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Pyramid to Goat Hill
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18 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Pyramid to Goat HillPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 21 2017
rayhuston
Hiking11.98 Miles 3,266 AEG
Hiking11.98 Miles   4 Hrs   58 Mns   2.59 mph
3,266 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
I decided to check out the popular Pyramid Trail near the SW end and head up to Goat Hill. I slept in to allow the rainfall from the night before to run off a bit. I arrived at the TH at 9:30 and started about 10 minutes later. With few exceptions, the trails were in perfect condition: dry and firm, yet somewhat soft from the recent rains. An occasional puddle. Compared to my last couple of hikes, it felt like I was on a race track.

A relatively flat first mile allows for a good warm up before you get to the first ascent, around 800 feet in a mile. It looms before you as you approach. Blustery conditions kept me cool up that first hill and throughout the hike. The roller coaster profile of the National Trail keeps things interesting as you soak in the views. Goat Hill was the prize today. Excellent views all around. With access from three different trailheads, I plan to come back and loop in Goat Hill with some of the other trails on this end.

Heading back the way I came would have been a worthy hike, but I wanted a little more today. From Goat Hill, I continued west along the National, then took the Eliminator II Trail down to the Gila trail in the valley below, giving up almost 900 feet. I headed back up the Lost Ranch Ruins trail, checked out the ruins, then back up to the National trail. A down and up profile is an Achilles heel, so this was a good opportunity to work on it. It took the starch out of my legs.

Back on National, I continued west until I reached the Bersera Trail, then dropped down into the valley a second time. From the valley floor, Bersera climbs almost 600 feet before a final descent to the Pyramid trail. Finishing a hike going uphill is another Achilles heel. My legs were tired from the previous down/up; I was on fumes now. Time for some pain.

Nearing the end of the Bersera Trail, I got a good look at the dip I took on the Eliminator II and Lost Ranch Ruins trails. What was I thinking?! A couple of minutes later I could see the trailhead. A beacon at the end of a tough hike.

Great day on South Mountain. Wonderful hike and an excellent workout!
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