After a day of meetings, we wanted to clear our minds and do a local hike around Scottsdale and Phoenix. The team at The Scottsdale Resort recommended the Echo Canyon hike up Camelback Mountain. So we put on our hiking shoes, grabbed plenty of water and Ubered it to the trailhead.
This hike was a fun yet challenging hike that ascended to the very top of Camelback Mountain. After the fact, we found out there are actually two trails to the top and each start on opposite ends of the mountain. The Cholla Trail is a bit longer, but a more gradual and easier hike up Camelback Mountain and the Echo Canyon Trail is rated difficult and is equivalent to doing a Stairmaster to the top… but well worth the effort.
Camelback Mountain gets its name as the mountain has two peaks, a smaller one which looks like a camels head and the second and taller one, which looks like the Camel’s back. The Echo Canyon hikes starts near the camel’s head. While at first the trail is fairly smooth, it heads up quickly. After about 15 mins, you reach the first somewhat technical part, where the trail feels like it almost goes straight up and they have a hand rail to help pull yourself along.
Shortly after you reach the saddle between the two peaks and you get your first views of downtown Phoenix. From this point on, the hike consists of a rocky and steep trail all the way to the top. But along the way you are treated to beautiful views of Saguaro cactus, red rocks and the Scottsdale / Phoenix Valley.
The best time to do the hike is either at sunrise or sunset as it can get hot during the day and you must bring plenty of water. Don’t be fooled by the trail length at 1.23 miles to the summit. It climbs 1,280 ft and summits at 2,704 ft. above sea level and took us about 2 hours. We did this hike at sunset and while challenging, it was amazing and well worth it.