After a long slumber to recover from yesterdays’ long drive and shopping expedition, it was time for an in-town activity day. I can’t think of a better way to spend a day off than to explore- especially on warm winter days when the sun is shining!
A visit to Pyramid Lake Island was first on the agenda for the day. If you’re traveling by car, follow the signs leading to ‘Pyramid Lake’ and drive past Pyramid Lake Resort and you’ll find yourself at the steps leading down to the island. On the drive there, you’ll find yourself gazing at snow covered trees and passing by Lake Patricia (another picturesque location- if you have time to wander around, definitely consider it.)
Pyramid Lake Island is easily accessible from Pyramid Lake- all you need to do is walk across the bridge and you’ll find yourself on the island. There are a number of places on the island to take scenic photos and if you’re brave, you can venture out on the frozen lake and have an unspoiled view of the mountains. I must admit that I was a little underwhelmed by the island after seeing photos on Instagram and how the landscape looks during the summer season- it’s worth visiting if you’re in the area during winter but there are nicer locations to venture out to.
Pyramid Lake Resort offers rental skates for only $10 (plus tax) and you can skate around the natural rink, try curling or just cheat and go for a jog outside the circuit in the snow (which I may have done on several occasions). I learned that ice skating is not my forte after failing on my tail bone and flapping my arms around trying to maintain my balance.
After about an hour of attempting to skate, it was time to return to normal shoes (can’t say that I was too unhappy about that!) Adam felt like going on a hike up to the top of the mountain at the back of the resort so we asked about hiking trails when we returned the skates. Guest reception at the resort are extremely helpful and if you ask, they’ll provide you with a map outlining the trails. If you are considering going for a hike around Pyramid Mountain, I’d highly recommend dropping in to the reception area and grabbing a map- it definitely a useful piece of information (and saved us from getting lost in park several times- as did having a compass app on my phone.)
During the 2.5 hour hike, we stumbled on a few breathtaking lookouts. One had two red chairs and a small table- a perfect place to kick back, stare at the landscape with a beer or wine in hand. Another was located closer to the peak under trees after a short stroll through powder, the sun was on the horizon and I had a nap in the warmth (hiking up hill is tiring!)
If you can make it to the peak, you’ll be rewarded with an awe-inspiring 180 degree view of Pyramid Mountain and the base of the national park. If that’s not motivation to get outside and do some cardio, I don’t know what is.
We hiked up trail 15A to 2B and on the descent, we looped back around via 2J, 2D and then back on to trail . We took a sneaky short cut back down the hill through the powder (which fortunately was fairly solid) to return to our start point. The trail we took would be suited for beginners or even intermediate hikers- there are some steep inclines and on the descent, the path was icy but you can always challenge yourself and use a fat bike instead.