Camelback Mountain via Echo Canyon and Cholla Trail

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Camelback Mountain Park

Camelback Mountain via Echo Canyon and Cholla Trail is a 4.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Paradise Valley, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from October until May.

Length4.8 miElevation gain2,618 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsWalkingViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyScrambleNo shadeNo dogs
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Tips

Dogs aren't allowed on Camelback Mountain. Distinctive and dominant on the Phoenix landscape, Camelback Mountain is just begging to be conquered. The two different routes to the 2,680ft summit offer different challenges, and both are featured in this guide. Echo Canyon is the popular route, which ascends 1,400 foot up the western side of the mountain in just over a mile. The journey quickly becomes a real leg-burner but delivers some good hiking experiences and a varied terrain. The Cholla trail heads up a well maintained trail on Camelback's east flank, but becomes a challenging and technical ascent upon reaching the ridgeline. This fun 1.3 mile route becomes increasingly rocky and precipitous, and though the conditions here are not extreme, we'd certainly urge caution and wouldn't recommend this route for young children or folk with a strong aversion to heights. Elevation gain: - Approx. 1,300ft (from 1,450 - 2,680ft)

Tips: - The journey to the summit of Camelback can take longer than you might think, and we'd strongly recommend carrying water. - Some may find the Cholla trail to be difficult - proceed with care and always be prepared to turn back. - Parking is restricted at both trailheads - take heed of posted signs to avoid tickets and respect property owners.

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Reviews (1,614)
Photos (4,622)
Activities (1,336)
Completed (5,197)
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Michael Howard
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Hiking

Hot

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Lisa Vipond
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Hiking

Started too late in the day as it was 90+ out. Echo trail has no shade and it was the first that we all forgot our water. All in all we should have done a sunrise hike instead of sunrise yoga then hike. Will be back later tonight or early tomorrow!

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Katie Kniat
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HikingGreat!
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Erik Leff
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Hiking

Try to time an off-peak hike... rocky, challenging hike leading to excellent views.

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Grant D
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Hiking

Get here before 7am and parking will be manageable. Otherwise you may wait a while. Packed hike.

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Lloyd Schulman
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Hiking

Amazing , must get there before sunrise to see the sunrise. got to trail head around 5:30am parking was almost full.

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Dasha Ignatova
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Hiking

Busy trail. More like rock climbing with rocky steps. Make your own trail out of the rocky path. Full 360 degree view at the top. Totally worth the work.

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michael koutney
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HikingGreat!

great trail right in town, we loved the big rocks and scramble. great views, plenty of places to kick it at the top. safety is key, we ventured off trail a few yards but it does have some gnarly cliff drops.

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John Moffat
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HikingGreat!

Great trail! Come early to get parking. Very busy! Good views! The Cholla Trail, going down (East off the summit) had trail closed signs. We ignored them and went down anyway. There was not any active trail maintenance going on. We suspected they were just trying to keep hikers from going down into that neighborhood.

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Kaytee Kelly
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Jessica Houser
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Hiking

We made it!!! Awesome

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T H
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HikingClosedGreat!No shadeRockyScramble

Really interesting, fun, and intense trail. Only half of the trail is open so you can only make it up the first peak. You will be doing a lot of climbing up steep rocks. Some can be slippery so good traction shoes are a good idea. Very heavily trafficked with only a handful of people wearing masks. No shade. View at the top was nice. Parking is very challenging. Lot fills up early and closes off. No nearby street parking. We had to park maybe a mile away in a residential area and walk from there. Nearby residential areas are all estates that don't allow street parking. Took less than a hr and a half to do the shortened hike. Highly recommend. Bathrooms available

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TRex Herr
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Hiking

Always a great hike.

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Erin O'Brien
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HikingGreat!

Such a challenging, yet rewarding hike! I did it for the first time today, and it took about an hour and 40 minutes. There were tons of hikers, so if you’re not feeling comfortable being in close contact with others right now with COVID, probably this isn’t a good hike for you. But, it was so much fun! Bring lots of water, good shoes, snacks, patience for others, and a friend to cheer you on & encourage you!

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Susan Jarvie
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HikingGreat!

Arrived at 7:30 am on a Friday and the parking lot was already closed. The trail was like a freeway but everyone was courteous. It’s a great workout!

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Al E
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Great hike. Definitely not easy. I took hiking shoes and they’re good for better grip. I don’t recommend hiking poles cause you will need your hands a lot. Going down was a lot easier. Saw some people with small kids...I wouldn’t personally recommend bringing them as it might be a bit challenging for them.

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Andrea Cagle
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HikingGreat!No shadeRockyScramble

2020 - All the way up ! You are rock climbing! Use strategic moves and don’t get distracted. Focus on your climb so that you avoid injury. It is extreme but well worth it. The more you work for something the better it is in my opinion. It’s not too far luckily so it’s feasible but difficult. You MUST wear trail shoes for climbing up these rocks. You definitely do not want to slip! Do not go it you do not have shoes with a good grip or go buy some. It is a must. Also, there is no shade so wear a hat , sunscreen , etc. I went up on a foggy day in the winter which, unfortunately had no good views but I could only imagine what it would be like in the hot sun with no shade. I believe I would wear some lite weight hiking pants also to avoid scratching up my legs. I remember when I went up thinking I wished I had a pair of climbing gloves or gloves with the fingers out. When you are grabbing onto the rock it hurts your hands a little. You definitely rough up your hands a bit. If there isn’t an age limit I would say definitely not for little kids. They could get seriously injured or you’d have to carry them all the way which it’s hard enough carrying yourself. Cant relax and enjoy it with kids because you’d be too worried about their safety. Maybe a mature/ responsible 10 yr old and up but not a group of kids. It’s something to be proud of once it’s in the books considering the sign says it’s extremely difficult. Another positive to going in the winter is avoiding insects , snakes, etc. - good shoes with grip! (A must) -sunblock / insect repellent - gloves with fingers out (for pulling up on the rocks) -hat! -scarf (multi purpose) -backpack with WATER! (Bladder bag) First aid kit, camera, etc. (carry nothing loose, nothing dangling around your neck, out away phone, camera , etc.) -hiking pants, some come with zipper to convert into shorts.

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Quinn Gurn
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Hiking

Excellent hike

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Christopher Garofalo
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Isaiah Bawek
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Richard Merryman
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Nir J
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