Hiking Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain Hiking Trails

Camelback Mountain is among the most recognizable natural landmarks in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. The mountain, which is actually two different rock formations that formed separately hundreds of millions of years apart from each other, gets its name from its unique, humpbacked shape. Camelback Mountain sits literally in the middle of Phoenix’s urban landscape between Phoenix and Scottsdale. Located inside Loop 101 just north of Interstate 10, Camelback Mountain is convenient to hotels and resorts.

Camelback Mountain is one of the two most popular hiking places in the Valley of the Sun. It is conveniently located in the heart of the city on the borders of Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale. Those that reach the 2,704-foot summit are rewarded with great panoramic views across the Phoenix Valley.

There are two hiking trails. Echo Canyon Trail and Cholla Trail. Both are strenuous and difficult with areas requiring some boulder scrambling. Echo Canyon is steeper and the Cholla Trailhead is slightly longer.

Caution. Hikers should not attempt climbs to the summit unless they are experienced and in good health. Every year there are many rescues of those not in shape or that venture from the designated trails. There are shorter, easy sections, so inexperienced hikers can limit hikes to the early segments. The summer heat can be dangerous and hikes should only be attempted very early or late in the evening. Plenty of water and good hiking shoes or boots are required.

Urban Hiking with a View

With its convenient location in the heart of the city, Camelback Mountain is a popular urban hiking destination for visitors, providing several unique hiking trails that offer rewarding views of the city from many vantage points. Altogether, over 300,000 hikers from around the world hike Camelback Mountain each year to savor the serene tranquility of viewing the cityscape from the mountain’s perch at 2,700 feet.

Above all, soak-up the majestic beauty. The stately Saguaro cacti, gorgeous wildflowers, sunrises, and sunsets. And respect the environment so all can enjoy great Arizona outdoors.

Camelback Mountain trail map
trail map of Camelback Mountain

If you are planning to hike on Camelback Mountain’s four different hiking trails, here is what you need to know:

Bobby’s Rock Trail

Bobby’s Rock Trail is among the easiest of Camelback Mountain’s four trails. This trail covers a total length of just a quarter-mile with an elevation change of two hundred feet, making it ideal for visitors who want to enjoy views from Camelback Mountain but have a limited amount of time available for more strenuous hiking. This trail is accessible from the Echo Canyon Summit Trail parking lot.

  • Trail Length: 0.25 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 200 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Open: Sunrise to sunset

Ramada Loop Trail

Visitors to Camelback Mountain can also enjoy an easy hike and great views on the Ramada Loop Trail. The Ramada Loop Trail covers a distance of just one-eighth of a mile, with an elevation change of one hundred feet. This short hike takes you on a short but scenic hike around a small ramada and butte and is also accessible from the Echo Canyon Summit Trail parking lot.

  • Trail Length: 0.125 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 100 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Open: Sunrise to sunset

Summit Trail

The Summit Trail, also known as Echo Canyon, offers hikers a more strenuous hiking experience that is rewarded with spectacular views. This 1.2-mile trail ascends 1,264 feet from its starting point, taking you to the summit of Camelback Mountain at an elevation of 2,704 feet above sea level. As you work your way up the mountain, you will enjoy spectacular views of sandstone rock formations and Phoenix’ cityscape stretching for miles into the horizon. To access this trail, enter Echo Canyon Parkway just east of Tatum Boulevard near McDonald Drive. Due to the popularity of this trail, it may be difficult to find a parking spot during the peak hours surrounding sunrise and sunset.

  • Trail Length: 1.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,264 feet
  • Summit: 2,704 feet
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Open: Sunrise to sunset

Cholla Trail

Cholla Trail is the most strenuous hike on Camelback Mountain. This 1.5-mile trail takes you on a ruggedly steep incline up the south side of Cholla Lane. With its steep incline coupled with rocky outcroppings and sharp drop-offs on both sides of the trail, this trail is recommended for experienced hikers only. The trail features an elevation change of 1,200 feet and also takes you to the peak of the mountain.

  • Trail Length: 1.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Open:
    Oct. 1 to April 30 th: 7:30 a.m-5: 30pm
    May 1 to Sept 30 th: 5:30 am- 7:30 pm

With Scottsdale’s’ warm, arid climate, even hikers traveling on the shorter trailers are encouraged to bring along the water on their hike, especially during the warmest summer months.

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