Pyramid Butte (CA)

December 24, 2021


Needles, CA

The ascent of Pyramid Butte was not on the agenda when Adam and I headed south from Las Vegas for 12 days of peak-bagging. We managed to leave Las Vegas around noon just after the storm stopped but the forecast was still calling for rain in areas to the south. The objective was to drive a few hours to Blythe, CA and car-camp near Thumb Peak, but the drive wouldn’t consume all of the daylight hours. I noticed this Pyramid Butte on the maps that definitely boasts over 100 m prominence, but strangely this peak was not on nor Lish of John. Adam managed to add this peak into database prior to departure.

While driving south we realized the weather was better than expected. There were still pockets of lingering storms over higher terrain, but the vast desert floors showed nothing but sunshine. I made a spontaneous decision to solo Snaggletooth which was a semi-technical climb about half an hour’s drive south of Needles, CA. About half an hour after completing Snaggletooth we arrived at the base of Pyramid Butte. The dirt roads leading towards the butte were wet, but driveable and we parked at close to our objective as possible in Adam’s Subaru.

Pyramid Butte via west ridge. GPX DL

This ascent was a no-brainer and we actually picked a more interesting route by sticking to the west ridge. There were enough boulder-hopping to make this outing a little bit more than just a plod. The views were pretty damn great for such a dumpster objective, especially looking back towards the Turtle Mountains across the highway. The summit cairn was huge, and that further made us curious why this peak had been missed on

Adam’s Subaru parked at the base of the west ridge
Adam with Pyramid Butte ahead
Umpah Peak and Mopah Point in the Turtles are apparently fun scrambles!
There were still storms to the north
The southern Turtle Mountains lit up by the afternoon sun

After taking in enough of the views we leisurely descended back to the vehicle following the exact route we took. We then drove south for another hour or two and spent the evening exploring Blythe, California. Too bad this was the Christmas Eve so Adam’s go-to Mexican restaurant, La Paloma was closed, but the nearby McDonald’s and Subway were both open for dinner and wifi. There were lots of cats hanging outside these restaurants bagging for food.

Adam starting the descent
Another photo of Adam descending
Savahia Peak to the SE
As you can see, the route we took was mostly on solid talus fields
A review shot of Pyramid Butte from the vehicle