||A popular, short, steep climb
to the top of Camelback Mountain. It's best to
get an early start if you want to find a parking
space. The hike also gives you the opportunity
to practice your trail etiquette: descending
yields to ascending, slower yields to faster,
those with dogs yield to
||There are two trailheads and
several ways to get to each. Here's one route:
Echo Canyon: The western and more
popular trailhead since it has a parking lot.
Take Route 101 to the McDonald exit. Follow
McDonald Drive west for 5 miles and turn left
(south) into Echo Canyon which has porta-potties.
Cholla Lane: The eastern
trailhead. Take Route 101 to the MacDonald exit.
Follow MacDonald Road west and turn left (south)
onto Invergordan Road. Try to find a place to
park on the side of the street near Cholla Lane.
Walk up Cholla Lane to the trailhead.
There are probably other places in the area to
park when the lot is full, but I'm afraid I
don't do these city hikes regularly and am not
sure where the alternate spots are located.
Park n' Hike is now offering a shuttle to
the often full trailhead. Click
here for more info.
||2.2 miles - Echo Canyon to
the summit and back
2.8 miles - Cholla Lane to the summit and back
5 miles - Hike from one trailhead to the other
and back again
||Cool and cloudy
||From the Echo Canyon
Trailhead (0 miles, 1424 ft) pick up the wide,
rocky Camelback Mountain Trail which heads to
the summit. After a minute you'll pass a
junction with the right branching Bobby's Rock
Trail which is a short path which winds its way
along the head of the camel and is probably used
mostly by climbers to access routes along the
cliff face. Continue straight at this junction,
up a series of steps formed by railroad ties
then travel between a fence line and cliff to a
very steep section of trail which has handrails
installed to assist with the climb. The path
then breaks out onto an open ridge which it
follows steeply up to the summit (1.1 miles,
2704 ft). The summit features 360 views of
Phoenix as well as the brown cloud that covers
the city like a warm, winter (albeit toxic)
blanket. Most will turn around here. To continue
on, the Cholla Trail follows the ridgeline to
the southwest, descending moderately to steeply
and is marked (rather unnecessarily) with blue
dots. Be careful on the way down since the rocks
are polished with use and covered with gravel
that can roll beneath your feet. After
descending the ridgeline, the path descends more
moderately before eventually bending north to
arrive at Cholla Lane (2.5 miles, 1424 ft).
Return the way you came (5 miles).
|Rating (1-5 stars):
I'm not a fan of these city hikes, so take the
rating for what it's worth. The author hiked
from Echo Canyon to Cholla Lane and back again,
then out and back on the Bobby's Rock Trail in
about 3 hours.
Maps - Phoenix Area Mountain Parks
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