Rio Grande Pyramid  
Condition Updates  
 
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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Route: Standard
Posted On: 2018-07-14, By: RyGuy
Info: The Weminuche Trail 818 (main access route to RGP) is closed due to bridge reconstruction. It is scheduled to open again on August 1. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2018-06-04, By: swampthing
Info: Approach via Weminuche & Rincon la Vaca trails was totally clear of snow, but there were ~10 downed trees that created minor trail diversions in places. Gorgeous summer conditions for the entire approach to the peak! On the Pyramid itself, the east ridge was bare of snow until ~13.2k' (after the second "hump" after two steep scree sections) where some snow fields are still present. We had a little trouble spotting the trail at this point and there were no other prints in the snow, but kicking steps in on the lower grade sections was not a problem. We didn't end up making it all the way up to the summit because we saw what turned out to be smoke from the 416 fire pouring over the top along with wicked wind. We couldn't see how close the fire was from our vantage point on the east side, so we bailed and went down to the Window. But the rest of the way up looked easily navigable - just steep and steady. 
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Route: East Slope
Posted On: 2017-10-12, By: desertdog
Info: No snow on the approach. Snow can be avoided on the pyramid. The dead fall was easily negotiated thanks to beta from Anna and highpilgram. We did this as a dayhike, which took us 12 hours. A beautiful fall day and one of the prettiest areas in CO. Just great! 
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Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2017-08-28, By: dwoodward13
Info: Day hike from 30 mile. Smarter individuals would used the excellent camp sites at the Skyline Trail junction. Skyline/Opal trail junction is right where Roach says and generally a good trail. After a bit you run into some deadfall and a small trail heading downhill around it. Don't get suckered! The trail stays high and that side trail continues downward to some unknown point. I ended up bushwacking back uphill after realizing it wasn't going to connect. Route up Rio is a slog and be careful with all the loose rock especially if you have a group. Only 11 people in the register as of this year that I saw. Views are incredible!! 
 
Route: Weminuche Trail-Skyline trail
Posted On: 2015-07-07, By: Kitten
Info: Great day on Rio Grande Pyramid. I will be putting a trip report soon. The picture shows the most recent conditions. We were surprised there was so little snow... 
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Route: Rio Nieve
Posted On: 2014-06-22, By: JosephG
Info: Rio Nieve line is in from base to near summit, although it is a little thin at the bottom. This line won‘t be around much longer, maybe a week. Standard route to summit is 99% snow free, save a few patches up high. The junction with the skyline trail is about 30‘ past the third stream crossing. Missing it will mean adding miles to your trip and make for an even longer day. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2012-09-03, By: TravelingMatt
Info: Reiterating from below -- The blowdown area is just below treeline. Didn‘t have GPS, but probably around 11,700 feet. Do not go downhill and do not hike up to the sandy area above. You want to be contouring or going slightly uphill -- the trail (Opal Lake, nee Skyline) can be followed. Above treeline the trail becomes much better defined. There are a few campsites around the Opal Lake trail junction, and a couple more off to the right (north) along the Opal Lake trail a few hundred feet after it starts. You can even go higher; I saw a couple of ledges around 11,000 feet that had great views down into the meadow and would make awesome campsites, but had no nearby water. 
 
Route: East Slopes Classic
Posted On: 2012-06-29, By: sue personett
Info: Don‘t let smoke from the fires near Pagosa Springs change your mind about this hike. The smoke changes directions so it isn‘t a problem. The entire route is clear of snow and in good shape. Be careful not to head down in the area of dead fall. Remember that you are supposed to contour around the mountain, not go down. If you are headed down, stop and hike up the grassy slope and you will find the correct trail. We encountered lots of rain so take rain gear. You will need it!!! You will find several good camp sites at Weminuche Pass and water in the creek. No fires allowed. 
 
Route: Rincon La Vaca
Posted On: 2012-06-24, By: rockymountaindiva
Info: Very smoky from the Little Sand Fire but no snow except for a few steps between RGP and the window. Camped along the Rincon La Vaca trail and attempted to follow that route per Roach‘s 13ers book. Appears that the trail has been moved or I have an old version of the book. At 4.5 miles up the Rincon LaVaca trail we were above 12,200’. It then says to hike 1.3 miles up the Opal Lake trail to 12,200’. Not seeing a junction, we continued to Opal Lake, saw a trail in the distance and headed a bit back down, then x-country to it. It was a good trail for accessing the Window, but involved a lot of rock-hopping-balancing to get to RGP. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2012-06-21, By: gdthomas
Info: The east slopes route on Rio Grande Pyramid is almost snow free as of 6/16/12. A small snow crossing remains at about 12,800‘ but no snow gear is needed. The Opal Lakes Trail heading west off of Weminuche Pass is faint at best but picks up about 100‘ off of the Weminuche Trail. The route has more bear scat than on any Colorado trail I‘ve seen. 
 
Route: Weminuche Pass/Skyline Trail
Posted On: 2012-05-29, By: globreal
Info: Over Memorial Day weekend we went to climb Rio Grande Pyramid and the two 13ers to the north. The road is totally dry all the way to the Rio Grande Reservoir/Thirty Mile Campground and any 2wd can make it. Snowshoes are NOT needed. In fact, no crampons or micro-spikes are needed for these three peaks. If going to The Window, Window Peak, or Pt. 13,017, there is more snow over on those peaks and traction may be useful. Also, trip reports on Rio Grande Pyramid mention that there is no water on Weminuche Pass and to pack it in. This is NOT true! The creek that crosses the Weminuche Trail at 10,620 is flowing in full force! And this is right at the junction with the Skyline Trail where the two carins and log posts are. And there are some lakes/ponds that are on the pass east of the trail that I think would have water year round. You just may have to hike over to them if camping next to the Weminuche Trail. I've got pixs if anyone is heading this way and would like to see 'em. 
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