Hiking the Echo Canyon Trail, Camelback Mountain

Hiking the Echo Canyon Trail, Camelback Mountain, Phoenix (Paradise Valley) Arizona, August 2015

IMG_0241[1]The main point of this posting: Don’t do this trail if it’s after 9 am in the morning in the summer! Way too hot and sunny, although a few light high clouds and some rocks  + Palo Verde tree shade was available.  This is the western face of Camelback Mountain which spans Scottsdale into Phoenix.

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There are Saguaro and barrel cactus, Chuckwalla, Sage, Mesquite, rabbits, gophers, and snakes. Take plenty of water; they recommend at least 32 ounces (half a gallon). Do not go off trail! What is called the trail is plenty challenging — not even a path in most parts, but rather huge boulders and scree. The trail from Inver-Gordon Road is much easier, no real climbing where you actually have to use your hands to gain purchase, and hope that the foot holes you’ve chosen are solid!

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They have re-done the trail head for Echo (Dreamy Draw: 44th Street and McDonald), and it has bathrooms, water, plenty of free parking, and benches with permanent shade. But it’s still a serious hike, not for merely the physically fit, but also the sun-tolerant. You can do part of the trail and still feel the experience of hiking in the arid West, among rock formation that are hundreds of thousands of years old.

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The views at the top are pretty sweet, but you could stop anywhere along the route and still get spectacular views. Know your limits: a hiker had to be rescued from the main Camelback trail (other side). The next time I do this hike it will be late fall and I will stop half way, and take more water and wear a long sleeve shirt with collar.

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