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Pyramid Peak Trail

Very Difficult
 5.0 (3)

A brutal trail up the difficult 14er Pyramid Peak.


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Map Key

2.5

Miles

4.0

KM

43%

Runnable

13,958' 4,255 m

High

10,141' 3,091 m

Low

3,818' 1,164 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

29%

Avg Grade (16°)

119%

Max Grade (50°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Located in the Maroon Bells Wilderness with access from Aspen, restrictions in this area vary year-round. Due to overly curious bears, camping at the upper Crater Lake is often off limits, even with a bear can. There is a pay-to-park ranger station on the way up the road, with a self-serve station if you drive up at strange hours.

Dogs cannot hike Pyramid Peak. It is technical enough to be regarded as a climb more than a hike, and a helmet is required for the upper 1000 ft.

Runner Notes

Due to steep grades and loose rocks, this is not a runnable trail.

Description

From the Maroon Snowmass Trail, turn left below Crater Lake onto Pyramid Peak Trail. Signs are poor - just look for a rocky, flat area, with Pyramid Peak rising up on the left.

Continue through a flat area before the going gets steep. Hike up steep switchbacks before reaching a boulder field below 12,000 ft, known by hikers as "the amphitheater."

This is where the real hike starts. There are some cairns in the boulder field, and the CFI has done a good job building the trail. Continue up the rocks and to the left to find a gully to the east of Pyramid's impressive north face.

The next thousand feet is brutal. This gully is so steep even the fittest hikers will likely have to stop for a breather every few minutes. You'll gain 1,000 ft in about 0.2 miles, topping out on a ridge.

From here, things are much more fun. Turn right and climb over several gendarmes, or traverse them just to the right. Once the grades gets steep again, your goal is to search for cairns to the left of the ridge. Traverse along loose rocks. In a few minutes, come to a spot referred to as the "leap of faith." It's not a leap - just a big step between rocks. Immediately cross some narrow ledges, clinging to the rocks to your right to avoid the exposure to your left. This area is short and underwhelming. Don't be scared!

From here, turn right up a short red gully and follow cairns to the "green gully." The rock here has an unmistakeable green tint, and can't be missed. Scramble up solid rock in this gully for about 300 ft before finding cairns below the summit. Continue scrambling fun class 3-4 to reach a false summit. There are some fun class 5 moves near here that provide a fun challenge for the more experienced climber. Once on the false summit, it's a 1-2 minute walk up to the true peak. Stop and enjoy the views...it's a long way back down!

Flora & Fauna

Expect wildflowers and mountain goats up high. The latter kick down lots of rocks...be careful, and wear a helmet!

Contacts

Shared By:

Tyler Prince

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 3 votes

#841

Overall
  5.0 from 3 votes
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Trail Rankings

#138

in Colorado

#841

Overall
10 Views Last Month
703 Since Sep 10, 2015
Very Difficult

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Photos

Got to love a goat party!
Feb 13, 2020 near Snowmas…, CO
Snowmass and Capitol from the summit. The Maroon Bells (not pictured) rise majestically on the left, and the views into valleys a mile below are incredible.
Sep 10, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO
Most of the route is visible from the saddle at 13K. The light green rock composing a rib from the summit, AKA the "green gully" is a major route finding landmark.
Sep 10, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO
The gully to the left of this climber - extremely steep - rises up 1,000 ft from the boulder field.
Sep 10, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO
Pyramid's north face rises above the boulder field. This picture doesn't do it justice.
Sep 10, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO
The "leap of faith" is really quite small.
Sep 10, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO

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