Hiking Camelback Mountain Offers Good Workout & Stunning Views

One of the (many) great things about living in Camelback Corridor is the convenient access to Camelback Mountain and its hiking trails.

Camelback Mountain is among the most recognizable parts of the Phoenix skyline, and holds the record for the city’s highest point. Being the highest point in the city gives a clue as to why the Camelback Mountain hiking trails are such a great workout.

There are two main hiking trails for Camelback Mountain – Echo Canyon Trail and Cholla Trail.

camelback mountain hikes

Echo Canyon Trail is more popular and approximately 1.2 miles each way. The Cholla Trail is not as steep and slightly longer at approximately 1.6 miles each way. The two trails join at the top of Camelback Mountain, so it is possible to hike up one trail and back down the second trail (just remember this makes for a much longer hike back to your car). Depending on who is doing the rating, both of these trails are considered moderate to strenuous hikes.

Echo Canyon Trail is currently closed and scheduled to reopen in Fall 2013. When the Echo Canyon Trail renovation is complete we’ll enjoy a renovated trail, new parking, and added mountain access. While Echo Canyon is closed you can still hike Cholla Trail.

Don’t let the current closure of Echo Canyon Trail dissuade you from hiking Camelback Mountain. The stunning 360 degree views at the top are absolutely worth the hike!

I’ve lived in Arcadia for decades and am a regular Camelback Mountain hiker, so let me share a few tips about hiking Camelback:

Hike early! Summer is fast approaching, and we’ve already hit three digit temperatures. Phoenix doesn’t cool off in summer evenings so the best time to hike is early morning. Early is the key term here because it is hot by 8 a.m. during the summer.

Bring lots of water and a few snacks.

Dogs (leashed) are allowed on Camelback trails. With summer bearing down on us take special consideration for your furry family members. The trails are rocky (keep in mind how quickly the rocks get hot) so consider paw protection (yes, I’m talking about shoes for your dog) if your dog’s paws are sensitive. Bring extra water for your dog (my dogs are also fans of the foldable, travel dog bowls for lapping up water on the go).

Parking can be a frustrating experience. If you’re not one of the lucky Camelback Corridor residents who live within walking distance of the trails, hitting the trails during less busy times (weekends are busier than weekdays) can help some with parking. It doesn’t help us in the current moment, but we can look forward to nicer parking options when the Echo Canyon renovation is complete.

Stay on the marked trails. This is even more essential now with Echo Canyon trail closed.

Last, but definitely not least, remember to take a moment to soak up the stunning views when you’ve reached the top of Camelback Mountain. Enjoy!

Hiking Camelback Mountain is just one of the many Camelback Corridor activities I enjoy. Leave me a comment below to share your own Camelback Mountain hiking tips and other hiking trails in the Camelback Corridor area that you like.


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