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 be misguided by this popularity. Climbing this mountain is quite a challenge, but hiking Camelback Mountain in the summer is feat! Here is my recap of our weekend road trip to Arizona.
Weekend Road Trip Preparations
Our road trip to Arizona was a success! A smooth and an enjoyable ride it was. For these weekend getaways, it is important to take the necessary precautions to prepare your vehicle for long drives in the heat. Here is my previous blog article I wrote about prepping for a weekend roadtrip. I recommend hitting the road early, to avoid the heat and traffic.
Camelback Mountain: Elevation: 2707 feet Location: Scottsdale, AZ Paradise Valley area DIRECTIONS
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 encounter 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 real challenge. This will be our first time ever hiking Camelback Mountain on this lovely hot weekend in June.
We soon found out, however, that our morning hike didn’t start early enough as the thermometer proceeded to rise quickly by 10 a.m. We set out with our water jugs, backpack and cameras for the hiking journey.
This hiking trail has lots of variation as it is full of lose rocks, large boulders, and offers lovely views! TIP: It is a good idea to wear gloves if you are hiking here in the summer heat. They will help protect your hands when holding on the hot railings and climbing the hot boulders.
Here are some more highlights of this incredible hiking trail.
There are some advantages to hiking in the desert during the Summer as you have significantly less crowds to deal with.
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.
Be very cautious if you hike this trail during summer months (heat exhaustion / heat stroke); please plan accordingly. 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 (One gallon per person)
- 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! There is no better way to reward yourself after hiking Camelback Mountain in the Summer! 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.
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