ElevationAscent: 901' 275 m
Descent: -612' -187 m
High: 1,881' 573 m
Low: 1,310' 399 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (5°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
Popular rides nearby
East National Loop
9.7 mi 15.6 km • Loop • 1,042 ft Ascent 317.46 m Ascent
17.5 mi 28.2 km • Out and Back • 881 ft Ascent 268.48 m Ascent
19.3 mi 31.0 km • Loop • 2,323 ft Ascent 708.2 m Ascent
Trail 100 - Full Trail
21.2 mi 34.1 km • Loop • 1,570 ft Ascent 478.41 m Ascent
8.4 mi 13.6 km • Loop • 560 ft Ascent 170.61 m Ascent
Hawes Hot Lap
8.0 mi 12.9 km • Loop • 798 ft Ascent 243.17 m Ascent
“A stiff climb up to a fun romp along the ridgeline.”— C R John
Electric Mountain Bikes Allowed
Although generally wide and non-technical, this trail is definitely for intermediate level or better riders, as the switchbacks are tight and often steep. Some definite grunt climbs with a few overlooks to catch your breath and soak in the view. As you climb higher there will be just a few flatter or brief downhill sections interspersed with the climbs, and the view becomes more stunning. To the north you'll be able to look down into the Gila Valley on the neighboring Gila Trail and Lost Ranch Trail and ruins.
Much of the trail is just on the northern side of the ridgeline, but you'll have frequent viewpoints to the south affording expansive views across the Ahwatukee neighborhoods, agricultural fields of the Gila Indian community, and the rugged Estrella Mountains to the southwest. The flowing ridgeline sections of the trail are great fun. The exposure is not excessive, but this is Arizona where everything bitesanimals, plants, and rocksso be careful heading into some of the obscured turns.
The fun continues on the brake-squealing descent down the west side all the way to the bottom of the valley and through the wash to meet up with the Gila Trail. Take a right as Bursera and Gila Trails briefly merge, and then Bursera will branch off to the left heading upward for some more climbing. This section was formerly referred to as the Kebo Trail by those who were hiking the area before the official naming.
There will be more switchbacks near the top until you finally meet up with the west section of National Trail. This portion of National is pretty brutalsteep, rocky and loose, so unless youre relish the punishment, this makes a good spot to turn around and enjoy descent back down to the Gila intersection. If you are feeling a bit depleted a this point, consider making a loop and taking Gila Trail back as the climb to its saddle is easier.
Local mountain bikers came up with the name Bees Knees for this trail before the City of Phoenix officially named it Bursera for the rare Bursera microphylla plant, or more commonly referred to as the Elephant tree, found only in the northern section of the Sonoran desert.
Biked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features
Land Manager: City of Phoenix - Trails and Desert Preserves