Old Meets New
While the new southwest portion of the Pyramid Trail was constructed in early 2010, the remainder of this trail appears on South Mountain maps dating from 1942 and 1964. The City of Phoenix contracted the construction of the new part of the trail, from the view point down into Ahwatukee, as part of the "area 620 land acquisition". As of July 2013 most of the 620 area trails remain unmarked. Only the Pyramid and Bursera trails are marked, so it pays to have a map or GPS while hiking here for the first time.
Beginning at the parking spaces at the west end of Chandler Blvd and 19th Ave, go through the barricade at the end of Chandler Blvd west 1000 ft then turn right (north) just past the wash. There is a brown 4X4 marker here that includes the trail mileage on it. Once the City builds facilities in the vacinity, this will become the official trailhead.
Once on the trail hike to the north and east as the trail bends around the near ridge. After hiking a few minutes the trail splits at a brown 4X4 post. Stay to the right. The left fork is the beginning of the Bursera Trail. Another small trail comes in from a trailhead on the right, just keep going straight. The now wide trail slowly bends to the north and shortly you will reach an intersection with an east/west old mining road/trail. Turn right (east). You will then pass through two washes over the next half mile or so. The trail splits again just after coming out of two washes.
Bear left NE towards the now clearly seen switchbacks heading up to the Gila viewpoint. Soon the trail gets steep as you start up the ridge. After considerable climbing you will reach the viewpoint atop the ridge line. There are good views in all directions. To the north you can see Goat Hill above the National trail as it stretches west. From the view point the Pyramid Trail follows the ridge line east then north towards the National trail. After a bit the trail splits and about a quarter mile later rejoins itself. The left fork is a new section of trail that skirts the ridge line. The right fork follows the ridgeline up and is a little longer, but it's my preferred route. Both forks offer excellent though very different views. The trail continues east before turning to the north where it ends at the intersection with the National trail at post #33. Post #33 is not far above the stone hut when hiking west on the National trail from Telegraph Pass. Return the way you came.
Many other hiking options that include the Pyramid Trail are available. The trail can easily be accessed from the Telegraph Pass or Kiwanis trailheads along with two other 620 trailheads. Also, many loops in this area of South Mountain can be hiked that include the Pyramid Trail and National trails.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.