Pyramid Peak up Rocky Canyon Trail | High Sierra Topix  

Pyramid Peak up Rocky Canyon Trail

Topics related to peak bagging, rock climbing and bouldering in the foothills and high country of the Sierra Nevada. Be sure to also check out the Information Booth forum category to learn from / see if you can contribute to a profile for High Sierra 13'ers, 14'ers and cross country passes.
User avatar

Pyramid Peak up Rocky Canyon Trail

Postby Vaca Russ » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:15 am

My girl is in Cabo. So I took out my two little girls for a hike.

I know others have posted reports about this hike. I’m glad I have found out about this climb. The Rocky Canyon Trail is a steep uphill climb, rising over 4,000 feet in about 4 miles, making it the largest elevation gain for any peak in the Lake Tahoe area.

Although the climb up Ralston from Highway 50 is a great workout, this hike is even better!

The first big challenge is finding the trailhead. Kerry Breen has posted some excellent directions on finding the trailhead. Hint, find the storm sewer and you have found the trailhead.

You always meet interesting people on the trail. This is Erwin from Austria. He said this hike would be a good simulation of hiking from Paradise to Muir Camp on Rainier. He hoped to climb that peak some day when his daughter and Navy SEAL son-in -law can find the time. That is a Navy SEAL hat he is wearing.

1 Erwin.JPG


We crossed paths with about 20 people and a few puppies on this sunny Saturday.

The trail starts out VERY steep and then remains VERY steep. My math shows the average grade is almost 20%. :eek:

About one third of the way up the trail crosses Rocky Creek. There is now water flowing in the creek and the girls were happy to be able to have a drink.

2 Stream Crossing.JPG


The snow shows up after about halfway up the trail.

3 Find Waldo Snow.JPG


There are two camouflaged Jack Russells in that photo. Can you find the dogs?

The summit comes into view when you are about two thirds of the way up the trail.

4 First Simmit View.JPG


Those of us living at sea level really start to feel the elevation on the trail just below the summit block talus.

5 Trail Below Talus.JPG


We finally made it to the top!

6 Summit.JPG


Here is Aloha, Le Conte, Heather, Susie and Gilmore.

7 Aloha.JPG


There are Price and Agassiz from the summit of Pyramid.

8 Girls, Snow Summit.JPG


Sierra at Tahoe.

9 Sierra at Tahoe.JPG


South Lake Tahoe.

10 SLT.JPG


Thanks for reading my post!

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway



User avatar
Vaca Russ
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:12 pm
Location: 1060 West Addison Street, Chicago, Ill
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Pyramid Peak up Rocky Canyon Trail

Postby Gazelle » Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:29 pm

That trail is a great quick way up to Pyramid, I cant believe you saw 20 people on it I have never seem anyone. It also works well with snowshoes and a sled for the way down in winter/spring! Thanks
The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. Albert Einstein
User avatar
Gazelle
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:01 am
Location: Donner Summit CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Pyramid Peak up Rocky Canyon Trail

Postby brvoyles » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:16 am

Wow! Lake Aloha looks like a puddle! :eek:

Brian
User avatar
brvoyles
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:20 pm
Location: Brentwood, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Pyramid Peak up Rocky Canyon Trail

Postby jimandluba » Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:45 pm

Thanks for the informative post, Russ. Great photos; lucky dogs! I might try this climb next summer, if I can find the trailhead. My USGS map does not show this trail. Yet your photos show a real trail - not a faint route. How easy was the trail to follow? Did it disappear as you approached the summit? Did you use GPS to help guide you? Would you rate this climb by this route as a Class 1 or a Class 2 climb? Finally, how much parking is there at the trailhead? Thanks. - Jim
User avatar
jimandluba
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 8:34 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Pyramid Peak up Rocky Canyon Trail

Postby Vaca Russ » Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:38 pm

jimandluba wrote:My USGS map does not show this trail. Yet your photos show a real trail - not a faint route. How easy was the trail to follow?


Jim,

Good Questions. I got most of my beta on the trailhead from Kerry Breen's site MountainHiker.org. He has great pictures. I plan on hiking this again throughout the winter, so I will take more detailed pictures and post them on this thread. The hardest part is actually finding the start of the trail. Once on the trail it is pretty easy to follow. There are some tree falls that may throw you off course so beware. If you think you are off trail, backtrack and search out the actual trail.

jimandluba wrote:Did it disappear as you approached the summit? Did you use GPS to help guide you? Would you rate this climb by this route as a Class 1 or a Class 2 climb? Finally, how much parking is there at the trailhead? Thanks. - Jim


Almost all of the trail is steep Class 1. The summit block is a class 2 talus scramble, there is no trail up the talus, but if you just keep going up you will get to the summit. :D :nod:

I have never used GPS. I have nothing against technology, I've just never needed anything more than a topo map. Breen has posted great techno data regarding this hike.

There is some parking at the trailhead. I understand it fills up in the summer. I drove by there yesterday and saw no cars parked.

Like I said, I want to do this climb again this winter. When I do I'll post some very detailed pictures. :nod:

Thanks,

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
User avatar
Vaca Russ
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:12 pm
Location: 1060 West Addison Street, Chicago, Ill
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Pyramid Peak up Rocky Canyon Trail

Postby Vaca Russ » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:59 am

Vaca Russ wrote: I plan on hiking this again throughout the winter, so I will take more detailed pictures and post them on this thread.

Like I said, I want to do this climb again this winter. When I do I'll post some very detailed pictures. :nod:

Thanks,

-Russ


I promised above that I would post better directions on how to find the trailhead for the Rocky Creek Canyon trail.
These are the directions to find the trailhead for the Rocky Creek Canyon Trail.

Drive east on highway 50 to Strawberry (coming from Sacramento). Drive just past the hamlet of Strawberry and park below this highway sign.

1 Chain Sign.JPG


Park your car here and walk along the highway heading east to this “Keep Right Except to Pass” sign.

2 Keep Right Sign.JPG


You will walk over Rocky Creek passing under the highway.

The creek flows from the north…

3 North Creek.JPG


…to the south.

4 South Creek.JPG


There are at least two trailheads across the highway from this “Keep Right Except to Pass” sign. The first one is directly across the highway from this 43 mile marker located just under the “Keep Right Except to Pass” sign.

5 Mile 43 marker.JPG


Find Sport in this picture and you have found the first trailhead.

6 Sport TH.JPG


The second trailhead is directly across the highway from this 59 Mile marker sign.

7 Mile 59.JPG


Look for this post next to a storm sewer.

8 Storm Sewer Post.JPG


Look for this storm sewer.

9 Storm Sewer.JPG


Proceed up the embankment to the log on top of the embankment.

10 Up Embankment.JPG


This is the second trailhead. Follow the slightly worn path and orange ribbons up the slope. The trail becomes much more defined the further up the slope you go.

I hope this helps some of you find this somewhat obscure and unofficial trailhead.

Thanks,

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
User avatar
Vaca Russ
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:12 pm
Location: 1060 West Addison Street, Chicago, Ill
Experience: Level 4 Explorer


Return to Peak Bagging / Rock Climbing / Bouldering



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest