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Middle Pyramid Hike

Willamette Foothills, Oregon

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Middle Pyramid Hike

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  • The Pyramids Trailhead.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • The trail immediately crosses a creek and heads into the forest.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • The trail climbs beside this huge, cliff-rimmed basin.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • Views of the basin are guarded by thick brush.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • The meadows fill with wildflowers like this pearly everlasting.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • Thistle flowers attract bees and butterflies to the meadows.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • At last, the trail begins to leave the clutches of the forest and contours up a rocky ridge.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • At the final junction, a sign points toward Middle Pyramid's double summit.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • There's a bit of scrambling to get to the viewpoints.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • From the top there are great views of Mount Jefferson.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • Colorful bursts of monkeyflower decorate the rocky summit block.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • Remnants of an old lookout tower provide evidence of times long past.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • From the summit you'll find some of the best views of the Three Sisters.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • South summit of Middle Pyramid with South Pyramid in the distance.- Middle Pyramid Hike
  • Looking toward the north summit of Middle Pyramid.- Middle Pyramid Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Solitude. Great views of the Cascades.
Cons: 
Confusing logging roads to trailhead.
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Region:
Willamette Foothills, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,800.00 ft (548.64 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,830.00 ft (1,167.38 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The big mountains draw the big crowds, but the smaller mountains should not be overlooked. These forgotten peaks offer the best views of the big mountains with fewer people and less effort.

Although the hike to Middle Pyramid's incredible viewpoint is short, it is steep and direct. The trail wastes no time gaining elevation as it pushes through thick meadows lush with devil's club, salmonberry and thistle. Wildflowers grow beneath towering old-growth. The scenery is very typical of Pacific Northwest forest, but it feels more intimate since the trail is not frequented by hundreds of hikers each week. Be prepared to push through tall shrubs cloaking the trail with their overhanging leaves.

Along the way you'll hike up the side of a broad, cliff-rimmed basin carved by an ancient glacier. This offers the first glimpse of the views to come. As the trail begins to follow a rocky ridge you'll notice that the vegetation changes and the trees grow shorter. At the base of Middle Pyramid's double summit block, scramble up to the left to reach the north summit. There's no official route; take the path of least resistance. From there you can see the North Pyramid just a stone's throw away.

Scramble back down to the saddle and follow a dirt track through some vegetation to the mountain's south summit. Here you'll see some metal pipes that are the only remains of a fire tower that stood until 1968. There's plenty of room to relax here and see how many mountains you can identify from this magnificent perch.

For a longer and more gently graded hike, start at the North Pyramid trail on Parrish Lake Road 2266. Hike 4.6 miles to the summit and return the way you came.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(58 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(111 within a 30 mile radius)

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