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Hiking season 2011 was extremely short in the Sierra Nevada, with snow in the high country lasting into August and new snow already the first week of October. But that made it a good weekend for a autumn desert hike. We went to the Terraced Hills north of Pyramid Lake and hiked to the high point of the range, 5694 feet. The route follows mostly well-established wild horse trails except for the final cross-country ascent to the peak. There are now only two entries in the summit register since it was placed in 2002, and both are from NevadaRambler and friends. The summit has nice views of Pyramid Lake, Honey Lake, Smoke Creek Desert, the Lake Range and Virginia Mountains. We drove up a 4wd track north as far as possible before a wash; parking at the corral nearer the main road would add 0.67 miles each way. The entire route is on Pyramid Lake Paiute tribal lands; a day use permit for vehicle parking is required.

Statistics:
7.05 mi (3.51 mi uphill, 2.76 mi downhill, 0.70 mi flat)
1420 ft total ascent – 12.7 % uphill grade, 54.5 % downhill grade
4:21:43 total time (3:00:40 moving, 1:21:03 stopped)
0:25:36 pace (2.3 mph average speed, 3.6 mph max speed)
10.5 difficulty, 19.4 effort

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