Over the past few weekends I’ve done some pretty long hikes, so I could use a little bit of rest. This weekend was supposed to be my break weekend, I was planning to just sleep in and rest for the entire weekend. But when my friend Mary invited me on a day hike into the Desolation Wilderness, I agreed to go.
I just can’t say no to the Desolation Wilderness.
There were about a dozen people who came on this hike. Most of them were hiking to Sylvia Lake and Lyons Lake.
Dennis and Simiso were planning to break off from the group to summit Pyramid Peak, so I ended up joining them.
The trail ends here at Sylvia Lake. Pyramid Peak is the mountain that towers over the lake.
We made our own path through the meadow above the lake to the base of Pyramid Peak.
The entire climb from here was on a huge talus field.
The talus covered slopes were quite steep at times. But still, going up wasn’t too bad. But I was really beginning to worry about coming down the steep slope.
From the front Pyramid Peak looks quite imposing, with a near vertical face, but thankfully we would be hiking up the side rather than risking a full scale assault up the front.
When you’re at the summit you feel like you’re on top of the world, which I guess is reasonable. It’s not particularly high, just barely under ten thousand feet, but it’s the highest point in the Desolation Wilderness. So you are on top of this small little section of the world.
From the top you can see the many lakes in the Desolation Wilderness, and can even see Lake Tahoe off in the distance.
Thanks to my topo map app I could identify all the lakes and peaks in the area.
There was a family of marmots at the peak. They were quite cute.
The descent from the peak was pretty sketchy. The talus gives way underneath our feet pretty easily. I was pretty scared coming down Half Dome a couple of weeks ago, but I think I’d actually prefer it to this. At least the huge monolithic slab of granite that is Half Dome doesn’t move underneath your feet.
Thankfully we made it down to the meadow in (mostly) one piece. I left a bit of DNA on the slopes when the rocks slipped from underneath me, scratching up my legs.
The hike back to the car took us through several fields of wildflowers. There were maybe half a dozen different kinds of flowers in these fields. I was laughing to myself as we were hiking through them. Last week I hiked with three girls, and every time we came through a field like this all forward movement stopped as the girls took out their cameras to take pictures. Today we marched through at high speed in complete silence, a completely different experience. But completely appropriate, since it turned out the rest of the group was waiting for us at the trailhead.
Dennis was using the MapMyHike app on his phone. I should probably start using this app too, since I’ve been hiking these past few weekends but haven’t been running or biking much. Anyways, according to the app we hiked 13.5 miles with an elevation gain of about 2,800 feet. It wasn’t quite as long a hike as Half Dome, or as tall a peak as Lassen, but still, not bad for a break day.