Hike North Idaho

Pyramid Peak

May 8, 2015

Elevation: 7,355’
Rank: 11
Coordinates: 48.812N, 116.622W
Trailhead: Pyramid Pass, No. 13 Trailhead elevation 5,410’ (not sure)
Estimated Time: 2-3 hours

The most direct way to summit Pyramid Peak is off the trail that crosses the crest at 6500’. You can exit the trail slightly before the crest and head up a steep boulder field or remain on the trail until you reach the saddle to the north of Pyramid. Either way you choose to do it, the last 800’ are off trail and steep.

Northeast Ridge
Class 2
From Pyramid Pass Trail 13, 6.5 miles RT -- 1945’ gain

Follow the Pyramid Pass Trail for just less than 3 miles. You can’t miss Pyramid Peak as it is directly to your left heading toward the crest. Once you reach the crest head south (left) up the final 800’ feet to the summit of Pyramid.

South Ridge
Class 2
From Pyramid-Ball Lakes Trail 43 – 9.0 miles net – 2500’ net gain
Estimated time: 4-5 hours

This route is longer and a more circuitous way to reach the top of Pyramid from the south. It presupposes that your goal is both Ball and Pyramid Peaks. You can certainly do Pyramid from this direction without summiting Ball but that means making your way up the Northeast Ridge route described under Ball peak. If you decide to do this, it will shorten your climb by about a mile but still give you the benefit of a long ridge run between the peaks.

This is a fun scramble across one of the most picturesque areas in the Selkirks. It keeps you high and affords vistas in all directions. Be aware, however, that hiking the crest is a more arduous process than staying on trails. There are several places along the crest where you dip down and then up again. Always try to maintain elevation. The scramble can be kept to a class 2 and it is not difficult to follow. If you find yourself on difficult terrain, simply retrace your steps and look for easier ground (it is generally to the right or east side).

From this route you will pass along the west of Pyramid Lake (a totally different perspective than from below). Follow this same ridge until it drops a few hundred feet and then reascend toward Pyramid. While the easiest ground is on granite to the east of the crest, this can also be a bit airy for some people closer to the summit.

Once you attain the summit, the best way off is to bisect the Pyramid Pass Trail to the north. It is possible to reduce some of the backtracking by going down directly toward a big boulder field but this doesn't save much time and it is steep.

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