Camelback Mountain Via Cholla Trail

HARD 773 reviews
#2 of 2 trails in

Camelback Mountain Via Cholla Trail is a 2.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Phoenix, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from September until May.

2.6 miles
1148 feet
Out & Back



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running


wild flowers




no dogs

Trailhead is on Cholla Lane. Parking available on Invergordon Street.

3 days ago

love this trail,

Love it!

5 days ago

Great hike, moderate climbing needed. once you get passed the hand rails on a 50 degree incline it gets tougher. the view from the top is great, bring lots of water.

7 days ago

I enjoy Echo Canyon Trail more than Cholla. No bathroom at the trailhead, parking is a pain, and I feel like the beginning of this hike is less scenic than Echo Canyon is. This side seems more exposed as well. Still a great hike that I’ve done a couple times but I would only recommend it to experienced hikers or those in good enough shape to complete. Bring plenty of water. Even on cool days it feels hot when the sun is hitting you.

8 days ago

The ridge up top is challenging. Look for trail signs. I kept doing it the hard way and I'd see trail signs after the fact.

Consider going doing Echo Canyon Trail once you reach the top. It's quite an effort over and back but I love it.

10 days ago

We did this trail as a large group including 4 kids on Christmas morning last year. It was challenging for the first timers but stunning views and well trafficked.

11 days ago

A little less crowded than Echo, but not as challenging.

12 days ago

I put activity as hiking but for the last part of the trail it’s basically rock climbing! Well marked for the most part but did get off trail (on accident) a few times. Best to do it during the winter as it stays fairly cool... you don’t have to be a master hiker to do this trail as lots of children did it but makes sure you have proper attire, footwear, and water. Can be difficult coming back down from the summit. Overall great hike/climb

13 days ago

Nice scramble and steeps.

15 days ago

well maintained trail with a nice view of the valley!

17 days ago

Super crowded so be prepared to have patience. No parking so need to park outside of the trail and walk.

There are narrower paths and climbs around boulders after trail marker 25. Keep an eye out for the blue markings to stay on the trail around the ridge boulders.
Best to go early am and cooler temps because there’s heat radiating from the boulders facing the sun. Hikers must be prepared with lots of water and food to keep your energy up during the climb to the summit.
Going down seems easier after getting familiar with the terrain and rewarding views at the summit. Expect to spend about 3 hours on this trail. Street Parking only on Invergorden then walk to the trailhead.

19 days ago

Everything people have said are true - it’s a very challenging hike. Even though the distance (in miles) is relatively short it does take a bit of time. There’s quite a bit of rock scrambling but the views are very rewarding at the top - you get a 360 degree of the surrounding area which is spectacular. There was quite a bit of traffic in the mid afternoon (after 2/2.30pm).
I’m not particularly fit (generally active lifestyle but office job with long hours, eat too much takeout and not a lot of regular exercise) so I needed to take more regular breaks on the hike - it took us 90 minutes to get up to the top and 75 minutes to get back down. It’s completely fine to go at your own pace provided you are respectful to others that want to go faster (or slower) than you. Car parking was hard to find so we had to walk a pretty long distance to get to the trailhead on Cholla Lane (perhaps a shorter pre-hike walk from the parking spot would have helped me to fare a bit better on the actual hike) - we saw some cars get tickets so be aware of the no parking zones.
I’m so glad we embraced the challenge and this has inspired me to do more hikes (and instill more discipline to become healthier in the new year).

19 days ago

Best hike! Very intimidating from the street and as you climb you think you are at the summit and then it turns and there is more. Extreme cardio workout. Lots of people only go half way because of intense uphill and complaining of vertigo.
The rock scramble is so fun and literally you bear crawl some parts. I was afraid of going down but I felt like a kid at the park, loved it. Took me and hubby 72 minutes to go up and 58 min to go down. Go for it! It is such an accomplishment.
Downside, parking was a pain, literally parked 1 mile away (on the street where it said no parking 6a-6p, but cars were parked there, so feared a ticket but didn’t get one) NO BATHROOMS anywhere, and trail was so crowded, you climb around people. Some advice, park at somewhere local and Uber to trailhead!

20 days ago

Echo is more of a challenge in my opinion but both get you to the top. I’d recommend going up Echo and then down Cholla.

20 days ago

Awesome experience. Three of us hiked on a February afternoon. The cooler temps were perfect. Amazing views from the summit and then took the other trail back enjoying the beautiful light of the sunset. Make sure you don't forget water and be ready to climb. Highly recommended!

21 days ago


23 days ago

Awesome views. Perfect Christmas Eve hike!

28 days ago

Great trail. It does end toward the top and there is some rock scrambling to get to the vista. Well worth the views, just be careful on the descent as there is some exposure before you connect back up with the trail.

29 days ago

good hike, last part to get to top of camelback is steap and risky.

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