Pyramid Peak Trail is a 6.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Twin Bridges, California that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,045 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

snowshoeing

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

4 days 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.

6 days ago

Excellent hike and knock out views.

hiking
13 days ago

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

hiking
21 days ago

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.

21 days ago

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!

hiking
28 days 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).

1 month ago

Amazing! Do it.

hiking
1 month ago

We were looking for both a challenging and beautiful hike, and we couldn’t have been more fulfilled. Expect 3.5 miles of straight uphill with little to no change in leveling out. The first and last miles up are the steepest, with parts of the granite bouldering being performed on all fours just to ensure an injury-free ascend to the summit. The views are spectacular from the top and you definitely feel a sense of accomplishment for scaling the highest peak in Desolation Wilderness. It took us just over 3 hours to get up and 2 hours to get back down. The steep downhill for the entire second half of the hike was more physically demanding than the ascend. Better not skip out on leg day at the gym if you wanna power up and down this peak. The trail head off of Hwy 50 was a challenge to find at the start, but use the AllTrails app and you run right into it. Amazing hike and worth all the effort put in!

hiking
1 month ago

Sunday afternoon 8/26. Amazing. Above valley smoke. Blue skies. 3 hrs up. 2 hrs down (plus 1/2 mile each way on highway 50). Physically demanding hike worth the work. Met some cool hikers at the peak. Layer up for 20kt sustained winds at the peak.

1 month ago

Crazy Hike! Get lots of water, you'll feel the hike in your legs for a week if you're not a pro! View from top is outstanding!

2 months ago

Honestly one of my favorite hikes in the area. Steep trail and hard to find trail head, but just use the app and you can’t miss it. The views are literally insane at the top. I’ve done every other summit in the area, but this for some reason remains in my top 3.

2 months ago

If you skip leg day, then you should skip this trail. It’s short, but it’s steep. There is little let up of the incline. The views from the top are totally worth the effort.

2 months ago

Great hike but really challenging! Need enough hydration to complete during summer.

2 months ago

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
2 months 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.

backpacking
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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.

2 months ago

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 !

hiking
2 months 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.

hiking
3 months 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.

hiking
3 months 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.

3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

One of the hardest trail heads to find and one of the HARDEST hikes!! I still give it 4 stars bc the view is great.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was definitely hard with mostly vertical hiking, but the views were totally worth it! There's even a ledger box at the top, though it needs a new notebook. To find the "trailhead," look for an orange ribbon hanging off a small tree. From the top, you can see part of Lake Tahoe, Lake Aloha and a bunch of other lakes in Desolation Wilderness, along with the mountain ranges. The bouldering over the last part of the hike was one of my favorite parts! I recommend an early start and a windbreaker since it was really windy toward the top.

hiking
4 months ago

A very challenging hike! Beautiful views at the top though! Highly recommended!

hiking
4 months ago

The snow is melting fast. There is still a little left towards the top but nothing to worry about. I decided to do this to get ready for some bigger mountains and this is now my favorite hike I’ve done in desolation wilderness so far. The views are awesome at the top!

backpacking
4 months ago

Still plenty of snow from foothills on up, and it’s a generally soggy mess between parking and the snow. However, I approached from the West not East. I’m new to the area and an amateur outside of familiar forests and hill trails. I kicked off the season with a hike to Lake Sylvia by way of Lyons. I had enough time and weather finally broke today (vs yesterday), so I figured what the heck, I’ll give a go at that summit. I approached from the West, starting just north above Sylvia. Marched straight up the steep sticky snow, then swerved north a bit to finish initial ascent over scree/boulders. After that, it was mostly deep sticky snow until the final summit, which was a few hundred(?) yards of big boulder-hopping (no snow). I doubted my ability to descend the way I came, so headed down more West, just north of that lake sitting south of Sylvia (over the range). Looks like a little bear activity back there btw. Otherwise, lots of thick sticky snow, but also loads of melting snow pack forming a big wet sloppy mess from there back to Lyons and then parking. Summary: it’s wet and snowy up there. But y’all locals/regulars probably already know that.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike / snowshoe if you're up for an adventure and don't mind route finding to make it happen. The views of the SIerras from the top are impressive as are those of the adjacent peaks / ridge lines which look incredible in snow. Little tricky to follow the established route and it differs a bit from what you'll see in most maps currently.

Current conditions: Snow starts a few hundred feet into the trail and becomes consistent around 1,500' up. The final climb was partially covered and required careful attention to avoid postholing around the rocks -- descended down the backside for deeper snow. Slopes were pretty solid in the morning (just shy of needing to put on traction) but soft by noon for turns or snowshoes.

Route: Park right past the highway sign a few minutes outside Strawberry (*may not be acceptable with snow on the road*) and walk up a few hundred yards to reach the "trailhead" which is little more than a footpath in the dirt. Take note of where you cross the stream as it's tricky to track on the return.

Load More