Camelback Mountain Via Cholla Trail

HARD 1,054 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

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

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.

1 day ago

Great trail with amazing views of Scottsdale. Bit of a scramble at the end

hiking
13 days ago

The right kind of difficult. Make sure to bring plenty of water though, even if you start early.

15 days ago

Great hike with a beautiful view at the top. Challenging but worth it. Go early to avoid the heat and brings lots of water!

trail running
24 days ago

This used to be my go to hike/trail run but over the years it has become so congested that I have shifted to outside of the city. That being said, it’s a well worn trail with consistent elevation rise and the view at the top is hard to beat. It’s not for beginners and despite this, so many visitors go on this because of the easy access location . Be prepared because it tends to get frustrating for those that hike and run trails regularly. Go early as there is no shade from the sun and you will beat the crowds.

trail running
25 days ago

Fantastic challenging hike that leads to a great view at the top. Can get very hot during the day so it's best to go early and bring enough water

hiking
30 days ago

This trail was difficult but definitely worth the challenge! 2/3 of the way up is almost entirely comprised of boulders to climb so I would suggest wearing lighter and more flexible shoes, sturdy hiking boots are not necessary and will likely slow you down.

hiking
1 month ago

I do like this hike but would rather do echo.

1 month ago

Awesome hike. Well marked unless you're myself on the way down. Definitely for more experienced hikers or more driven people in general. Beautiful views of wildlife and the city.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

2 months ago

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

2 months ago

great hike, go early and bring water

2 months ago

Great trail. Great challenge.

3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 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.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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
3 months ago

This was an amazing hike but quite difficult near the top where the trail disappears where the boulders and rocks take over. Was glad there were others around to watch where the choose to go to get over the boulders. But, once you reach the top, wow! Coming down was much easier.

hiking
3 months ago

It's an okay hike. There are nice views the whole way - very exposed and a lot of sun which I suppose isn't surprising as it's in Phoenix. The downside is it's very crowded and it's a lot of hikers that seemingly don't hike very often and aren't aware of the others hiking around them.

3 months ago

Extremely difficult bring lots of water and get ready for a challenge and a great reward

hiking
3 months ago

We enjoyed this hike...a little rock climbing towards the top. Nice views, early is better to avoid crowds and get a parking place.

hiking
4 months ago

It’s really not that hard but it’s not a tourist attraction without water and wearing flip flops either.
Exposed 100% of the time so bring sun protection and plenty of water. I personally use my hands a lot so free hands are recommended. A small and light camelback is ideal. No poles.
Finished it before 9AM on a Sunday and it wasn’t too busy or too hot. Just perfect. Temp in the low 80s.

hiking
4 months ago

Fine hike. Last 1/3 of a mile is up rocks. Lots of people on the hike. Cool views. Nothing earth shattering to see, but good exercise.

4 months ago

Been hiking for 9 years now and so far, THE BEST ONE EVER. Not for beginners, but definitely worth it for every hiker if he/she can make it to the top.

4 months ago

Challenging!

4 months ago

What a great day! The second part of trail is essentially rock climbing but very rewarding at the top!

hiking
4 months ago

This trail was a lot of fun and challenging. It felt like I was rock climbing as you get to the top. I would call this a trail loosely because there is no visible trail. You end up following blue dots sprayed on rocks that mark the best route. It seemed dicey at times but the view from the top is worth it.

4 months ago

it's an urban hike. expect lots of people and city views. it's a good one

Load More