Pyramid Peak Trail

HARD 108 reviews
#4 of 38 trails in

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

1 day 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 days ago

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

12 days 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
13 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.

backpacking
19 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
19 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
20 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.

22 days 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
22 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.

hiking
1 month 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
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.

1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
2 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
2 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
7 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.

hiking
7 months ago

12/29/17- Solo hiked this route at 7am and finished by 12pm. I clocked 7.4miles RT with 4,200ft gain. The route was clear of snow up to mile 1.4~, then you hit thin hard pack. Snow was fairly hard pack up to the summit. Follow the cairns the whole way. Only wore boots w/gaiters, thermal top, beanie, soft shell pants and thin gloves. Used poles for the gain/lose.

9 months ago

Tough but worth it. Park at the chain control sign and walk up the highway (w/ traffic) about 40 paces and then cross the street and climb up onto the trail. GPS is great to have for this trail, if not, follow the cairns all the way up. FYI, I saw a bear :-)

hiking
10 months ago

Yesterday we again did the round trip from the Twin Bridges lot, down the highway and up the Rocky Cyn trail to the summit, then SE along the ridge and dropped down scree slopes and cross country to descend along Horsetail Falls. 9.3 mile RT in 7 hrs. This is much more varied, interesting and fun than simply going up and down Rocky Cyn. I'm 64 and my bud Jeff Risser is 42. We've done this route in reverse too. One of my favorite hikes !

hiking
11 months ago

Did this on September 16. Check other posts for spotting the trailhead. Also note that the painted rock depicting the start of the trail can be difficult to spot at night. Also, this is not a white dot. It's a big rock with faded white paint splotched on it. The trailhead is just past the creek heading towards Lake Tahoe. The trail runs parallel to this creek almost all the way. The trail is not difficult to follow. For the first mile you are on the right side and parallel to the stream. Then you cross it and then the stream is to the light and the trail parallels it again. I could follow this trail at night and under headlamps. Once the stream disappears the trail follows the valley contour till it leads to the boulders etc and then there are lot of cairns to guide you. I did Pyramid Peak and went further - Mt Agassiz, Price Peak, Mosquito pass, Jacks Peak, Dicks Peak, Dicks pass, caught the PCT and headed back via Ralston Peak trail.

hiking
11 months ago

Used a Garmin GPS watch. It said distance from start to summit was 4.1 miles. Almost 2 miles longer than all trails says it is. Still amazing hike.

11 months ago

Kinda hard to find the start to this trail, I had to zoom in on the app and bushwhack a little. 3 hours total for me (out, back, relaxing up top), but probably longer if you're not a distance runner. Steep beginning, but fun bouldering at the end, and unbeatable views.

11 months ago

Well, as of 09/03/2017, I accomplished Pyramid Peak for the first time. It was an incredible journey! Allow 6 hours in total, that way you can enjoy the view and take your time needed heading back down. Best route is to pull over by the Chain Control Sign by the over head on Highway 50. Then cross the freeway where you see the Mile 43 Stone. You'll see a rock with a paint spot on it, that's your beginning part. Climb up that, and keep climbing and climbing. It's a big uphill battle. Steep hills and rocks. Keep in mind that you'll get winded easily if you're not in shape. I'm in my mid 20's and had a tough time with the beginning part, but then it got easier after a while. Bring plenty of water!! I brought 4 waters, and 2 Gatorades. The trails are easy to follow, just pay attention to the trail markings, and foot prints! The scramble up the summit, to the peak, is the best part! You're highly rewarded at the end.

hiking
11 months ago

trailhead is a challenge to find. park in the pullout next to the lit overhead chain control sign. walk up the highway 100 feet then cross over and scramble up the embankment. you'll run into the trail immediately. this is a challenging hike. The terrain is tough both up and down, just easier on the lungs going down. We are mid forties and regular hikers but still took us 4 hours to the top. that 4078 elevation gain is a monster. before you hit this trail, I suggest mount Tallac. if you like that one, you'll enjoy this one and I found them to be similar in their abilities to kick my rear! start early, bring plenty of water (I went through 3 liters) there are a couple of filtering opportunities the first half. The last quarter mile is a class 2 boulder scramble to the peak. gorgeous views!

11 months ago

Trail is a lot more established and easy to follow than some others lend to believe...if you can find it. Steep and steady. Beware false summits.

backpacking
11 months ago

What a beauty :) so many beautiful alpine gardens! Super steep start!! Btw the entrance is kind of hard to find! But it's right across from the speed limit sign so that should help! Have fun :D and bring your cameras with a long telephoto lens or at least 50mm + since there is so much to take photos of that are kind of far!

11 months ago

Very steep since we have to go up 4000ft just in 3.3 miles. The first mile is steep as hell, then the trail start flatten out a bit. However, we forget all the tired since the view on the top is outstanding

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