Conquering Pyramid Mountain Trail means a multi-sport day or a multi-day hike. The hike to the summit of Pyramid Mountain is a favourite among hikers in the area. Alan Kane named the mountain “Guardian of the Jasper townsite” in his work Scrambles in the Rockies. Tourists can admire Pyramid Mountain just behind the lake of the same name, overlooking the small tourist town of Jasper, Alberta.
About the Pyramid Mountain Trail
- distance: 30 km out-and-back
- elevation gain: 1585 m
- altitude: 2 763 m
- estimated time: 12 hours
- trailhead: at the end of Pyramid Lake Drive where the old fire road starts
It is a full-day outing and a demanding activity. Make sure to have the appropriate gear to stay safe and enjoy your hiking adventure on Pyramid Mountain. Some adventurers opt for a multi-day hike instead of biking the approach trail. Then, they camp at the mountain’s base to summit on day two. If you decide to go this route, this guide to backpacking will be helpful. You might also enjoy these backpacking tips before you go.
Save it for later.
The trail leading to the foot of the mountain is an old twelve-kilometre logging road. It can easily be travelled on by mountain bike. Instead of walking the 24-kilometre approach trail out and back, I decided to try my luck at mountain biking.
The people at Source For Sports in Jasper were very welcoming, and in no time, I was walking out of the store, a bike by my side. I drove to the parking lot at the end of Pyramid Lake Road, where the logging road begins.
The elevation of 800 meters from the parking lot to the foot of the mountain is to be taken seriously. Now and then, I had to walk beside my bike to catch my breath at the top of endless hills.
Here and there, the trees give way to incredible views of the beetle-ravaged brown pine forests and the mountains in the background.
Once at the foot of the mountain, I ensure that the bike is well secured with the padlock provided by the sports shop. I change my sneakers for my hiking boots and leave my bike helmet behind to tackle the mountain trail.
The start of the trail is under the canopy of mostly pine trees. A three-kilometre trail with an elevation gain of 800 meters brings you to the summit. Before long, the trees slowly give way to smaller bushes where the tundra dominates. They eventually disappear entirely, and the only thing left is scree.
The Scramble on Pyramid Mountain
The last kilometre consists of a scramble from boulders to boulders. The climb is slow, and the small cairns scattered here and there to indicate the best route are difficult to distinguish in a sea of quartzite rocks, all similar. For lack of indication, the road is upward, and I eventually make it to the top.
Pyramid Mountain Summit
When I finally reach the summit, I am mesmerized by a 360-degree view as far as the eye can see. Mount Robson, in the distance, towers over all other mountains. The Tonquin Valley is visible, with the Athabasca River on one side and the Snaring River on the other.
The platform of a former tram service is still present. Beyond this platform, hikers have laid a Canadian flag at the summit’s southern end. It signifies Canadian pride from one of the Rockies’ most beautiful peaks.
Hikers can descend following a trail that loops around the side of the mountain, but I decided to go down the same way I came up. As usual, it is much faster, hopping from one rock to another. Once at the foot of the mountain, I grab my bike and quickly reach the parking lot.
Happy to be still in one piece after this steep descent, a little too fast for my ability as a cyclist! And this, all in time to return the bike before the shop closes.
A 9-hour day, but such a satisfying day! The Pyramid Mountain hike is one of my favourite peaks in the Rockies…. so far.-Adventuresome Jo
More adventures in the Canadian Rockies:
- Scramble up to Mount Temple’s Snowy Summit
- Hiking Guide to Mount Rundle’s Summit
- Tips on Hiking the Tower of Babel
- Hiking Guide to the Summit of Cascade Mountain
- 3 Epic Hikes in the Canadian Rockies
- Phenomenal Hiking on Roche Miette
- You might be interested in this list of 27 summits for beginner peak baggers and scramblers in the Rockies
- Explore everything this amazing region has to offer with this travel guide through 5 National Parks in the Canadian Rockies.