Camelback Mountain: Urban Hiking With A View

A Landmark Icon of Phoenix Arizona

It took geological nature tens of millions of years to sculpt this masterpiece of sandstone and granite majesty. It depicts a gigantic symbol of a resting camel that constantly gazes the beauty from high above the Phoenix horizon. Alone it set for millions of years until the prehistoric Hohokam Indians settled the area only to mysteriously disappear over a thousand years ago. They left behind evidence of their existence including a ceremonial cave discovered on the north side of Camelback. This ancient religious site motivates many to refer to Camelback Mountain as the Sacred Mountain.

Standing Guard Over The Valley.

Today Camelback watches over the ever-sprawling Valley of the Sun in the middle of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley where it elegantly lies above a thriving metropolis of over four million people. Unless you’ve ever hiked to its summit at 2700 feet, you’ll never experience the quiet tranquility overlooking the spectacular beauty of the cityscape horizon. It’s a magnet that attracts over 300,000 recreation hikers every year from around the world. Many do it over and over again to absorb the differing landscape perspectives.

A must-read is an Arizona Republic article written by Michael Clancy titled “Camelback Mountain. Phoenix Landmark Celebrated”. It delivers unique insight into the preservation of Camelback and the impact Gary Driggs made in arbitrating between hikers and homeowners to inhibit encroaching development. Driggs, a well-known Phoenician was raised in the shadow of Camelback and has been up and down the mountain hundreds of times.

A Blend of Urban Hiking, Homes & Resorts.

Camelback Mountain is a serene blend of luxury homes, resorts, and golf courses that merge together within natural beauty that permits the cohesive existence of lifestyle and outdoor hiking recreation. It’s there for all to enjoy in harmony with native flora, wildlife, and panoramic scenery for an eternity of pleasure.

Camelback Mountain Hiking.

Okay, it’s not Mount Everest. But Camelback offers some of the best urban hiking recreations in America. Located in the middle of the nation’s fifth-largest city, it’s convenient to residents, business travelers, and vacationers. Since Camelback Mountain offers four different trails with varying degrees of difficulty from easy to strenuous, you can bite off as much as your time allows.

Spend less than an hour along the easy trails of Bobby’s Rock Trail or the Ramada Loop Trail. Enjoy the longer-lasting views on the Cholla Trail or the greater rewards of summit panoramas atop the most popular and most difficult climb of Echo Canyon. The views across the cityscape are simply spectacular. You’ll experience the most brilliantly colorful sunsets in the world from any of the trails, but be sure to arrive at descent before dark which is the law. Besides, the trails can become dangerous in darkness.

Be safely prepared with the proper equipment and plenty of water particularly during the peak temperatures of the summer months. Injuries and rescues are not uncommon where foolish hikers exceed their skill-level or roam off the marked trails.

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

Camelback Mountain Trail Map.


Bobby’s Rock Trail at Camelback Mountain.

During peak season parking can be scarce. Follow Echo Canyon Summit Trail out of the parking lot. At the bottom of the first set of steps, it veers to the right. A trail post directs you to Bobby’s Rock.

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

Ramada Loop Trail at Camelback Mountain.

Trail loops around the upper ramada at Echo Canyon. Take the trail to the 1/8 mile marker and turn right. After looping around a small ramada and butte, it descends back to the parking lot.

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

Summit Trail. ( Echo Canyon)

Enter Echo Canyon Parkway east of Tatum Blvd. off of McDonald Drive. Parking is often limited. The trail ascends through spectacular sandstone rock formations and unparalleled views from the summit into Greater Phoenix.

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

Cholla Trail at Camelback Mountain.

No trailhead parking. Street parking limited at Invergordon and 64th Street. Hikers must walk up the south side of Cholla Lane. Cholla Trail is only recommended for experienced hikers and has steep, rocky sections with drop-offs on both sides of the trail.

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

Other Urban Hiking In Phoenix.

Also, see Piestewa Peak and North Mountain Park.

More Information:

Camelback Mountain Picture Gallery

Hike In Phoenix, Urban Hiking Guides