Camelback Mountain Via Echo Canyon Trail

HARD 1,568 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Camelback Mountain Via Echo Canyon Trail is a 2.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Scottsdale, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
2.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1423 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no shade

no dogs

Camelback Mountain is one of the most popular hiking and rock climbing destinations in Phoenix, Arizona and offers spectacular views of the Phoenix metropolitan area. The mountain is located in the Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area northwest of Scottsdale and between the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix and the town of Paradise Valley. The mountain was previously a Native American reservation and has special historical significance. The summit can be reached via two hiking trails: the Echo Canyon Trail or the Cholla Trail - both trails are strenuous and subject to extreme heat. Make sure to bring plenty of water as numerous people have died of heat stroke. The last half mile of the trail involves a rock scramble so proper footwear is key. Traffic is extremely heavy during the winter season on the Echo Canyon route so consider the Cholla Trail or other hiking trails in the Phoenix area. Visiting climbers might also be interested in The Praying Monk, a 100 foot rock formation depicting a monk who is praying.

Super tough yet equally rewarding hike!

This is an exciting rock scramble pretty much in the city. You get plenty of nice views, a great work out, and memories.

Great for all levels of hikers. For the less experienced be sure to bring LOTS of water and take breaks when you need to.

Word of advice for all when heading back down the mountain: don’t hike, fall with style!

hiking
11 days ago

Absolutely LOVED this! I will admit this trail is marked extremely hard for a reason. I am not an experienced hiker but I had a blast climbing up the rocks! Bottom part was honestly the hardest for me cardio-wise since it was basically incline walking. After the first couple sets of stairs and rock climbs it does get a bit easier to climb but be aware it it’s pretty much straight rock climbing to the very top. View was totally worth it! My body will be sore for a few days but I would love to do it again!!

hiking
16 days ago

First hike I did in Arizona. The views were absolutely amazing. A difficult trail, but that was my first time hiking all year, so if I can do it (and little kids can) anyone can!

hiking
17 days ago

It is amazing. Gotta do it. But it is rough.

18 days ago

If you only hike one trail in Scottsdale it’s got to be this one! This is a challenging rock scramble that rewards you with a beautiful view of the surrounding city at the top. It Can be especially challenging in high heat but during the winter and early spring this trail is still busy and much easier. Be prepared for a down climb that feels more like falling with style.

hiking
19 days ago

BE WARNED, 19/M/220lbs, Your average weight lifter. Hasn't hiked since 15.
1.I put myself in a really bad spot on this hike, i started at 5pm(my first mistake), I didn't bring enough water(2nd mistake), and i summited it to try and impress this beautiful girl(3rd mistake).
2. Made it to the top through great effort, didn't realize that the sun was going down, didn't have a flashlight, was delirious from lack of water/heat/exhaustion.
HOWEVER; this hike has reignited my passion for the outdoors and the mountains, ill be returning on the 8th, with gear......

hiking
20 days ago

Very intensive

28 days ago

Very intense, very beautiful. Glad I wore very grippy sneakers with rather stiff soles.
1hr up, including some photo and breathing stops. Same timing for the way down.

28 days ago

Great hike .. I would rate it moderate. Have done a couple times with my kids and friends and have enjoyed it equally both times. Beautiful views of the Phoenix area !

hiking
1 month ago

Located in scottsdale, camelback mountain is an extremely fun hike with beautiful view of the phoenix area.
This is considered a hard hike but if you are in good shape and like a hiit exercise then this is for you. Make sure you take plenty of water and hike either early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Trails are not covered by sub most of the time.

hiking
1 month ago

What's to say that hasn't already been said?
Iconic: Yes
Crowded: You bet
Challenging: Definitely - worth the Hard rating but when I see kids the age of 5 or 6 climbing to the top of this thing I think "recommended for very experienced adventurers" is a general guideline.

This is the most recognized hike in the Valley from what I have come to learn. It was my first hike when I moved here. I really like this hike even though it has the determined runners, back packers, dudes wearing altitude masks carrying weights, little kids (I brought mine 4, 10, 11, 13), sorority girls going selfie crazy at the top and everything in between.

The day I went the Police Helicopter was circling the top of the mountain toward Cholla Trail telling hikers to get back on the path. This bump is crazy and fantastic at the same time. This is the quintessential hike in the Valley and all the craziness is worth it.

If you can focus on the experience of what's going on and not the madness it creates then this is a great hike. I do and it is.

hiking
1 month ago

Fun trail and great climb. The views get even better as the hike goes on. The trail can be difficult at times and hard on the body but the summit was worth the climb. Very rewarding once you hit the top. Bring lots of water as the climb can be deceiving.

hiking
1 month ago

An extremely difficult but rewarding trail! The trail essentially breaks down into seven parts
1. Initial, winding switchback that can be seen from the parking lot. This is the easiest part of the ascent, but still can be difficult if unprepared.
2. A wooden staircase climb
3. Back-to-back guided handrail climbs. I highly recommend you use these handrails (even if you are a germaphobe!). There are sections where the rocks are extremely hard to navigate without the handrails. Also, because the trail is so crowded, there often times isn't a lot of room to roam around the middle when ascending.
4. Rock staircase #1 - steep and pretty long, but not the most difficult.
5. Rock staircase #2 - The steepest and longest of the three. This is definitely the most brutal part of the hike. It also teases you by having a small false summit about halfway up, so be prepared for that.
6. Rock staircase #3 - Arguably more difficult than the first rock staircase because you've already exerted so much effort climbing, but not as difficult as the second. Thankfully, it's not very long so it can be done in a few minutes.
7. The Summit!! I'm an experienced hiker in the Valley, and I think it is right up there with the views from Piestwa Peak, Dobbins Lookout @ South Mountain, and the top of Flatiron @ the Superstition Mountains. Definitely worth the pain!

Be prepared for this hike! I did it yesterday (5/22/2018) and a gentleman unfortunately broke his leg on the trail. To reinforce past comments:

1. I highly recommend bringing an entire liter of water. "Heat headaches" are a real thing, and the physical exertion needed to complete multiple difficult ascents (each requiring a very extended, steep climb)
2. PACE YOURSELF! The fastest I've done this hike is 70 minutes. I know several people in awesome shape (which I'm certainly not) who can do it in under 50. However, I really only see this done in the winter when it's nice and cool. I highly recommend taking this hike slowly, starting early in the morning (before 8:00 am) and stopping consistently for water breaks. This is essential for those who do not live here in the Valley and are not adjusted to the summer heat.
3. Wear hiking shoes or boots! There are many people who complete this trail in running shoes or cross-trainers, but it is an unnecessary risk. To say there are ample opportunities to slip and fall is an enormous understatement. This trail is as rugged and difficult as they come in the Phoenix area, so make sure your footwear reflects this!

I hope this doesn't scare anyone off because the sense of accomplishment after finishing Echo Canyon is truly euphoric. Amazing workout and amazing views!

1 month ago

wasn't able to complete it but I managed a little over 3/4ths of the while trail. you get to see some great sights, however there are parts of the trail which are substantially steep and rocky, requiring you to use all fours at times. if you're like me and gave bad knees, I wouldn't recommend it. if you can manage it, though, it's very beautiful! wish I could have made it to the top.

Some scrambling made it fun. Kind of busy and crowded. Good for conditioning but not much of a fan for this one. More a check in the box.

hiking
1 month ago

Would recommend! Great hike. Went up Echo and down through Chola trail! 2 hours and 10 minutes total! Echo is not for the faint of heart.

1 month ago

Tough hike that requires heavy amounts of climbing up large rocks but well worth it. Not for the faint of heart, though.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike!! We went at 5:30AM which was the best decision ever since it’s Arizona and it gets super hot by noon. The hike up took about 45 minutes. My husband and I are around 30 years old and I wouldn’t say we’re in the best shape in the world. I was in my hands and knees a few times because it felt safer. I would highly recommend this hike but it is challenging. Views are completely worth it. Go early!!

1 month ago

I enjoy this trail only when I’m really, truly wanting a workout. There is very limited shade so I do not recommend doing this in the summer. Even at 90 degrees it is too intense. Opt for November-March for this hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this today. Was a little intimidated and rightfully slow. I’m no hiker, actually this was my first trail ever. The walk up initially isn’t bad. You’re then met with two sets of railroad tie stairs, which will try your cardio intensely. From there you get to a scattered boulder incline, there is a railing but definitely scrambling the entire way. From there the worst is over the last third of the hike is rocky, steep and a ton of fun. Scrambling is a good chunk of the rest of the way up unless you’re very experienced. The summit is worth every step. The way down was much easier and a ton of fun!

I went through 3L of water on the way up and we started at 630. I recommend a camel back, sturdy shoes and snacks.

Parking was full by 545 am. Wound up going to the Starbucks up the road and ubering.

Awesome hike, do it and don’t give up. Totally worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

First time hiker did not know what to expect!
Scared the crap out of me!
Especially going down.
After a quick change of shorts and a jolt of adrenaline you realize you can do it.
Going up echo was all a boulder climb!
Coming down cholla my ass hurt from sliding down. I will be walking funny for days now!
Mainly though because I’m scared of heights.
With experience I’m sure it becomes easier.
Overall an awesome time. Loved it!
Glad I did the “hike”

hiking
1 month ago

This was awesome!. My husband and I are on little vacation (20th Anniversary year!) We did this hike at the end of April. We didn’t know what to expect but the views were awesome and the trail was well maintained. The weather at 7:30 am was perfect! I have to admit that this was a hard workout. I’ll be sore tomorrow.

hiking
1 month ago

love this trail. it provides a series of different workouts. cardio, climbing using both lower and upper body. a couple of false summits but the view is so worth it. be careful and cautious. rescues happen all the time.

hiking
1 month ago

Great challenging hike, we got there at 530am and the carpark was already half full so from our experience would reccomend getting there early especially on the weekend. Quads will burn in the ascent with alot of climbing rather than hiking but its a great challenge and the views at the top are so worth it. This side alot of the harder parts are in the shade in the morning which helps.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike! Very challenging and really gets the heart pumping with swift elevation change and boulder climbing. If you are afraid of heights the decent can be tricky. One of the hardest hikes I’ve done and I have hiked quite a bit and am in decent shape (doing several HIIT or tabata workouts each week). Views and scenery during hike is just ok, more of the thrill of doing the technical piece of hiking makes this worth it. There are 37 pole markers to the peak (at about 29 you start wondering how much longer you need to go!).

hiking
1 month ago

Eautiful morning hike with stunning views. Go early and take plenty of water. Crowds and busy trail that is very technical with boldering in some areas. View is worth it. Trail even on weekday is busy by 7am. Get out early to beat the heat

hiking
2 months ago

Really fun, challenging hike! Almost all climbing, very very steep. Bring plenty of sunscreen and water! Gets very hot with no shade! Would hike again!

2 months ago

great hike and views

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike and amazing view!

2 months ago

Great challenge and view.

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