Thursday, December 13, 2018

Chandler Arizona Snowbird Test - Gila & Bursera Loop South MountainPark, Dec 13, 2018

When I was finishing up hiking the Black Mesa a few days ago, I chatted with a couple of fellows and they recommended I might like hiking in South Mountain Park which is right out my back door.  I put their recommendation on the back burner until I had some time to research the location.  I did my homework and confirmed I need to go there.  This was go there day!
When I walked out my door I took the sight I saw as a sign that I was in for awesome today.  Rays of pink shooting off in different directions was quite the sunrise.
After an easy straight forward drive in 20 minutes, I arrived at the Pyramid Trailhead Parking Lot.  Already it looked pretty sweet.  It was still early enough that those morning golden moments were presented. I geared up at home, I just needed to strap on my pack and hit the trail. 
I hiked the Pyramid Trail for a short section then veered off onto the Gila Trail. At the time, I did not know I was on that trial, I met a runner and he told me where I was and he suggested a great route.  I heeded his advice.  

I continued on the Gila Trail and eventually reached a pass where I could see far off and to where I wanted to head. It was a good thing I met up with that runner earlier and he pointed the way, some trails were not signed.

The Gila Trail was rough but it was obvious until I needed to find the way to cross over to ascend the Bursera Trail.  I could see the runner already over there, climbing to the top.  He did tell me there would be a trail to turn left at to get me over there. Was expecting a signed trail and there may have been further along but I did find a boot beaten path through bushes and I took it.  It got me to where I needed to be.
Now on the other side and on the Bursera Trail, I began climbing.  I could see over to where I was on the Gila Trail.  

The Bursera Trail was such an enjoyable route to follow.  It was a hilly ridge that went on and on with amazing views.  I liked all the cactus that lined the trail.  There were wild flowers in spots.


Climbing yet even higher and seeing down and across to the Gila Trail.

By now I was high enough to see across and down to the other side, hikers right.  The mountains looked like they were floating in the clouds.  I believe I hiked some of those far off mountains.

It was now time to come down off the ridge and wind my way around to the Pyramid Trail. I could see up to some of the last part of the ridge where I just was.  Gosh, I enjoyed being up there.
While passing a few hours exploring those trails back there, someone decorated a tree close to the trail head.  I tried to think Christmas thoughts but I am feeling I may need to see snow to do that.
I am thankful for the advice I have been receiving on where to hike.  All recommendations have proved to be valuable information.   I thoroughly enjoyed this playground right out my back door.


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