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Eliminator Nat'l Gila Loop, AZ
mini location map2016-12-11
10 by photographer avatarastrobrewer
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Eliminator Nat'l Gila Loop, AZ 
Eliminator Nat'l Gila Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 11 2016
Hiking9.43 Miles 2,103 AEG
Hiking9.43 Miles   4 Hrs   9 Mns   2.31 mph
2,103 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
1st trip
This was my first time hiking up the Eliminator Trail. I've hiked down before and it seemed steep, but I didn't appreciate how steep until I went up it today. It's one long, steep climb from the bottom up the top where it meets up with the National Trail. It just goes straight up the ridge from the valley with minimal switchbacks. I stopped and rested a couple times along the way. Halfway up Eliminator you get up on top of the ridge and there is a great view of the Pyramid Trail. At that point it looks like maybe the really steep stuff is behind you, but no, there's plenty more. It's a tough climb, but it gets you to the National Trail pretty quickly. I thought about going East on the National Trail and up Goat Hill, but decided to go West and loop back on the Gila Trail. National Trail follows the ridge line Westward and was relaxing after the Eliminator hill climb. Even though it was a pleasant and sunny day I didn't run into anyone on the trail.

Along the National Trail I saw what looked from a distance like a lot of heavy construction equipment down in the valley of the Bursera and Gila trails. At first I thought it was SoMo Freeway construction, but as I got closer it looked more like grading for houses not a freeway. To get a better look I skipped the turn for the Bursera Trail and continued on National to the Gila Trail. It's a pretty big project, whatever it is. It's on the SoMo side of the freeway route on land that I thought was part of SoMo Park (it is green on google maps like the rest of SoMo), but it turns out not to be park land. I could see a new road from this new construction area over the ridge towards the South that comes out in the South Mountain 620 development. I went as far West as I could go on Gila Trail until I got to the construction site and no trespassing sign. It's less than 0.4 miles from where Bursera crosses the wash which means that from now on hiking Bursera won't feel like you're miles from nowhere anymore. Oh well. That's progress. :(

After posting this I happened to notice a photo of a cave I saw from the trail. I had zoomed in as far as my little pocket camera would go to see if I could see anything in the cave. I didn't expect to see anything, but there was a critter in the cave! That's why I got a camera with 20x optical zoom. At first I thought it was a coyote, but the more I look at it I think it's a javalina. Nice surprise!
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