Who would pass up an opportunity to bag the highest
peak in the Desolation Wilderness? Although it
stands only slightly higher than its neighbors,
Pyramid Peak nonetheless dominates the Crystal Range
atop which it sits. Great views from the summit
make this a must-do.
The Route: The route is fairly
straightforward to Lake Sylvia (see map at right). Simply follow the
well-defined Lyons Creek trail up Lyons Creek, until you
reach Lake Sylvia (about 4.6 miles). Over this
distance, you've gained about 1,300 feet. Pyramid Peak is
now only 1 mile away, but almost 2,000 feet above you.
From Lake Sylvia, aim for the obvious notch SSE of the lake.
This is the trickiest part of the climb, as it involves some
scrambling up the the saddle over loose rock, with some
routefinding required. Fear not, however, as this is pretty
easy going. From the notch, hang a left and walk up
the south ridge of the peak. Don't stop until you're on top
of the mountain. It is that easy. This is a longer
route up the peak, but it is unquestionably the easiest way
here for a photo showing the entire Lyons Creek route.
Option #2 -- Rocky Canyon:
From US 50, follow a use trail along the right side of the
creek that drains Rocky Canyon. The trail passes upwards
very steeply through some brush and forestland for a couple
of miles. Try to follow the use trail on this section.
The alternative is a murderous bushwack up a steep
mountainside above the highway. As the trees thin out
above 8,000', you will begin to get
nice views to the south over Sayles Canyon, towards the
Carson Pass area. From here, the route should become obvious -- head
broad SE ridge that drops down from the blocky
summit of Pyramid Peak. The ridge is not difficult to
follow, but there are some large
talus blocks to contend
with in the last 500 or so vertical feet below the summit.
Option #3 -- East Face via Pyramid Creek:
Pyramid Peak Photos and Links: