Camelback Mountain Via Cholla Trail

HARD 1098 reviews
#2 of 2 trails in

Camelback Mountain Via Cholla Trail is a 2.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Phoenix, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from September until May.

DISTANCE
2.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,158 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no shade

no dogs

Trailhead is on Cholla Lane. Parking available on Invergordon Street. Make sure to bring plenty of water.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 day ago

Great, challenging hike. One of the first cars parked off Invergordon this morning at about 5:30AM. I would recommend getting started early on this hike, as the temps are starting to spike quickly, supposed to be 99 degrees today. As you get closer to the peak, look for blue dots that are spray painted on the rocks, follow these for the best route to the top. Dogs are not allowed on the trail. I attempted this hike almost 20 years ago and did not make it, so I was pretty excited for the view at the top. Have fun!

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 days ago

Hiked up echo canyon, down cholla, up cholla, then back down echo canyon. Beware of bees. Great views of the city. Please be mindful of others on the trail and don’t blast your music. Bring plenty of water and don’t forget to take a pic for your mom at the top. Echo canyon is harder than Cholla in my opinion.

scramble
8 days ago

Great fast hike with scramble to the top. lots of people hiking, did it 3x

rocky
scramble
9 days ago

Went up this way..rated extremely difficult last 1/3 of the way...pretty challenging with some scrambled. Absolutely stunning and worth going to the top. Went back down via echo...equally challenging in a different way.

hiking
13 days ago

This hike is a warm up for avid hikers. I don’t consider it difficult at all. My boyfriend hikes it with a 40 lb weight vest for fun. It may become difficult for those that don’t exercise, wear the wrong shoes, and hardly bring any water. Wear the right shoes people and bring plenty of water because you’re in Arizona. Also, please stop blasting your music like you’re in a club, nobody wants to hear your music so wear headphones. Camelback is pretty but way too many people there to enjoy it fully. Try it in the summer time when it’s 113 degrees. You’ll only see a few people on the mountain and you’ll get your exercise in because nobody is in your way. Thanks Camelback!

hiking
13 days ago

A favorite of mine.

16 days ago

It's little slippery. Need to carry more water during the trail.

hiking
rocky
scramble
24 days ago

This was a fun hike and definitely more challenging than any other we encountered while in AZ. The first 2/3 of the hike were switchbacks with occasional narrow paths with drop offs. The last 1/3 was challenging and essentially involved climbing over boulders. We hiked the first 2/3 with a 2 year old in a carrier but didn’t feel it was safe to take her the rest of the way. My husband and I switched off going to the summit. Took about 15 mins to reach the top. Beautiful views. Recommend going early in the morning because there is no shade and the parking can be horrible. Was about a .25 mile walk to the trailhead. We arrived around 715 am on a Tuesday and had to park quite a ways away but it just added to the length of the hike!

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
26 days ago

Not a super difficult hike. Lots of bees so be careful. Easy to complete under 2 hours. Scramble at top is a bit tricky so you could turn around at the helicopter pad area. A bit of a walk to the trail head from where you can park.

hiking
rocky
26 days ago

hiking
rocky
27 days ago

Awesome trail, bring a backpack and lots of water and a wet towel too! Definitely hiking again

no shade
rocky
28 days ago

This was a great hike! Really wish I'd have gotten there earlier to avoid the crowds, but it wasn't possible. Time didn't permit me to make it to the top, but still a very enjoyable hike with great views.

hiking
28 days ago

Thoroughly enjoyed this hike! The upper quarter of the trail gets challenging (at least for a midwesterner like myself). Great views from the top! It was more heavily trafficked than I was expecting. I would recommend going as early in the day as possible.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Great work out! The trail was pretty tough for me. My husband did much better. The rock climbing at the very top portion was scary, but worth it! Our 11 yr old boys made it all the way to the top also. Bring PLENTY of water! Took us 3 hrs from start to finish.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

My first rated hard hike and it definitely was! Never done a trail like this but it’s doable. It took me over an hour to get to a little over a mile with breaks, waiting for people to pass and photos. Don’t underestimate how long it will take! Going down will be take less time but still a lot of places you have to be carful on. I went on a Saturday a little after 8:30 and already a ton of people. I think I brought 24oz of water and drank it all. Got a sunburn, no shade and no clouds which I think would be a typical day. Would absolutely do it again.

1 month ago

I did this hike with my 1 year old on my back on Mother’s Day in 2003. This is the best you can get in Phoenix! Fun and pretty easy.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike is a blast and views are incredible! This is one of the most fun, exciting, and high cardio hikes I’ve done! My brother was leading, and we booked it to the top and made it up in about 40 minutes. It was a workout for sure! We went up Cholla and down Echo Canyon. I would highly recommend doing both sides if you can get a ride!

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

The summit tells the story here. Perhaps the finest view of The Valley of the Sun!!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Great workout and awesome views from the top. My daughter is 31 and I’m 51. We are both pretty active. This was a tough hike. Wear good hiking shoes, bring plenty of water, and go early to avoid the crowds of people who make this their “fitness walk.” Otherwise you’ll have chatty women surrounding you and st the tough parts, you’ll be waiting for a clear trail as others come downhill. I would not bring children on this hike. Their are steep drop offs that would make me nervous. Took us 2 hours 10 minutes due to the crowded conditions.

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

This trail isn’t as physically challenging as it is mentally challenging. That’s not to say that aspects of it are not challenging, but your fear is the biggest limitation. That sounds hippie dippy, but for a first timer you’ll get it once you’re in the moment. There were points in which I seriously considered turning back (twice), but the nearby hikers were very encouraging and gave me tips to help manage my footing as I went up and down. When you do make it to the top, make sure to come down the correct path. I almost ended up on Echo a few times. While going up, do not look down. It’ll trip you up.

My recommendations are the same as most: wear shoes with good traction, bring plenty of water, and use a backpack to allow your hands to be free for climbing. Oh, and please wear sunscreen! There was a poor teen/college age girl on the trail who clearly didn’t want to be there and she was burnt to an absolute crisp.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent hike and views, but a very crowded. If you’re okay with crowds you’ll love it. If not, go early.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

I got there just as the sun had risen. Not too many hikers, but by 9am, I probably encountered an easy 100 going up, many of them teens and children under the age of 12. The hike provided some incredible views. The immediate elevation gain was a bit tough on my 70 yr. old body. A lot of rocks. Take plenty of water and wear hiking shoes. Near the end, I was glad I had my hiking shoes. There was some serious scrambling over large rocks. I was afraid of the heights because the ones near the top are pretty steep. As usual, the other hikers were super friendly and helpful, especially when I wasn’t exactly sure where parts of the trail were. The top offered a fantastic view all around! There were 20-30 hikers up there, and everyone seemed to be helping take photos. The height up there didn’t bother me as badly as the steep scrambling did.
But I’m glad I went. It was a great day!

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike. Challenging, breathtaking, and fun! Great views at the top!

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

Did this trail three weeks ago. Cholla side I found less enjoyable than the echo side. There is less scramble, but the scramble at the end is a little scarier. The parking is not ideal as you park along a busy road and walk into a residential neighborhood to get to the trailhead. Views at the top are really nice tho as always!

hiking
1 month ago

Parking was a bit of a challenge. The hike itself was great! It was a great workout and a lot of fun.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a great hike. Then we got to the rocky parts. That made it even better. This is my favorite trail in Phoenix. The only downside is the parking but it’s worth it even if you have to wait for a spot.

hiking
1 month ago

Can’t do this hike enough. Usually take Echo up and Chollo down but the rain seemed to make the thought of bouldering on Echo scarier than usual so did Chollo up and down. It poured for a third of the hike but a good rain jacket handled it just fine. The view of the rain over the surrounding valleys was mesmerizing.

hiking
1 month ago

I only had time to get to the helicopter pad. Did not make it to the summit because I was by myself and had a ride coming for me sooner than the full climb would allow.
This is a challenging hike/rock scramble for me. I will be better prepared next time. I was nervous that I would be off the trail. It is not the type of hike that has all defined paths. There are times when you are unsure where to go. At least if there are others around you can see where they are heading or where they have been. I’ll definitely return to do the summit. From the heli pad to the summit appears to be all rock scramble. Make sure to wear hiking shoes and bring water. I found it helpful to have gloves as well and lightweight long pants for some crawling.

hiking
1 month ago

This is definitely a "must-do" hike for a reason! The scenery is gorgeous the whole way and it is a fun challenge. As the other reviews say, get out early because the crowds and sun will be intense. Many parts of the hike cannot have in and out traffic so if you go later in the day expect to stop a lot to allow others to go up or down. You can't park at the trailhead so you have to walk down a .2 mi residential street to get to the trailhead. The first half is a couple of switchbacks and a moderate incline. The last half mile is pretty much straight up and you have to rock climb but nothing crazy. Wear hiking boots or boots with good traction because some parts can be slippery from loose pebbles, especially on the decline. I think it's manageable for all levels of fitness and ages but if you have a fear of heights, the end may be a bit much!

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Really nice scenery! And can get very packed specially on weekends at noon. The last part of the trail you have to be climbing the rocks so I found that to be extremely fun (tiring as well tho) Be careful in the way down to prevent sliding! I saw few people having trouble going down.

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