East Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 38.84430°N / 120.158°W
Additional Information Route Type: Rock Scramble from Pyramid lake to the summit. Ot
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Difficulty: Mostly Class 2 and the rest class 3
Sign the Climber's Log


From Hwy 50, one mile east of Strawberry, park in the trailhead parking area on the north side at Twin Bridges which meets with Pyramid Creek and ascends the steep, rocky canyon.

Route Description

The Pyramid Creek trail that passes Horsetail Falls, which this trail is also called, is well-marked since it is steep and rocky. This is a moderately strenuous hike with a starting elevation of 6,115 to Avalanche Lake at 7,100 which is the beginning of the Desolation Wilderness basin. Upon reaching Avalanche Lake, follow the drainage hiking in a northeast direction to Pitt Lake. Refer to the map with the route marked in red. Stay on the east side and continue following the creek drainage to Ropi Lake. Skirt the east side and still follow the creek drainage from Pyramid Lake at 8,050 feet. Cross the creek wherever easiest and follow the small creek that drains from a tiny unamed lake at the base of the peak. This will be the last place to obtain water. From here, continue ascending the conspicious rocky ridge on the east side of Pyramid Peak. Again, refer to the map with the red-marked direction route. The ascent of this ridge to the 9983 foot peak of Pyramid is a Class 2 and some Class 3 rock scrambling. Be cautious of loose rocks along this route, so you will have to do some minor zig-zagging to scramble over the easiest and most secure rocky areas.

Essential Gear

Ice axe and crampons are recommended for early summer ascents especially in heavy snowfall years. Usually by late July, this route is snow-free or you can navigate around any small remaining snow areas.
Ropes are not necessary, only experience in rock and boulder scrambling. Remember to filter all drinking water.
Since this is a 4,000 foot elevation gain with considerable rock scrambling, start your day early with good weather and carry plenty of food. Water is available along the entire route with the last available water at the tiny unnamed lake at 8,800 feet.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



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