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

Need to Hike Map

Completed my hike of this trail in July 2018.

This was my first overnight hike and the reviews are right - the distance isn’t what you think it is. You have to park in the overflow camping parking lot which is like a mile away from the general store. There’s a gate you walk through that is to the back and far right from the store. From the gate, the trail head is about another mile or so... so the trail is significantly longer than you’d expect. The first couple miles are uphill and it’s fairly steep. Quite exhausting for a novice biker but very doable at your own pace. You share the trail with mule and horse teams. If you go in summer, bring sunscreen and reapply liberally. Also bring electrolyte tabs because you’ll sweat a lot.

The views are unbelievable... worth every bit of your sweat if you hike to the lake. Keep in mind, however, that once you get to the little pg&e cabin, the trail becomes INCREDIBLY muddy and kind of disappears. We sank our boots because it was so boggy and ended up having to dry them out. Had to hike up the side of the mountain and use game trails to get back on the regular trail without sinking our boots again. If you do this, wear pants, not shorts. Lots of pokey nettle bushes.

There was nobody at the lake when we camped there and it was so nice. Waterfall sounds everywhere. Swam in the lake, too.

Totally worth it.

18 days ago

This one was fun, as it had some fresh snow had to use snowshoes after the first 1k feet of climbing - barely had any tracks to follow, not a well marked trail by any means (which makes it fun)

Recommendation is to use the all trails app to make sure you're close to the trail. Thank you for putting the cairns or else we'd never be able to find the trail!

on Fleming Meadow Loop

20 days ago

Nice moderate hike. Follow signs “8”.

Nice trail for familys. Beautiful nature. Silent moments. We'll come back.

1 month ago

Didn't follow the advice of "best used from June until October." Hiked this in mid-December without snowshoes or poles. Doable without snow equipment but I still recommend it. Tough hike but the view from the peak is well worth it.

Beautiful trail, completely worth the journey. Just did this trail in December, winter 2018, snow shoes and spikes will be beneficial. Just an epic route

Rough for a beginner. Def need to have some semblance of fitness before doing this trail. Awesome photo ops. Did this trail 2 weeks ago before the snow came. Currently has a ‘Closed for Season’ sign up. Will go back when I’m in Chuck. Norris shape and it re-opens.

The trail is seemingly impossible to follow, especially on the way down. The hike was definitely fun (lots of scrambling and adventuring on the rocks) and I would do it again, but it only gets 3 stars because the "trail" was so hard to follow.

This is great trail! But the mileage is way off, especially if you include Eagle Peak. I clocked it as closer 20 miles round trip from the valley floor. Don’t skip Eagle Peak!

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.

Incredible day hike! Started from valley which makes the mileage a tad over 20 miles with 6300+ elevation gain. Got a late start of 8am but finished within 7 hours including a few breaks. Forgot my bladder so only had a liter Nalgene bottle. Not a huge problem as there were plenty of creeks to purify water from if needed (however didn’t need to fill up in the end). Trail starts with steps along the falls and then flattens out quite a bit before reaching switchbacks about halfway through the hike. Some exposure as you get near clouds rest so be wary if you are bringing anyone who is a timid hiker. The hike had great diversity and was really pleasant as it wasn’t incredibly steep or mundanely flat. Definitely doesn’t feel like you’ve climbed 6300 ft in the end. However, the knees did feel it quite a bit after the descent. This hike is by far the best one I’ve done in Yosemite. Amazing payoff, great terrain, comfortable and you get a bit of altitude. Looooved it and would highly recommend to anyone who loves hiking.

Huge fan. The hike to the upper falls is difficult, with 2 sets of significant switchbacks. However, it flattens out after this.
Getting to the top of El Cap, you gain further appreciation for the size of this mammoth. Saw a couple of bobcats and met some climbers on the top (who had just finished climbing El Cap). Great experience!

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.

3 months ago

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!

Just amazing one thing to note this trail on AllTrails app brings you to the backside of clouds rest you won’t be going up the side they show on you tube also don’t take the same trail down take the John Muir down avoid the crowd crawling up

3 months ago

Excellent hike and knock out views.

3 months 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.

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

3 months ago

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

As consistently said the 1st 3.8 or so are all up tough switchbacks little chitchat and grind. Then you hit a very cool forest hike. 3 of us went up in the beginning of October, started from Camp 4 at 5:15 AM, out and back in 10 hours. We stopped for lunch on Eagle Peak and just to chill on El Cap. We maintain a strong pace. 4 liters of water is plenty that time of year, probably 5 in summer heat. Watch the pack weight.

Top of El Cap is flat & rocky, but the views are fantastic. Never found the marker. If you hike in Yosemite this is a must do hike, that said I probably wouldn’t go back unless a partner wanted to go.

Trail marker distances on the way out aren’t even close, 3.7 is more like 4.5 so don’t dilly dally if you need to get off the rock.

3 months 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.

3 months 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

3 months ago

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!

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!

3 months 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!

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).

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