Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Trail, Phoenix

It was the last day of our crazy two week hiking and sight seeing trip starting in Las Vegas, heading through California, Utah, and Arizona – we would fly out from Phoenix in the late afternoon. So we woke up earlier than the sun and left the Grand Canyon, all of the rugged, snowy, beautiful images, until next time.
grand_canyonWe headed south and as the miles drew closer to Phoenix, we welcomed the warm embrace of those funny lookin’ saguaro.

camelback_mountain_echo_canyon_phoenix_5We had the morning, time is such a precious commodity. It was our final push of the trip, I thought, let’s make it just as memorable as the rest! With only a few hours we had to select a shorter hike, but I wanted it to be strenuous so I could get all of my energy out before the flight. The Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback Mountain [5700 North Echo Canyon Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85018] was the perfect fit for the day. This is a highly visited park, so try to plan your hike at an off hour or day of the week if you want to find a spot. We had no trouble early on a weekday, and admired the humps of the camels from the lot.

camelback_mountain_echo_canyon_phoenix_19There are restroom facilities and drinking fountains, along with park rangers at the trailhead. As one greeted me we chatted about the trail and I asked, ‘Only a mile up, right?’ And he gasped at my statement! Only a mile! The park ranger boasted that this was the steepest mile in Phoenix. Welp, only one way up, so we started. The hike is just over a mile up, and another one back, so it is nice and short for what you’re about to get. It is meticulously maintained and you will get frequent reminders of how far you come…or how far you have to go depending on how you look at it.

camelback_mountain_echo_canyon_phoenix_14 camelback_mountain_echo_canyon_phoenix_18I really appreciated the detail of the posts, going as far to show you your exact elevation. You will start your trek up immediately. In the sunshine I felt great on a chilly morning, blood pumping, ready to conquer the trail. We got to the top of the first hill and I thought to myself, that ranger has no idea what he’s talking about or where I’ve hiked! The views were great.

camelback_mountain_echo_canyon_phoenix_6Continue on up there are steps provided, even railings at times, pull yourself up, not so bad.

camelback_mountain_echo_canyon_phoenix_15Views are great, keep it coming Echo Canyon.

camelback_mountain_echo_canyon_phoenix_16 camelback_mountain_echo_canyon_phoenix_17Then you’ll reach the rock scramble, the seemingly never ending rock scramble, right up to the summit of Camelback.

camelback_mountain_echo_canyon_phoenix_13Echo Canyon does keep it coming, and you’ll be sweating bullets scrambling from boulder to boulder. This is not for those who are afraid of heights, you must be very sure footed to complete this trail. Pass saguaro after saguaro and finally you will reach the summit. Panoramic views of Phoenix, you couldn’t be more deserving.

camelback_mountain_echo_canyon_phoenix_12 camelback_mountain_echo_canyon_phoenix_9 camelback_mountain_echo_canyon_phoenix_7We scrambled down faster than a billy goat, but I always hate the descent. Shaky jello legs at the base and I looked for that park ranger, he was gone. Changing of the guards now new rangers appeared. I was going to tell him it really wasn’t that bad! It really wasn’t upon reflection. Surely it was strenuous, but short enough to be absolutely manageable, probably why it’s so wildly popular. There was never a section which was too difficult to maneuver on the scramble. Conquering Camelback Mountain was a truly awesome way to wrap up our trip, and we had just enough time to grab a quick lunch before jet setting home.

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