Camelback Mountain: Elevation: 2707 feet Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Paradise Valley area DIRECTIONS
The Phoenix area is home to at least seven mountain summits for hikers and adventurers to enjoy. Camelback mountain stands out in the area as the ultimate mountain of mountains and although thousands visit this hiking trail annually, do not take this perception of the trail lightly.
You will find yourself starting at the Echo Canyon trailhead as you begin your ascension up. Your heart pace will begin raising almost immediately, so this hiking experience is an excellent cardio workout. However, caution must be taken if hiking this trail in the summer.
As you continue on further into the hike, you will be encountering several slickrock areas, boulders to maneuver through, and severely steep inclines! Some areas can be very slippery as well along with lose rocks, so take your time and be safe.
An adventure in the desert mountains is alone, an exciting venture to take on. Then add the heat element of 109 degrees to the equation and now you have a challenge. So, now our first time ever hiking Camelback mountain was on a lovely hot weekend in June.
Our road trip to Arizona went very smooth and was an enjoyable ride. We had our car prepared and ready to drive through the heat and here is my previous blog article I wrote about prepping for a weekend roadtrip. We awoke around 6:30am and enjoyed the morning as we ate breakfast, showered, and prepared for our morning hike.
We soon found out, however, that our morning hike didn’t start early enough as the thermometer proceeded to rise quickly by 10am. We set out with our water jugs, backpack and cameras for the hiking journey. Take a look at our recap video as we take on Camelback Mountain. Check out the trail terrain, the boulder rock path climbing, and some awesome views!
This hiking trail is so very cool and interesting as it offers lots of variety and climbing as well as smoother easier parts on the trails. From trees to cactus, and rock stair switchbacks to boulder rocks, its got lots of variety.
Here are some more highlights of this incredible hiking trail.
There are some advantages to hiking the desert in the Summer as you have significantly less crowds to deal with. And it is a good idea to wear gloves for protection from the hot railings and rocks when you need to use them to assist in climbing and balance.
However, the Fall and Winter seasons are perfect weather to hike this trail but be prepared to encounter crowded paths. I also returned to hike Camelback in December and had a much better experience since the temperature was much more comfortable. Here are some of my captions from my hiking adventure in Winter season 2018.
Be very cautious if you hike this trail during summer months (heat exhaustion / heat stroke); so plan accordingly. (At least a gallon of water per person.) Here are a few other things to remember when hiking Camelback Mountain:
- Wear hat or visor
- Use gloves for aiding in climbing and balance
- Drink plenty of water
- Wear light clothing
- Wear hiking shoes with grip
- Prepare for this hike and train with exercise to help you be conditioned for a successful hiking experience.
Interesting bit of history: A cave discovered on the north side of Camelback Mountain indicates that it was used as a sacred site by the prehistoric Hohokam Culture before they abandoned the area in the 14th century (Source: Wikipedia)
Now, after you’ve completed this incredible hiking adventure and are completely exhausted, this is the perfect time to treat yourself at a nearby spa! Enjoy a retreat at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa!
Local Tip Note: There is another trail path that is less steep, but is slightly a bit longer. This is the Cholla Lane Trail. This trail is a little less obvious to find and get to as you will need to park along Invergordon Road- between Cholla Lane and Camelback Road, since there is no parking at the trailhead. You will first walk north to Cholla Lane, then go westward and walk through a neighborhood to reach the trailhead.
Go outside and explore! Life Maximized!
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