|Top of Pyramid Peak, near south Tahoe, just off Rt
50. Elevation is just shy of 10,000'. Photos from a month earlier:
This was my 4th trip to Pyramid peak (California, not Colorado),
and by now, I have a very good idea of how to find the Rocky Creek
canyon trail on the way down. Finding the return trail has always
been my main concern but after this last hike, I'm confident that
I can find it easily in the future - just aim for the 2nd lower
plateau, facing almost directly against Lovers Leap (south-south-east
Finding the way up has never been a problem for me, though I keep
trying slightly different paths. In all four hikes, I start at the
Twin Bridges Pyramid Creek trailhead, right off Highway 50. Then
I head almost due east towards Pyramid Creek and then follow it
northwards towards Horsetail falls. Scrambling up Horsetail falls
can be exhausting, but usually not that difficult. It's mostly class
2 and if you pick the easier paths - it's just difficult class 1.
On this trip, I intended to emerge a few hundred feet to the left
of the top of the fall, but ended up still pretty close to the fall.
I will try going way left next time so I would bypass Pitt lake
entirely and head directly towards Osma lake and beyond that - Gefo
lake. In this hike, I passed by Pitt Lake (~7530') and then swung
left (but did not start climbing yet) till I got to the west-end
of Gefo lake. From there (~7900'), I scrambled up the entire length
of the gulch to the base of Pryamid peak (~8700'). From there, I
turned slightly south-west (away from the summit) to get to the
last section of ascent (~9250'). I like going this way (south face)
instead of directly up the east face as it's a much gentler approach
and doesn't have the loose gravel/boulders to contend with.
The ascent to the top on the south face is easy, mostly class 1
with easy class 2 scrambling over the last 300' elevation to the
When coming down, aim directly for the 2nd (tiny) plateau from
the summit - see this pic http://signite.com/hiking/archives/pi...
Direction wise, this means go almost directly south, with a bit
of eastward turn. And you will run directly into the trail. Once
you've descended the Rocky canyon trail, you'll emerge on the north
side of highway 50, about a mile west of the parking lot. Now you
just have to walk besides the highway back. Be very very careful
on this one-mile stretch. Stay as off the pavement as you can -
BEHIND the barriers on either side of the highway. If you walk on
the pavement/road, cars can usually avoid hitting you, but larger
vehicles like RVs can come dangerously close, or hit you dead-on,
so STAY OFF the pavement!
This is one of the most rewarding and tiring hikes you will ever
do. Bring 2 liters and a water filter; and lots of snacks. The Rocky
canyon trail (if you use it to go down) is very very hard on the
knees as it's very steep and in places loose.
Have fun if you ever go!