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This Iconic Phoenix Hike Will Give You The Most Rewarding Views

Suny Errot



Any Arizona adventurer looking to conquer their next mountain will find the Camelback Mountain a good challenge. It is not for the faint of heart, nor is it an easy peasy hike. But if you do reach the top, you’ll know that is one of the best things to do in Arizona with the amazing view and invigorating feeling.

A Phoenix Icon

Camelback Mountain Arizona
Source: Camelback Mountain | Clipart.Email

Camelback Mountain is a popular hike or climb in Phoenix, Arizona, and is considered every Arizona adventurer’s dream. It is conveniently located in the middle of the Phoenix Valley and is only 20 minutes from downtown. According to research, there are about 450,000 people who visit the Camelback Mountain – composed of hikers, rock climbers, and simple tourists.

Why is it called Camelback Mountain? 

It’s not too obvious when you’re there. But look at the gorgeous mountain from afar. You’ll notice it is derived from its shape which resembles a kneeling camel’s hump and head.

Camelback Mountain Trails

There is more than one way to reach the top of Camelback Mountain, with an elevation of 2,704 feet. You can either take the Echo Canyon Trail or the Cholla Trail. You must remember that both of these trails are rated difficult due to the exposed rocks and strenuous climbs. It is important to observe one’s presence of mind during the entire climb.

Echo Canyon Trail
Distance: 1.2 miles
Trailhead: 4925 E McDonald Dr, Phoenix

You will experience a steep and rocky ascent which means you need the assistance of handrails and climbing to reach the summit.

Cholla Trail
Distance: 1.5 miles
Trailhead: 6131 E Cholla Ln, Paradise Valley

Compared to the Echo Canyon Trail, the Cholla Trail is a slightly longer climb. It’s steadier, but that doesn’t mean it’s not challenging. Hikers will find the lower portions relatively easy, and the last third of the climb a difficult because of the large boulders everywhere.

There are about 450,000 hikers in the Camelback Mountain each year. It’s safe to say that despite the difficulty in climbing, many believe that the 360-views are beyond amazing! So much so that one might contest it should be included in the collection of Arizona photography that will blow you away!

What You Should Know Before Hiking Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain Summit
Source: Camelback Mountain Summit | Reddit Backpacking/Exploratory Glory

Keep in mind the following if you are an Arizona adventurer chasing after outdoor fun.

  • It’s important to hike early to avoid the crowds and the heat. Since you will be in the middle of the desert, the heat can make your climb much more serious and challenging. Bring lots of water and protect yourself with sunscreen and shades.
  • Hikers are advised to proceed with caution. There are many rescue missions on the mountain because there are some visitors who do not recognize their physical limits. There are also many rattlesnakes around.
  • Remember to use a backpack so you can use your hands as needed. Trail shoes are also recommended.
  • Parking is available for both Echo Canyon and Cholla trails.
  • One should observe proper trail etiquette. Ascending hikers have the right of way always.
  • You can schedule a guided hike up the Camelback Mountain, record your time to hike and see how fast other hikers climb the Camelback Mountain by visiting ClimbCamelback.com.
  • You can find desert tortoise, rattlesnakes, cottontail rabbits, chuckwalla lizard, prickly pear cacti, palo verde, and saguaro cactus in the Camelback Mountain.

The Best Mountain Views

camelback mountain views

We get it. You may not be the biggest Arizona Adventurer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the glory of this mountain! Here are the best restaurants you should go to if you want to gawk at the Phoenix icon from the ground:

  • El Chorro – 5550 E Lincoln Dr, Paradise Valley
  • Elements – 5700 East McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley
  • Rustler’s Rooste – 8383 S 48th St, Phoenix
  • Hearth ’61 at Mountain Shadows, 5445 E Lincoln Dr, Scottsdale

How’s this for good outdoor fun?