Hiking Camelback Mountain

Whenever I travel, I always try to find the best views. I love visiting rooftop bars, observation decks and hotels, but hiking is certainly my favorite!

There’s something so gratifying and rewarding about the climb that makes the view 100x better!

Like I mentioned in my Sedona Blog Post, we were really pressed for time. This hike seemed relatively close, quick and accessible to our hotel at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess – so it quickly became a top contender!

I researched what the hike would be like via Instagram Locations/Hashtags and Pinterest. I know Trip Advisor is popular for travelers, but I always find that Instagram has real time images/experiences from travelers that I can “check out.”

About:

Elevation: 2704 feet

Camelback Mountain is a hiking destination for both locals and tourists in the Valley and is located between Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Camelback became a Phoenix city park in 1968 and hiking it is one of the top 10 things to do in Phoenix according to Trip Advisor.

Difficulty: 

  • Bobby Rock Loop 0.18 mi Easy
  • Cholla Trail 1.5 mi Extremely Difficult
  • Echo Canyon Trail 1.2 mi Extremely Difficult

Locations:

Echo Canyon Trailhead: 4925 E McDonald Drive, Phoenix, AZ

Cholla Trailhead: 6131 E Cholla Lane, Paradise Valley, AZ

We chose the Echo Canyon Trail that’s a little shorter, but steeper. There are some man-made railings/fences in the difficult sections.

Parking:

While there is parking available, it is limited. There is a lot at the Echo Canyon Trailhead and is available from sunrise to sunset. We chose to Uber, which cost about $20 and took 20 minutes. If you Uber, you also have the option of taking one trail up, and the other down to get both experiences.

Amenities:

There are bathrooms, water fountains and garbages at the start of the Echo Canyon Trailhead.

Tips:

Whenever I research anything related to travel, I look at Instagram Locations/Hashtags and Pinterest. I know Trip Advisor is popular for travelers, but I always find that Instagram has real time images/experiences from a variety of locals and tourists. Whether it’s a hike, restaurant, hotel etc., I find this to be more realistic and “off the cuff” compared to travel sites.

GO EARLY. I would personally start this hike at the beginning of sunrise. This should be your #1 priority. We did this in November, and even on the way down at 8-9am, I was like WOAH – it’s HOT! The hike is hard enough without having to add the scorching sun and heat to the table. The tourists that were halfway up, when we were halfway down looked like they were on the struggle bus, so keep that in mind.

Know your limits. This hike is challenging! I exercise (moderate/intensely) 5-6 days a week, and I was out of breath and fatigued often! With that being said, I think the average person with a moderate level of fitness can do this. You can always turn around and go back down the other way if you change your mind.

Bring water, snacks and sunblock. I went through about 40 oz and I weigh 135 lbs. I also add a hydration formula to my water to help replenish electrolytes lost in sweat. It’s delicious too!

As far as snacks go, I brought my favorite bars that pack 10 grams of protein and are only a 150 calories! My favorite is the plant based Cherry Chocolate Almond, or you can try both flavors here.

And finally, be courteous and have good hiking etiquette. Be a good human, let people pass if they are moving faster than you, and warn people if you want to pass them. If someone is making their way down, while you are going up, concede if possible. Most people were friendly and polite, but every once in awhile, we’d have someone blowing past us recklessly. This is also a good reason to wake up early do this before the average person.

Have a great time and take a lot of photos!

Meghan

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Meghan Mosakowski

lifestyle + wellness coach