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 is primarily used for hiking, trail running, nature trips, and birding and is best used from September until May.
Trailhead is on Cholla Lane. Parking available on Invergordon Street.
Hiked down Cholla Trail after going up Echo Canyon Trail. One of the advantages of taking an Uber to the trail. It was steep at the top and not always easy to follow the trail. Look for the blue paint dots.
This trail is not for the faint of heart. If you like rugged trails and having to scramble, then this trail is for you. If you're looking for an easy stroll, then look elsewhere. Dogs are not allowed on the trail, FYI.
Well marked and well maintained. Go early in the morning or in the evening and bring plenty of water. There are not a lot of spots to stop and get some shade, depending on the time of day.
It was a bit tough for someone who is just getting into hiking, but an awesome hiking experience nonetheless.
Used this side for the ascent on a trail run. It was runnable until the last third which was bouldering. Nice views and fun challenge. Came down the west side which seemed less runnable.
Went up before sunrise, it is easy to get off trail if you don't have a light so be careful. Very worth it to see the sunrise though.
I've hiked Camelback from both sides, and I actually preferred this side. I'm not sure why, as both trails are heavily trafficked, and parking is a gong show. This side was more trail-ish, with lots of switchbacks and sweeping views, until the last 1/4 when it got more interesting. Pay attention to the markers. The trail isn't wide, so if heights bother you this may not be the best choice. I mapped my walk to the car from the trailhead: 8/10 of a mile, and I was there early. If you are staying in Old Scottsdale you might want to consider just walking to the trailhead. It's around 35-40 minutes, but you can consider it your warm up and cool down.
I'm a local and I hike this trail all the time. Although, they are just now becoming very strict with the rules they have. I sunset hiked this last night and on my way down I saw a rattlesnake not even 3 feet away from me. Please when you are hiking this time of year just be aware the the snakes come out when it's cooler. I'm lucky to have not had my earphones in at the time of seeing him or I could've been badly hurt. When I got to the bottom there was a cop waiting to give people tickets for "trespassing" since technically the trail closes at sunset. So, be aware, come prepared, and make sure to get down before it's dark.
Hard for tourists but seems easy for the locals. Don't bring dogs or young children! The last third to the top is really challenging. Devote ample time to the hike as coming down is as time consiming as going up. Plan your return before dark. If you arrive by car, be aware that parking is only permitted from sunrise to sunset. We carried our standard hike gear, but everybody else had just a couple of bottles with them, climbing very light.