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Pyramid Peak - Rocky Canyon Trail

Difficult
  4.8 ( 20 ) Favorite

Trail

6.5 mile 10.5 kilometer loop
41% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 3,915' 1,193 m
Descent: -3,913' -1,193 m
High: 9,879' 3,011 m
Low: 5,964' 1,818 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 23% (13°)
Max Grade: 64% (33°)

Dogs

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Map Key

An epic trail leading to the summit of iconic Pyramid Peak.

Miguel Vieira

Features Views · Wildflowers

Overview

A monstrous, scenic climb to one of the most prominent peaks in South Lake Tahoe.

Need to Know

Parking and finding the trail can be tricky. Come early to nab one of a few parking spots. Though this is an "unofficial" trail, it still takes you into the Desolation Wilderness where a permit is required. You can get day hike permits at the Pacific Ranger station just east of Fresh Pond on Hwy 50

Description

This unofficial trail starts just east of the creek that flows under Route 50. Look for a path up a steep embankment on the north side of the road. Trail starts a little east of parking area and is a little hard see as there is no trail marker. Look for areas where others have scrambled up the embankment 10 feet or so.

Once you've found the right trail, it will be wide and clear - and remain that way until the summit. The trail is surprisingly steep and unrelenting. There are few to no water sources beyond about the 2 mile mark...it is a steep, exposed and arduous hike as you approach the summit...bring plenty of water!

The last few hundred feet of climbing are a hands-and-feet scramble up a jumbled pile of granite boulders.

The summit offers excellent views of the Crystal Range and Lake Aloha In the heart of the Desolation Wilderness. Once you've admired the views, return to your vehicle by heading down the way that you came.

Flora & Fauna

Ponderosa pine, incense cedar, sugar pine, and white fir thrive at lower elevations. Mountain hemlock, western white pine, lodgepole pine, red fir, and aspen dot the hills higher up. Whitebark pine are found below the summit.

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Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 20 votes

#1

in Lake Tahoe

#280

Overall
  4.8 from 20 votes
5 Star
75%
4 Star
25%
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Featured Run Rankings

#1

in Lake Tahoe

#46

in California

#280

Overall
398 Views Last Month
8,481 Since Jan 7, 2017
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
18%
47%
35%

Photos

View of Sierra at Tahoe from the top
Nov 13, 2018 near South L…, CA
The stunning view of the Desolation Wilderness from the summit of Pyramid Peak leaves nothing to be desired.
Jan 8, 2017 near South L…, CA
Lover's Leap stands as a sentinel in the distance along the Pyramid Peak - Rocky Canyon Trail.
Jan 26, 2017 near South L…, CA
The rocky summit cone of Pyramid Peak makes for a spicy scramble.
Jan 8, 2017 near South L…, CA
Spectacular view and you might see two or three others.
Aug 8, 2019 near South L…, CA
The final scramble up Pyramid Peak is a doozy.
Jan 8, 2017 near South L…, CA

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