Enjoy a day of adventure against a breathtaking backdrop at this spectacular site in the Sonoran Desert.
A 25-minute drive north of downtown will bring you to Camelback Mountain, a stunning display of nature just outside of Phoenix. This mountain was a sacred site for the Hohokam people who lived there from the 5th century until the 15th century, when they abandoned it without any apparent reason. Today, it’s a sought-after adventure destination like no other.
Camelback Mountain is so-named because it resembles a camel at rest in the Sonoran Desert. This red sandstone marvel with its granite peak stands an impressive 824 metres above sea level. As the highest mountain in Phoenix, it has one of the best panoramic views in all of Arizona.
Today, hundreds of thousands of hikers take to its slopes each year. Walking or climbing the trails is a popular way to spend the day and offers visitors some spectacular photo opportunities. Visitors can reach the summit by ascending 365 metres from the base in Echo Canyon. This can be a challenge, especially in the Arizona heat. The Cholla Trail is a longer journey, but an easier one. For those looking for something more adventurous, Echo Canyon Summit Trail is the way to go. Keep an eye out for snakes and sharp rocks, and wear appropriate footwear and clothing. Water should be carried on your back because you’ll need both hands for climbing.
Rock climbers come to Camelback Mountain for a strenuous but rewarding day’s climbing. Whether you hike or climb, the beautiful 360-degree views of the Valley of the Sun makes it all worth it. Visitors will enjoy the pretty but rugged landscape along the way. Look out for cacti, gardens of lichen, wildflowers, and rocks of all shapes and sizes—the result of millennia of erosive forces.
Plan on packing a lunch and spending the entire day at Camelback Mountain—it can take a few hours to make it to the summit and a few hours to return to the base, depending on the difficulty level of your chosen trail.