Pyramid Peak, Tucki Mountain
By: Scott Jamison
Eight hikers showed up at Death Valley Junction Saturday morning for a surprisingly shortened hike to Pyramid Peak. Greg and Mirna Roach drove by me once I stopped at the suggested faint dirt track just east of milepost 129 on Hwy 190. and proceeded another mile to a wash/road that is mentioned in the first DPS guide. The Roaches took off on Randy Bernard's written route, and we saved 1.2 miles of hiking across the desert (each way!). The road plays out against the hills southwest of the peak. Neal Scott bottomed out on a rock part way up, so we got his truck safely moved out of the way. and 4wds only drove to the end of the road. The hike naturally went on the "B" route, as we were already against the southern mass of the peak. We started hiking at 9, quickly went up this route to the summit ridge, and were on the peak well before lunch at 11:30. The day was windy, so we ate and left, getting back to the cars before 3 PM.Our plan was to camp around the Ryan mine off of Dante's View Road, but the mine is in full operation, with huge trucks on the move and No Trespassing signs all around. We left a note on the sign to the mine entrance road for Brian Smith, as he was due in late that night. We camped at (ugh) Stovepipe Wells. but it was a good choice. No one was in Death Valley, it seemed. as everyone else was shopping the malls somewhere.Sunday morning at 8:00 we found Brian camped at the Emigrant Campground. He missed our (little) sign at Ryan, and drove all the way back up to the campground We left the 2wds and drove the 4wd road to the "short route" to Tucki. From this trailhead you can see both the peak to the northwest, and the 2wd trailhead coming in from Skidoo, about 4 miles southwest. The 4wd drive takes about an hour, but it is has nice canyon wails. Little waterfalls to drive over, and it is a fun route to find, starting off the road to Emigrant Canyon. The road takes you to a hill overlooking a large valley sporting an exceptionally steep 4wd road that none of us wanted to try for fear of never getting back up! A rusty old cable is available on top for the idiots who want to attempt it and need hauling back up. We hiked down and across the flats, wandered around in the gullies and up on the ridges until we stood in the wind on the summit in the early afternoon. Winter was nearly here, and no one wanted to hang around in the cold so we headed back to the cars. We were back at Emigrant Campground by around 4:30Going out over Towne Pass, Mitch Miller and I both stopped to help a guy who was attempting to nurse an old Cadillac over the hill. It didn't look too promising, so Mitch left all of his water with him. Eventually, after several stops, I left my water with him and drove to Panamint Springs to get the man some help. The people at Panamint assured me they would be pleased to get him to their garage!Thanks to Greg and Mirna for helping the trip be a success. Other hikers were Ron Matson, Randy Ragland, and Gary Craig. On to the malls!
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