Rio Grande Pyramid  
Condition Updates  
Route: Wemi to Skyline Trail
Posted On: 2022-07-10, By: LetsGoMets
Info: Daytripped RGP via Weminuche and Skyline /Opal Lake Trail. Weminuche Trail in good shape. Skyline trail also surprisingly in good shape and would highly recommend for the approach. Start of the trail took a couple minutes to find in the dark but after that was solid for the vast majority and had no problems following it in the dark. There is a blowdown section a few miles up that does obscure the trail but I found it pretty easy to relocate. All in all it really obscures the trail for about 20 yards or so - if you just keep heading in the direction you were going you will find it. At the willows, trail is solid the entire way, weaving through the willows for almost a mile. One quick section as you descend to Opal Lake required walking around a 20 foot section. Wear pants since it's tight and they will rub against you, but zero bashing. From there some scree and then some quasi loose talus to the summit. Did not find a register. Saw nobody else up there or in the area save for one other guy hiking the Skyline trail on my way down. I registered 19.5 miles, took me around 9.5 hours. Amazing peak and a special place. Will upload my GPX to the library, not a lot of them in there dedicated to this route. 
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Route: Weminuche
Posted On: 2022-06-01, By: nickm
Info: RGP, 13248, 13261, Simpson Mtn. Full summer conditions, no snow! Started at Thirtymile Campground. I took the Weminuche Trail to the CDT and ended up bushwhacking my way thru willows to get to where I could see the trail below RGP. If I had to do it over I would strongly consider the Skyline Trail instead of the CDT. The CDT would make sense if you were looking to tag Window, or 13,017 first. I'm sure there are some thoughts on that? From RGP it is an easy walk up 13,248. From 13,248 over to 13,261 I bypassed the nasty looking hump to the south and regained the ridge. It was easier than it looked. After dropping off of 13,261 I enjoyed the easy tundra stroll over to Simpson Mtn. After Simpson I continued to the next hump and followed the ridge back toward the Weminuche Trail. Once I entered the MAZE of deadfall I aimed for the drainage to the right of a visible tree covered hump. It was nice finding a water source to refill. I followed the drainage back to the Weminuche. It took a little over 13 hours. 
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Route: Rio Grande Super Slam
Posted On: 2022-05-22, By: Geckser
Info: Perfect day on Rio Grande Pyramid with near summer conditions. The snow that fell on Friday night was largely gone making for easy travel. A little wind and overcast skies but not enough to provide significant resistance. We managed to tag RGP's 4 13er brothers in a very long 9 hour 15 minute day. The ridge between all these peaks was quite dry. Some downed trees from this winter but nothing shocking. A couple persistent snow patches but they were easily traversed or avoided. Flows in rivers, etc still high but probably not for long due to the strong meltout. Get bent Tad. 
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Route: Skyline to CDT
Posted On: 2021-12-24, By: blazintoes
Info: Tough conditions on RGP. 7pm summit After Midnight return Solo trenching the entire day. It's kinda depressing to be back there alone and nothing to look forward to for hours. But I was in a good mental space. There was a lot more snow than expected. Snowshoes mandatory from start to finish. Snow was mid shin deep. There is no water to refill except at the first small stream crossing and of course over the bridge. I brought and used my jet boil. There is a lot of tree fall and one difficult big tree crossing at 2 miles. There was whomping in the trees from 11,000-11,300 about 6 times on the southeast aspect of the Skyline trail that becomes very annoying sidehilling all the way to the CDT intersection. The early sunset was so pretty to see through the Window and it was such a beautiful peaceful warm day. Saw many elk, bunny and bobcat tracks but never saw any animals. I came back the long way via CDT to avoid sidehilling and retrenched but at least it was downhill. It was so cold! -4 The icing on top. They locked the gate and on my way out the next morning I was trapped. I slept at the gate til 0600 then hopped it with my bike and was going to ride 30 miles to sleepy Creed but there was a number to call on the gate so I left a message. A park ranger finally showed up at 0900 and said he didn't think anyone was down at the camp ground and now it's closed for the season. I asked him if he drove all the way in because I did. He said no. The road was challenging to drive and I saw his 3 point turn at the last curve before you enter the camp ground so obviously he didn't see my car. Now RGP becomes a 30 mile endeavor. So glad to get this done! 
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Route: East Slopes (Standard)
Posted On: 2021-10-18, By: Anima
Info: We backpacked in from the Thirty-Mile campground on the Weminuche trail to the beginning of the Opal Lake trail. We set up camp at a beautiful campsite just beyond this intersection. There was an inch of snow from the trailhead all along the trail while it followed the Rio Grande Reservoir. Once the trail turned and began following Weminuche Creek it became incredibly muddy. There were almost no sections of dry trail. The Opal lake trail is snow-covered for the first mile or so until it turns onto southwest-facing slopes which are dry. There is a decent amount of snow above 12,500 on most aspects. Beautiful mountain and lots of hunters. 
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Route: CDT
Posted On: 2021-09-06, By: madmattd
Info: Backpacked in Saturday afternoon ~9mi to ~11.3k on the CDT. Not a ton of campsite options due to all the deadfall/beetle kill but there are some scattered around. Plenty of camping options down lower by Weminuche Pass. There are many smaller side streams along the CDT are running fine, ample water options to treeline. Where we camped a doe came out around dusk and spent several hours grazing nearby. We chased her off several times only for her to return immediately. She was back at sunrise for more of the same. From camp we ascended the steep stretch of trail to treeline. Where the trail makes a hard left at the main stream crossing, we turned slightly right then stayed just left of a small but prominent knob (visible on topos at ~12,040'). We cut up the other side of the small gully from there and quickly picked up the Skyline Trail. No willow-whacking of any consequence needed. From there we more or less followed the standard route. There is a somewhat stable talus option alongside the second loose gully, and the upper ridge is reasonably stable talus all the way. On the way down we tried to follow the Skyline/Opal Lake trail to the CDT junction but lost it after a bit. We cut over to the CDT, followed it up to where maps indicate the Opal Lake Trail meets it, but found no sign of the trail on that end. Nice views of the window from there though. There are plenty of blowdowns along the CDT as others have mentioned, though mostly in 3-4 small areas. Most are simple step-overs, a few have well-established bypasses. Pay attention at the junctions, most of the signs are broken, missing, or located well past the junctions, but there are sticks sticking up at every junction. 
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Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2021-07-26, By: JakeByk
Info: The Pyramid did not disappoint. 22 miles and 5,000 feet of gain from the Rio Grande Reservoir TH. No water above the stream crossing near the junction of the Skyline Trail before the lake below Window Peak. Willow bashing was less than pleasant, but overall an amazing and mellow trip. We took the Weminche Creek Trail to the Skyline Trail, then followed a climber's trail to the upper plateau. From there we went straight up the steep west side to a small saddle with a high point. Talus isn't as bad as it looks. 
Route: Rio Grande Reservoir
Posted On: 2021-07-19, By: durkan
Info: Ascended via Skyline Trail, descended via CDT. Down trees on both routes, but significantly way less downfall on Skyline/Opal Lake. After taking both routes I believe it'd be significantly less annoying to ascend/descend Skyline, unless you wanna tack on Window for Extra Credit. It's easy to follow until 11,800ft. From here, you only gain about 340ft during the ascending traverse to Opal Lake, so ensure you don't follow game or use trails down (unless it's around fallen trees, then be on the look out on how to find the most prominent trail again). It's straightforward if you use all old past Trip Reports and ok with slight route-finding. Happy Trails! 
Route: Via Thirtymile
Posted On: 2021-07-05, By: hellmanm
Info: Summer conditions. Both the skyline and Rincon La Vaca approaches to the upper basin have downed trees everywhere. Skyline is more efficient distance-wise but has more willow-bashing and routefinding. Wildflowers are in full bloom all over both routes. 
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Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2021-06-19, By: yaktoleft13
Info: All snow on the route is either avoidable or inconsequential. The stream at 12k is merely a trickle, but the nearby pond is full. Camped at the stream crossing just before the opal lake trail turnoff. Bring bug spray! 
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Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2021-06-16, By: brauda02
Info: Started last night from Thirty Mile and set up a camp 3 miles in. The first 5 miles are on excellent trail. The Opal Lake Trail is faint, bushwhacky, and difficult to follow but passable. The trail to the 12,600 bench is obvious. One minor snowfield to cross. Traction probably not necessary though I used it. The next two gullies are steep and loose scree but easy to find. The summit pyramid starts loose but gets more solid as you go up. The whole route is well cairned. I couldn't find a summit register. I descended the CDT which is well defined but littered with blowdowns. Overall great hike. 21.5 miles with this variation. 
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Route: CDT 30 mile campground
Posted On: 2020-07-15, By: sheller
Info: backpacked in on the CDT/Rico La Vaca from 30 mile CG to upper basin a mile from the Window. There is water up high and even a couple of creeks next to Opal lake just below the window. There were around 75 (yes, I counted) downed trees on the trail, but were really not that big of an issue. We climbed RGP, Fool's Pyramid and Window Peak. Felt Window Peak was the hardest, we really had a tough time finding the trail for that one and were definitely in some sketchy terrain in the cliffs to the climber's left of the window. 
Route: Skyline Trail
Posted On: 2020-07-12, By: angry
Info: Day tripped from Thirty Mile Campground which has ample parking. Skyline Trail is well defined and dry all the way to summit. The area with downed trees is short lived and easy to navigate. 
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Route: East ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-27, By: thebeave7
Info: Trails are in great shape except for the previously mentioned downed trees. Good water flowing below treeline on the CDT but above treeline it's pretty dry on the East side so don't expect a refill. For those wanting to shortcut from the summit to the Window, the south face is a chossy mess and not recommended (though there are routes that go). We descended a gulley on the east side of the face that went, but the entire thing is a sketchy loose mess with lots of cliffbands. 
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Route: Thirty Mile Campground
Posted On: 2020-06-18, By: kmikwilliams
Info: Free of snow (99%) but many fallen trees from the last wildfire in the area. Choose your campground wisely! After the bridge, the first creek crossing there are three logs placed for safe passing. The second, the log is not secured (I fell in!). I would have waded (ankle deep) next time than have to dry out my boots all day. Right after the second stream, there are giant cairns to indicate the Opal Lake/Skyline Trail. I did not see any signs for the trail junction. The bit of snow left covers the way to the unmarked spur trail up to the saddle of 12,645'. On the descent, I went south to the CDT in hopes of less downed trees. The CDT had more(!) down trees than the Opal Trail but offered several waterfalls and a broad view of the valley. This descent will add on two extra miles. The summit log needs new paper for anyone going up next! 
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Route: East face
Posted On: 2020-05-23, By: climbingcue
Info: Had good freeze for at least the night before and after our climb. I did 4 of the five 13ers and my partner did all 5. Snow was support enough to have only post holed 10 or so times the entire trip. We did avoid the basin center when descending the last 13er of the day at 2:30pm. Our camp was an open meadow at 11,200 ft 8.5 miles from the parking lot. There is another great meadow that you could also camp at 1/4 mile further from where we camp. This is our route https://www.strava.com/activities/3499349494 
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Route: From Thirty Mile Campground
Posted On: 2019-09-20, By: WildWanderer
Info: Muddy trail for first 2 miles, and then summer conditions until summit push. Sprinkling of snow last 500 feet, no traction needed. Trees are turning colors. 
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Route: East Ridge + \\
Posted On: 2019-07-08, By: supranihilest
Info: Approach to camp in Weminuche Creek valley: no snow, great trail. Several creek crossings, but none impassable. Almost infinite space to camp in the Weminuche Creek valley. From Weminuche Creek valley: we ascended the east ridge of "Fools Pyramid" through the forest. No trail for most of the ascent, eventually meeting a trail high on the south side of the ridge. Eventually this trail led us to the bottom of a heinous ball bearing slope which we ascended on one of the numerous switchbacks others had put in the slope. Instead of ascending all the way up "Fools Pyramid" from here we stayed below its north face, crossed a snowfield (the only time we used flotation) and the Weminuche Creek headwaters, then up Point 13261's east ridge. This scramble was steep and loose but mostly Class 2+. Point 13261 to "Fools Pyramid": We descended the southwest ridge of Point 13261 which was still steep and loose but better than the east ridge. The hike up "Fools Pyramid" from the saddle was easy and aside from a single one-step snow crossing on the ridge there was no snow or scrambling to deal with. "Fools Pyramid" to RGP via RGP's east ridge: we descended "Fools Pyramid"'s southwest ridge, dropping off the south side near the bottom. From there it was nothing but insanely loose rock all the way up RGP. We crossed the basin avoiding all snow, which necessitated scrambling on steep, loose rock and dirt up to the east ridge. Most of it was steep Class 2 but there was ample Class 2+ and Class 3. At one point my partner pulled down a body-sized rock that crashed down the slope and would have killed anyone it hit. On the east ridge proper there are trail segments but they are not contiguous and are interspersed by steep, loose Class 3 sections. These were more fun than the Class 2 sections but potentially more dangerous. RGP back to camp: We went down the east ridge then trended southeast until we hit the Rincon La Vaca trail. All of this was on loose rock. All several thousand vertical feet of it. To say it was tedious is an understatement. The Rincon trail was incredibly beautiful descending the drainage. There was a lot of snow still but most of it we could just plunge step down. Only one section crossing the creek required walking up a slope, away from the trail, then back down another muddy slope so as to avoid walking across a thin snow bridge that, if it collapsed, would send you straight into the now raging creek. The remainder of the hike is easy though heavy rain caused a ton of mud and flooding across the trail. Your feet will get wet almost guaranteed. Photo 1: Ascending Point 13261. Photo 2: Ascending "Fools Pyramid". Photo 3: Descending "Fools Pyramid". Photo 4: Rio Grande Pyramid from "Fools Pyramid" Photo 5: Point 13261 (left) and "Fools Pyramid" from Rio Grande Pyramid. 
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Route: Skyline Trail
Posted On: 2018-10-29, By: HikerGuy
Info: Lots of snow in the San Juans! The Weminuche Trail is snow free all the way to the top of the pass; however, horses have torn up the trail and it is a muddy mess. The Skyline Trail has a decent amount of snow until you level out on the south facing slopes. From there is hit and miss. Once at the base of the Pyramid, consistent snow. 19.4 miles RT from Thirty Mile Campground, 12h 15m car to car. Carried microspikes, but did not use them. Poles and gaiters essential. 
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Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2018-08-07, By: Grover
Info: An update about RGP, which is an underrated peak, now that I have experienced the East Slopes Route. Thirtymile Campground/Trailhead: Camped at this nice campground the night before hiking in. $20.00 gets you a spot with a picnic table, fresh water and a clean pit toilet. There is a friendly couple managing it. New Bridge: The new bridge over Weminuche Creek is great. Props to the Forest Service. Hike In & Camp @ Weminuche Pass: There are only (3) real stream crossings along the trail at this time. You will know when you are at the 3rd stream crossing, at Weminuche Pass, as the sign posts are upright. Plenty of camping spots in the trees, with easy access to the running water for filtering, cleaning. Opal Lake Trail / Skyline Trail Marker: The old wood pole with SKYLINE TRAIL carved in it is upright. Turn right at this sign and start your steady climb towards the basin and RGP. Nuisance Deer: Yep, nuisance deer, not nuisance bear. I have never seen this before. There are (4) white tail deer - (3) female, (1) male - at Weminuche Pass that VERY comfortable with coming close to the campsites in the trees at the 3rd creek crossing. There is (1) female - we named her Lucy - who is the dominant deer. She would chase the others if they got too close when we were eating. Nothing bad happened and the tent was not harmed during our hike, but as soon as we got back to camp, they came jumping out the woods and were looking for food. Practice proper food storage and do not leave anything out. We heard (2nd hand) a deer chewed on a trekking pole(s) of another group camped in the same area on Sunday night. The Trail to RGP: I found the Roach description to be spot on. You gain elevation quickly when on the Opal Lake Trail. The dead fall at 11,800' is not that bad. Just keep going in the direction you are headed when you encounter the first downed trees. Do not go low, go high. You will either go under or over several trees in this section to get through the dead fall. No trail issues after the section of dead fall trees. The (2) scree/rubble sections you hike up to get to the actual pyramid are crappy. To reach the summit, we stayed left of the cliffy sections and found several helpful cairns. If things look tough or the talus is too much, move over to the left a bit more. I highly suggest an outing on this remote Centennial 13'er. Enjoy. 
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