Length: 3 miles
Descriptors: Singletrack, Climb, Steep, Twisty, Mild Tech, Ridgeline, Switchbacks, Steeper, Super Steep, HAB
Access: 19th Avenue and Chandler Blvd, Marker 33 off National
Options: Out-n-back, connects with: Gila, National
The Skinny: Pyramid is steep. Switchbacks and exposure all the way up or all the way down. Bring heart, legs, lungs, and prayers.
Pyramid Trail, aka Marker 33, aka Gila View, aka 620 (this trail has more names than a native Hawaiian.) I call it Olympus, because you have to be an MTB god to climb it. It was built at the same time as Bees (Bursera), by the VOAZ crew.
Unlike Bees, the trail builders had hikers in mind when they cut this trail. It’s narrow, steep, with super tight switchbacks, all the way to the top. The switchbacks get tighter and the pitch gets steeper as you ascend. There is nothing easy about Olympus. But who said getting to heaven would be easy?
For the average weekend warrior, Pyramid is not your destination trail. If you are looking for Hike-a-Bike practice… Olympus offers ample opportunity to carry, push and drag your bike to the top. I attempt the ascent about once a year. I always forget how tough the clime actually is, until I get .2 miles in to the .9 mile climb. The I remember.
There are a couple of ways you can get there: You can drop into Pyramid from National at Marker 33. The Marker 33 trail has been there for years. It ventured out to the rock Pyramid and ended before dropping down the mountain. It’s tight rugged singletrack, that has been slowly improved over the years. If you only want to go down, get there from Marker 33. (You’ll still have to get to National, and that means plenty of climbing)
You can also start at the 19th Ave & Chandler Blvd. Trailhead. There is a new parking lot with plenty of spaces to park and you cant miss the trailhead.