Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Pyramid Loop Day Hike
when Trip Report : February 20, 2021
  Trip Report : February 23, 2020
where South Mountain Park
the hike     This hike creates a loop out of the three trails located in the southwest corner of Phoenix’s South Mountain Park. From the Pyramid Trailhead (1254'), the Pyramid Trail heads east across the desert for about a mile, before beginning a steep ascent of 900 feet in 0.9 miles (2324'). The top of the ascent is reached through a series of switchbacks. Proceeding east, the trail follows the Gila range ridgeline for a mile, ending at the junction of with the National Trail. This junction is essentially above Telegraph Pass.
    The National Trail heads west for 4 miles, following the ridgeline. The trail is up and down, passing beneath Goat Hill, at 2500 feet, the highest point in the Gila range. Along the way is the junction with the Ranger Trail, coming up from the Park area on the north side. There are also social trails coming up the steep washes from the Lost Ranch area, just north of the trailhead. The National trail is route is obvious, and there should be no confusion with the social trails. Continuing west, the trail passes several old mine shafts until the descent begins to the junction with the Bursera Trail around 7.2 miles.
    Up to this point in the hike, footing is good; however, part of the descending trail is on loose scree.
    The National-Bursera trail junction is signed and the National begins to descend to the west towards the valley between the Gila and Ma Ha Tauk ranges. The Bursera ascends to a saddle, and then descends to the Gila Wash. Again, there is loose scree on this part of the trail. Arriving near the wash, there are several social trails, one of which follows the wash heading east. It is important to cross the wash (7.84 miles) and continue up the hill. The trail begins a gradual ascent, occasionally turning steeper with some switchbacks. The high point of the trail is at 8.98 miles, with an elevation of 1881 feet. After reaching the summit, Bursera goes down for a short distance, before going back up for a last ascent. After that, there is a gradual descent back to the trailhead. See Map.
•  Sturdy hiking boots
•  At least 3 liters of water
•  Rain poncho
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
•  Lunch or snacks
•  Camera
distance 10.4 miles
time 5-6 hours
EC 1255 feet/2400 feet Elevation Change/Accumulated Elevation Gain
elevations 1212' (Trailhead) to 2417' (National Trail)
type loop
starting at
Pyramid Trailhead 33.303291754° N,  112.10108214973° W
on trail 100% — Pyramid Trail, National Trail, Bursera Trail
rating "B"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Phoenix
meet 7:30 AM at the Pyramid Trailhead: 15200 S. 19th Avenue, Phoenix, 85045.
NOTE: This is 19th Avenue approached from the Ahwatukee side of South Mountain.
•  Turn west from I-10 on the new extension of the AZ-202 Loop (Pecos Segment).
Take the S. 17th Ave. off-ramp.
Head north to Chandler Blvd.
Turn left on Chandler Blvd, travel about 1 mile to 19th Ave.
Turn right on 19th Ave. into the trailhead parking lot. If the parking lot is full, park on Chandler Ave.

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updated February 23, 2021 © Copyright 2021, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.