, moderate. Beautiful hike taking you through the forest of mixed trees of golden Aspen , pine and fur and alongside trickling creek and calming pools of water. Plenty of places to stop along the trail to hike in a little bit to have a picnic lunch by one of the many water pools.

The trail is not easy to follow but it's not hard to get back on when you realize you're going the wrong way. Just make sure the creek is to the right of you. As long as you can hear it, you're good. When you are almost to the falls, you'll be climbing up and over boulders. Make sure you have appropriate shoes that have good traction.

This trail is doable in runners or cross-trainers but the terrain is a bit tricky. Rocks, sticks, logs and one small part of trail where you're walking over a pooled water area covered with logs. I would recommend shoes that have ankle support. If you aren't careful, you can easily roll your ankles. I did this in trail running shoes and was fine.

1 month ago

Very nice falls and trails however there are lack of guidance signs to get to the starting points and also to the destination points... people may get lost if they do have maps or offline navigation, trail does not get signal.

THANK YOU to those who piled cairns/ducks, especially along 50. A great view awaits those that have the fortitude to climb the boulders at the top. We had no wind and the summit to ourselves.

Beautiful hike!! The trail is very hard to follow but it doesn’t really matter, it is very difficult to get lost! Just follow the creek and you won’t get lost. This was a very fun hike, not too difficult at all and lots of area to explore. We ended up taking the very low creek/river bed back to the trailhead and it was a great way to take back. Beautiful and fun!

Excellent hike and knock out views.

hiking
1 month ago

Super fun bouldering toward the upper part of the falls. The trail is not always real obvious, but you’re always in cell service and GPS works great. Lots of friendly people on the trail, too. The lower part of the trail is pretty shady and there are a lot of picture perfect places to stop along the way.

This was a great hike. We did it in early spring, it rained just a bit the last 1/2 mile and there were snow flurries by the time we got to the car.

Fun & easy hike! I even saw families with little ones (ranging ages 4-10ish), so good for family fun. It’s currently off season right now, but during season (I wanna day it’s Memorial Day to Labor Day? Ish?) you can take a tour of the Vikingsholm Estate. Definitely planning on going back for that! Beautiful views!

Best in winter/spring when the falls are flowing. Trail is a little difficult to follow.
Views are stunning at the top.

walking
1 month ago

I loved the history and melancholy this place brought, to spend a summer in the forest nestled between majestic mountains and the gorgeous blue Tahoe, what could be more relaxing from our hectic lives! I hope you can find close by parking outside the fee area and ready yourself to descend down into history. The tour was simple and short with quick photo ops but your $10 goes to a good cause to protect history as well as the beauty of the area. the missing 5th Star is for the crazy crowds! timing is everything to avoid the worst of it. I hike because I love solitude in creation which this does not provide, so go for the history and not the adventure of the hike. it was a nice little work out to push yourself at 90 to 100% of your effort back up the hill and then you'll feel you've accomplished it all, just don't run over the other tourists struggling up the hill, they deserve a great experience too!

hiking
1 month ago

Tough trail. It’s all up hill to the peak then you have to climb boulders to the top. Nice views though.

hiking
1 month ago

Was hard to follow at times. Loved the ability to stop and enjoy the water on the way back. Got caught in a little rain. Be careful! Rocks became slick pretty quickly.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike! Trail can be difficult to follow but well worth the time.

did it on 9/29/2018. Last year I went on the Rocky Canyon route. This one is slightly less physical but much longer. The first leg is easy, reached Sylvia lake in less than 2 hours. The hard work is in second leg, took me more time as I got lost on the slabs while I was battling up to the peak. There is another peak with similar elevation north west Pyramid peak, it's between Mt Price and Pyramid Peak on google map. It seems doable and will try it next time

Beautiful hike, liked the shade of the trees and being near the water. Has some steep spots but mainly easy trail. Lots of friendly hikers and mountain bikers on trail.

DO NOT UNDER ESTIMATE THIS TRAIL!!!
If you are not in fairly decent shape, and used to hiking at higher altitudes, I would not recommend you try this. The cardio vascular demand isn’t crazy, but you will find that if you don’t have decent leg strength/endurance, you may not make it to the top. First mile and last mile are definitely the hardest, with the second mile leveling out to a tolerable incline.

There is intermittent rock scrambling throughout the entire trail. Footing can be questionable through out it as well.

As for the trail head, it is not visible from the road. I built several rock cairns at the point where you have to scramble/climb up the embankment. It opens up immediately onto the trail head. There are cairns through out the trail as well. Pay attention to them.

Sustained winds at the top. Bring layers.

The hike down, make sure you follow your all trails app. It’s easy to get off the path when you get goin at a decent speed.

For two girls in decent shape and experienced hikers, it was roughly 4 hours up, 2 hours down, with about an hour at the top.

Probably the best views in the area.

Lost camelbak backpack with Sony camera and REI trekking poles in small parking area near trailhead on September 29, 2018. If you found them, please call or text Phillip at 916-205-1028. Thanks!

backpacking
1 month ago

The trail is fun and well-marked. The hike to Sylvia is easy and to Lyons gets very steep but lasts only .4 miles. Sylvia Lake was a bit low but had clean filterable water. I climbed up Pyramid Peak which was great. There's an unmarked trail at about 85 degrees bearing from Sylvia Lake up to the peak.

Lyons Lake is beautiful and had more water than Sylvia. I recommend visiting both lakes and climbing Mt. Agassiz or Pyramid Peak for the great views.

backpacking
1 month ago

Nice, easy to walk trail, a little steep, but well worth it when you see the Vikingholm mansion, beautiful architecture, and spectacular views. Very nice little beach out front (bring your swim suites)

Beautiful! One of my favorite hikes. You can either stop once you get to the falls or keep going and climb up to the top to Avalanche Lake and beyond. I’ve done this hike 3 times now and I will still keep coming back!

This is a Desolation Wilderness classic. Reaching Pyramid Peak via Lyons Creek Trail is a route that is mostly gentle, if we go off overall mileage, but with a nasty one mile finale. Beginners who wish to rest can hang out at beautiful Sylvia Lake where the more experienced in the party can continue to the dramatic end.

I would divide this trail into three phases: 1) first two miles which are relatively flat and SUPER easy, 2) next few miles to Sylvia Lake which have gradual elevation gain and are also quite easy, 3) the last phase is where the mountaineering begins, involving some scrambling across boulders and vicious elevation gain. Well, "vicious" if you are new. There was once a time when I did not desire finishing off the last feet of gain - close but no cigar. These days I can hit the summit in about 3 hours.

At the summit you will be greeted by circular walls of wind-blocking rocks to relax in, either built by the forestry service or by considerate hikers. Yes, it is windy as hell - you are on top of one of the highest peaks in the area!

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked up to Pyramid Peak on Saturday, 9/15/18.

We started at the Lyons Creek Trailhead. That was 5 miles to Lake Sylvia. Then we climbed up to the notch. We began our climb at 12:20PM and reached the Peak at 3:22PM.

This was an incredible hike. When we arrived at Lake Sylvia and saw the “notch” it was overwhelming. We definitely had to reassure ourselves that we could make it up. After seeing some folks go up, we decided to move forward. We didn’t come this far just to get this far. We were going to summit Pyramid Peak. We decided to climb the big boulders instead of taking the zig zag trail straight up to the notch. The smaller rocks and dirt was extremely dry and loose. We climbed up the boulders up to a big tree and then cut across the top to the notch. It was definitely the better choice. Once we reached the top, it was wide and flat up on the ridge. There wasn’t really a trail so we followed cairns and used our GPS to guide us towards the peak. It took us 3 hours from the bottom of the lake up to Pyramid Peak, recording 2 miles worth of hiking and climbing. It was extremely sunny AND windy. We wore buffs and had our hoodies up. We were completely covered. The top views were amazing and thrilling. There are forts above to help with not getting blown away by the wind. We stayed for an hour and then headed back down. Unfortunately we didn’t monitor our way down and followed our friend, in which we ended up going the wrong way for a good mile or so, headed south instead of west. We had to back track a little and then cut across West to get us back to the notch. This extended our descent time by a lot. It took us 3 hours to reach the top and 4 hours to get back, for a total of 7 hours and 5 miles. Whew!

TIPS:
Climb the boulders up to the notch instead of the trail of loose rocks and dirt.
Once on top of the ridge, follow the cairns (stacked rocks), but also check your GPS or have a compass to help direct your way up to the peak.
When returning, make sure you check your navigation and go back the way you came (unless you are going a different route).

It was a great hike and I would do it all over again (except for the getting lost part lol).

Had a great time camping lake side for two days. the second day did the hike to the waterfall and it was not running. kind of a disappointment. but beautiful park and camp grounds!!!!!! the only other thing was all the hornets. made cooking breakfast a bit challenging, but they where all gone by dusk. Would go back for sure.

We loved this one! The trail is hard to follow but there is so many outcroppings to explore and climb you dont really mind losing the trail. There were enough people coming back to point us in the right direction.

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