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Pyramid Peak Camping

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Pyramid Peak Camping

Postby kboyd » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:12 pm

Planning on climbing Pyramid Pk. early or mid-August and have a couple questions about the night before our climb.

1. Is there camping at the TH? When we did Maroon Pk. a few years back, we were allowed to sleep in the parking lot, but the ranger acted as though we were not supposed to, but he would allow it. If there is camping, are reservations needed? What is the likelihood of getting reservations at this late date? With whom are reservations obtained?

2. Is there any benefit to backpacking in a couple miles the night before? If so, can you recommend a place to set up camp?

Thanks in advance!

Keith Boyd

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Re: Pyramid Peak Camping

Postby Nathan Hale » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:39 pm

Sleeping in the car is done a lot, but I think that it is not technically allowed. There is no proper camping allowed at the trailhead itself, the only camping is at the campgrounds on the way up Maroon Creek Road. You'd want reservations for those, I think. I've never done that myself, so I don't know whether they'd be available or from whom you could get them. I've always just slept in my car and been very discreet by getting there late.

If you want to backpack in, the best place to be would be Crater Lake, which is a bit beyond the turnoff for Pyramid. There is some benefit to this in that you're closer that night.
But for now we are young, let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see.

http://mtns.nathan-hale.com

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Re: Pyramid Peak Camping

Postby JB99 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:30 pm

I don't think packing in to Crater Lake is worth it for Pyramid. We did it once (planned to climb the Cord but rain sent us to attempt Pyramid). The hike to the turnoff toward the peak is probably only ten minutes from the parking lot. Sleeping in the car is not technically allowed, but is done quite a bit. That's how I would go about an attempt on Pyramid, just be discreet.

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Re: Pyramid Peak Camping

Postby myfeetrock » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:10 pm

I've done it one time overnight in the parking lot and the other 2 times I just drove in the morning of. If you plan to do the bells to then camping at the lake is worth it.
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Re: Pyramid Peak Camping

Postby Dan England » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:23 pm

I did the Difficult Campground. $20 and its pretty close to the peak.

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Re: Pyramid Peak Camping

Postby Tornadoman » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:34 pm

Can anyone confirm whether or not reservations are needed for camping in the Crater Lake area, or is it first come, first served so to speak? Also, if you tell them that you are an overnight hiker, are you allowed access to the Bells at all hours or are you only allowed in at certain times?

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Re: Pyramid Peak Camping

Postby Hoot » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:12 pm

Last time I was there several years ago, the Crater Lake sites were available on a first come basis. I've done both options when climbing Pyramid. One time a ranger shined his light in the back of my van where I slept in the parking lot. He must have known people were in the van but he just moved on. Personally I prefer camping at Crater Lake as it's one of the most beautiful spots in Colorado.

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Re: Pyramid Peak Camping

Postby BKS » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:36 pm

Just to add another opinion.... Camping at Crater doesn't help that much... especially if the first campsites are already taken. If you have to go further up the trail to find a site you'll backtrack in the morning back to the Pyramid cutoff about as far as the distance from Maroon lake to the Pyramid turnoff. The water sources around Crater aren't great - very silty in the lake (plugged my filter) or hard to find later in season or you have to go quite a ways up the trail toward south Bell turnoff.

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Re: Pyramid Peak Camping

Postby Carl » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:48 pm

It's only about a 15 to 25 minute walk from the trailhead to the turn off so I can't imagine how it's worth it (from an I want the summit perspective) to backpack in and sleep on the ground. Camping at Crater lake is great though. In route to the Elks right now.

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Re: Pyramid Peak Camping

Postby myfeetrock » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:27 am

Tornadoman wrote:Can anyone confirm whether or not reservations are needed for camping in the Crater Lake area, or is it first come, first served so to speak? Also, if you tell them that you are an overnight hiker, are you allowed access to the Bells at all hours or are you only allowed in at certain times?


First come first serve. It can fill up fast though. I think there are restrictions on the number of tents for campsites to. I tried it once and ended up in the last campsite on the east end of the lake. The other party was happy to let me stay in their camp.
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Re: Pyramid Peak Camping

Postby bob863 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:46 pm

Please consult the Trailhead Status/Conditions for the Maroon Bells on this web site for very excellent information...the Forest Service has some "rules" for general public access, but if you want to hike any of the Maroon Bell peaks you can "generally" bypass those rules if you drive through their entrance gate "after hours" (7 PM - 7 AM) to drive to the "overnight" parking lot just below Maroon Lake...

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