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Pyramid/Ball Lakes, Trail #43

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Pyramid/Ball Lakes, Trail #43

Hike #414


sunny 73°        

Aug 8, 2011…Pyramid/Ball Lakes …Tr #43…hike # 414

We have hiked this trail just once before…eight years ago and it was our 5th hike! It is a relatively short hike, but we chose it for today because it is one of the higher elevation hikes and we thought there might still be some ice on the upper lakes. I thought it would be very cool to get a picture of ice on a lake in August! Just last week two hikers were lost on this trail and weren’t found until late the next night. They were dressed in summer clothes, got disoriented and after going around in circles, spent the night in a canyon somewhere in 40° weather. As we hiked today, we were thinking about them, and how the terrain was so thick, hostile and steep.

The road in to the trail head is very rough…it is the same road we took a few weeks ago to go to Big Fisher Lake and it takes almost two hours from home…round trip of 110 miles. The trail today starts out on the same trail as well but we take a left at the first junction. There were two rigs at the trailhead. Again, we followed a moose running along the road for a while…it just would not jump off to the side, poor young bull moose.        

No sooner had we started out, when I spotted a rolled up fleece blanket lying on the trail...we picked it up and carried it to the junction and left it there. Someone may have had a surprise when they went to bed that night!

We got to Pyramid Lake in about an hour…it is fairly easy hike to the pretty lake. Had it been a weekend, families might have been camping there. Took some pictures and then headed up the rocky trail to the two upper lakes. The views from the trail are gorgeous, and looking down on the hour glass shaped Pyramid Lake is stunning, with Pyramid Peak looming high above it. We soon ran into snow, quite a lot actually and of course we took pics. While I was taking one of Jim, a hummingbird hovered around my head. It must be enjoying the profuse Pestamon along the trail. I love my hummers.

Just short of reaching the first lake, known as the Lower Lake, we spotted a huge slab of granite, a nice view spot, where we sat and had our snack. Then continued on into the lake…there was no one there. It was noon. Took some pics and then headed to the Upper Lake, where we did find four people over on the boulders with fishing poles. We yelled over to them to say hello. We were happy to see that there was still some ice on the lake around the edges, this being 6708’ elevation. Didn’t hang around the long with people there so headed back over to the lower lake where we explored a bit, walking to the end of the lake. The breeze coming off the lake was chilly so walked back to one of the camp spots where we ate our lunch and I changed my socks. My plan was to put my feet in the ice water but then got lazy about walking back down to the shore. It was an easy hike back down to the truck. I took 140 pictures today, and it was almost impossible to pick just a few for the album.

Left home                    8:00

Got to T.H.                  9:45

Started up                   9:50

Started down               1:00    

Got to truck                 2:20    

Total miles hiked          8 miles

Total hiking time           4 hours, 30 minutes


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Author info

Betsy Fulling Betsy Fulling In 2002, after a bout with cancer and wanting her energy back, Betsy Fulling began hiking with her husband Jim. Regardless of the weather they go into the high country every week - in eight years, she has only missed five times.

Tagged as:

moose, hiking, penstemon, Pyramid Lake, Ball Lake, Lower Lake, Upper Lake

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