Explore TD - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
3 days ago

Love, love, love this trail. It's a must-do, essential for any passionate hiker in the Phoenix vicinity. ...or any surfers. :) Everyone needs a pic of themselves "riding the wave" at some point to use as desktop wallpaper.
The hike itself is fairly easy, though the last part up to the cave is the most challenging, hence the "moderate" rating. But it's absolutely something you can do, because YOU HAVE TO! Your reward isn't just the view, but the cool air in the cave. It's remarkably cooler. Be sure to bring a lot of water if it's warm out because there's no shade along the way.

Nice hike for the average adult. my little dog did the hike also. Great views!

hiking
8 days ago

Very Short, very heavily tracked, but absolutely beautiful!

hiking
16 days ago

We have 4 kids- 9, 7, 6, and 2. The bigger kids could do most of it all on their own. A few times we had to hold their hand but they loved it. There are a few cooler spots with small streams to play in. Beautiful scenery. The 2-year-old had to be held most of the time and passed between my wife and me, but we made it.

This hike is super well marked and highly trafficked. I tried getting to the top twice but the part where you essentially have to rock-climb freaked me out a little so I turned around. If you have anxiety / fear of heights the ascent to the top may not be your jam - but you can always turn around before that (there’s a helicopter landing area which makes a nice turnaround) while still getting the amazing views.

Gotta love this Hike!
It starts out rather easy but about half way you do get a little bit of an incline through big rocks yet it's not crazy difficult to get up to the Cave.
On the day hiked it there was another family with about 6 kids ranging from 14 to maybe 7 years of age, so yeah, if kids can do so it, why cant you!?
Anyhow, the sights from the top are quite nice and definitely one cool cave to go see!

Great hike. Might be hard for young children.

hiking
20 days ago

Awesome hike with a beautiful "rain forest" in the desert.

hiking
20 days ago

No trail to follow. Stay along the creek until you get to the large boulders. Once your at the area where there are several flat water falls, turn right and follow creek until you get to the area where the large water fall is with the tree branch sticking out.

hiking
21 days ago

I would not call this a hiking trail, more like boulder climbing all the way to the bridge. I hike three times a week and this is not moderate, I would give this a very hard rating. There was no enjoyment for me taking this route to the bridge. This may be enjoyable for some people, just be prepared if you decide to go here. Also, be very careful when you get to the bridge, very slippery and dangerous rocks. If you are going there to see the bridge I would recommend the Gowan trail, short and steep. It is very beautiful there, but I will not be going back.

Beautiful area. There are veins of deep green rock mixed in with the granite in layers. It is a short hike but beautiful. 7/15 is the one year anniversary of the flash flood that took ten lives in one family. There is a family memorial at the edge of the parking lot listing the names and ages of the ten that were lost in the flood. My wife and I walked to the end of the trail to see the water wheel. It is actually by the parking lot. Did some research on the wheel. The web say the wheel was used in the early 1900s by a gold miner named James Greer who used it to power an ore crusher. Nice to see a little history.

hiking
1 month ago

Good short trail, open as of 7/14/18, but the water is very brown and muddy from rain. Not much flowing water yet.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice hike with great views in my opinion. The jagged rocky terrain make for a challenging hike. I would say it is similar to Piestewa. There were swarms of flying bugs near the top area with the flag so we weren't able to see the flag much. Very disappointing.

Beautiful!

Fun trail, great views, gets hot fast, go early.

hiking
1 month ago

We enjoyed mountain therapy and had a great hike on the Fourth of July! For the trailhead, look for mile marker #4400, which is right off of the paved road a few hundred feet away from the Steward Observatory. On the way back to the trailhead we took Mt. Lemmon Trail #5, which has a moderate designation; there was a bit of an incline with some rocky parts but quite manageable for adults with average health. I recommend Mt. Lemmon Trial #5 for the return hike because of the great scenery. Be sure to take a detour to visit the fire ranger’s lodge. Fire ranger Jeff was very friendly and invited us into his lodge for a chat. He shared with us how he “catches fire” around Mt. Lemmon with a cool giant compass looking instrument. Overall, I recommend this hike for hikers of all levels.

To the person who attempted to break into my car while I was on this hike - you are scum. You deserve the absolute worst and it’s people like you that the world doesn’t need. How awful are you. The fact that you couldn’t even break a window with a rock says a lot about the type of criminal you are. You deserve a spot in hell. For all of you who are planning to do this hike - please be aware there is someone out there attempting to break into your vehicle while you are out in your hike.

great hike, go early and bring water

Great trail. Great challenge.

Closed today

I really love this trail. Echo canyon is even more fun on the other side of Camelback Mountain.

Great views and a lot of bouldering! This made for some good exercise and a great father-daughter outing on Father’s Day. The trail is really well marked, even in places where a marker couldn’t be placed there was blue paint or reflectors directing you.

The reason I did not like this trail was because there were so many people (even in the heat of summer on a holiday, people who are native to Scottsdale use the trails for exercise). Yes, they’re respectful of the trail and are friendly, but I prefer trails with less activity. My personal opinion.

If you choose to do this trail in April-October go in the early morning or late evening. Be sure that you have great close-toed hiking shoes; going uphill is easy, but going downhill made me cringe. Steep ascent/descent. Also, be careful of bees near the top. If you’re allergic, I don’t suggest hiking all the way to the top. I got stung for the first time in my life and there were dozens of them. Finally, be sure to bring more water than you think you’ll need. We arrived as a bunch of ambulances and firetrucks did because a person had to be carried off of the mountain; he had heatstroke.

Do you pay when you get there or do have to purchase a permit online? And 9 dollars per person or vehicle?

hiking
2 months ago

It was such a nice hike!! Not too difficult just towards the end there’s about a 3/4 a mile of just steep hiking and I’m in relatively good shape! Bring lots of water and go early it’s HOT out!!

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty good view from either the first false peak before the scrambling begins or from the top if you decide to make the climb. The difficulty of this hike really should be adjusted especially due to the length the out and back aspect makes it quite easy and a huge amount of the scramble path is well marked by blue dots. In fact if you have good core strength it is entirely possible to do it hands free. For anyone who was curious like I was beforehand, this is only a class 2 hike.

Not a bad little hike for being in the middle of the city. Trail wasn't too crowded, only took 36 m in n to summit took my time coming down. Deffinently go early and beat the heat and bring water. I would not say this is a very hard hike, though the last little bit is a little technical.

I do the majority of my hiking on South Mountain and frankly its hard to find a trail that challenges you like this one does. Cholla Trail is a short sweet challenge that combines hiking, single track, climbing and great views over heights. From Parking it's about 3/4 mile to the trail head and makes for a good warm up. I went Memorial day afternoon and the traffic was light.

I did Flat Iron a few days before and that made this hike more difficult than I thought but it's a good change of pace from South Mountain. I think this trail is comparable to Echo in that it gets steep in places on the upper half to where you're climbing and scrambling.

Rocked the Brooks on this one and did just fine. Only brought one 16 oz water as it wasn't so hot in the late PM - probably a second bottle would have been wise.

Great trail. Fairly moderate until you reach a few hundred feet of the summit and then some use of the hands is required. Overall not a terribly difficult hike (if you are an active hiker and in adequate shape). Heard from others that Echo is a steeper trail.

The trail was a great workout...especially in the 100 degree weather...bring enough water, in summer months you are better off going earlier in the morning when it's cooler. Whole hike took us about 1 hour 30 minutes going at a decent pace. Ended up hiking in early afternoon and heading down the mountain we were the only ones on the trail. This was definitely because of rising temperatures but Cholla also sees less foot traffic than Echo from what I've been told and from what we saw today. Unreal 360 degree views of Phoenix and the surrounding valley from the summit.

If you’re new to the Valley and want to get to the top of Camelback - this would be the easier trl to use. Do this first. Then next time do Echo. It is a lot harder.

hiking
2 months ago

wonderful hike with beautiful views! we missed the gate to get to the cave so we got a little lost. could use better signage but otherwise a great hike :) we went in february and it was still moderately hot (at least compared to the subzero weather we were used to in north dakota) we forgot water and there is nowhere to get water there fyi. trail gets steep and challenging right before you reach the cave. the cave makes for a great spot to relax and cool down before heading back. amazing views from the cave!

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