Explore 2.24.18 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2.24.18 Map

This is probably my favorite trail. Provides an amazing variety of challenge with nice inclines and declines suitable for a variety of skill levels. The views are incredible especially in the evening. This trail provides access to a number of different trails that provide steeper inclines! But definitely never disappoints. It’s an amazing workout with beautiful views.

The Gila trail is not marked. I mentioned to ranger at the end of my hike. His reply was that it is a ‘social trail and the sticker must’ve fallen off’. Great hike. I was a little concerned about getting lost bc of poor signage.

mountain biking
6 months ago

Bursera is a cool loop. Great workout on foot and mtn biking. Nice cliffs and fun to catch this loop coming down from the north trails.

Nice easy trail that was quick and perfect for a weekday morning. Very little traffic and little shade. There was a good, short incline at the end

8 months ago

I didn’t think it has many great views. compared to other trails in south mountain trails. It was little boring.

10 months ago

Beautiful hike, tougher than expected. Some great views of the valley to the south, the mountains in the west and downtown Phoenix to the north.

Note the elevation profile, if you suffer from restless leg syndrome and need a good workout, hang a right and go north first for a steep initial climb, otherwise hang a left and go west for a gradual climb and a steep decline at the end.

10 months ago

good trail without lots of loose rocks and sand

Excellent views, well-marked, well-maintained trail. Definitely recommend! A little more off the beaten path, especially on the second half, than Pyramid trail. I was mostly alone, passing just a few people, during peak hours on a Saturday.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

From the parking lot I measured over 10 miles. Steep section has a lot of loose rock.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

I agree with the earlier comment that clockwise is a bit easier. Great scenery. Take plenty of water. We peeked inside the caves; saw a few bats and wasps but nothing terrible. Overall a fairly strenuous but beautiful hike.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Enjoyable trail. Provides plenty of opportunity to get your heart rate up. I would say it is moderate because most of the grades are not unreasonably steep. Counter-clockwise would make it more difficult. Going that way you climb about 1000' in just over a mile. Nice views. It has something for everyone.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pretty hard for me. Wouldn't recommend this as a "trail run".

trail running
Friday, June 02, 2017

Steep hills and steep declines. Great training run.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wow. Coming from Ohio where there is 1 hill in our town then hiking Bursera was an experience. We started up the right side of the loop. The zig zags were definitely hard compare to telegraph Pass earlier in the week. We finally made it to the peak after a 2 or so hours. Then we started to make our way back down. Lots of loose stone and narrow passes. The climb down wraps almost all the way to the East end of the Mountain. Then we begin climbing back up another ridge. Around 7 miles we knew we bit of more than we couple chew. Bring Baby Powder. Through it all we got absolutely perfect views of Phoenix and saw really cool old Mine Shafts heading up the zig zag portion. If you are young and dumb I recommend this trail, but bring plenty of water and snacks. Luckily it was only 77 in May when we went.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Been on this trail a few times. It's perfect for doggie hikers. Not too many ppl. Make SURE to take lots of water for your fur baby if you do the entire loop & I use dog booties too to protect their paws

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

This hike is pretty amazing if you do the full loop up National. I've done it in September and January. It was brutal in September because there is absolutely no shade. Bring lots of water. January was perfect. Overcast with light sprinkle. The descent is pretty rough as it is narrow and steep with a lot of loose rock/gravel. I ran into a snake in September and a pack of coyotes and bees in January. The wildlife is always out and about. They all kept to themselves when I stopped and respected their area.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

good trail with many ups and downs meaning my legs got a workout. lots of loose rocks, so be careful.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016

Loved all the saguaros but I'm not used to the unshaded desert environment. The sun is pretty harsh, even in November. This is definitely a moderate hike, with the most difficult climb at the beginning (left at the first fork).

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Great trail with awesome views. There's some loose rock on your way down the steep path, so if are with young children be very careful. I think I heard a rattler in the distance, so be aware that there might be snakes. Once you get to the top you won't be disappointed.

Monday, October 10, 2016

I'm a new hiker so the toughest part of this trail was going back. Going back over this trail was a challenge. I think the fact there are as many back to back climbs on the return is what makes it a little tricky.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

The Bursera/Gila loop is a great trail to hike when getting your wind up after being inactive for a few years. If you want to climb right off the bat, take Bursera (left fork) from the Chandler Blvd. parking lot. If you want to establish a good pace before the climb, take Gila (right fork) through the wash from the parking lot. Very quiet and awesome views.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Good hike bring water
Once you get in a ways it's nice and quiet watch for rattlers

on Bursera Trail

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Great views and a good workout! Sunset was beautiful too!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Love this trail, have only accomplished the Bursera Gila Trail loop. I don't know who rated this moderate, it's a great workout and challenge for me. Beautiful views.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Great trail. I have hiked a loop of Bursera-National-Pyramid, which works out to 10-11 miles, and it's probably my favorite hike on all of South Mountain. Great views of the Lost Ranch from Bursera. Great parking lot at the trailhead, too. Highly recommend!

on Bursera Trail

Thursday, November 05, 2015

I use this trail to challenge myself to keep up a decent pace on the uphill! I've only hiked the ridge section adjacent to the Chandler Blvd parking area. Goal is to explore more of the trail during this winter season! I love the open view without much city-scape! Seems more like wilderness but it's close to home!

on Bursera Trail

Thursday, February 19, 2015

did a modidified bursera

went out pyramid

did national along the ridge

then buserea back to parking lot at the end of w chandler

great day double summit once on pyramid once on bursera

you can avoid the second sumitt by taking gila trail back to the cars

Monday, March 31, 2014

Good view when on the upper edge of the mountains

Saturday, October 19, 2013

This is a great trail, especially if you enjoy solitude. The first mile you will see many hikers, but once it gets steep and rocky it weeds them out. The trail follows a series of switchbacks to a ridge line, then descends down.

The Busera trail is well marked, including mileage markers. You will notice a trail to the north as you are winding down the trail the Busera trail. This is a nice way to get back to complete the loop.

At the mile post at like 2.4 miles, you'll see the trail that goes east, and is not marked. This is the Gila trail, and will get you back the direction you came.

Overall a great trail, very quiet, secluded, etc. I'll be back!

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