Camelback Mountain

 

Camelback Mountain gets its name from the unique silhouette it casts on the Valley skyline. It is considered one of the nation's top hiking destinations and attracts visitors from around the world.  However, the two main trails that comprise the vast majority of hiking opportunities are rated Extremely Difficult; subjecting hikers to steep elevation gains, very uneven terrain, and a traverse that is unprotected from the elements. Only experienced hikers, whom are following "Take a Hike. Do it Right" guidelines, during optimal weather conditions, should attempt to hike to the summit that sits 2,704 feet above sea level and provides exceptional views of the valley. 

 

Trail Map & Descriptions
 

Trailheads:  

Cholla Trailhead
6131 E. Cholla Ln.

Echo Canyon Trailhead
4925 E. McDonald Dr.

 

Trailhead & Trail Hours:

Sunrise to Sunset

 

Dog Restrictions:

Dogs are prohibited on all Camelback Mountain trails year-round.

 

Parking Restrictions:

Parking is very limited at Camelback Mountain tailheads. Parking is not permitted along the majority of roadways near the trailheads. Vehicles parked in violation of posted signs will be towed at the owner's expense.  Additionally, tickets will be issued to any visitors who idle their vehicle along the roadways near the trailheads.

 
Register for Hikes and Outdoor Nature Programs
 

Contact Information:

Gatehouse:
602-534-5867

Natural Resources Office
(Business Hours Only): 
602-495-5458

Contact Natural Resource staff regarding resource management at desert preserves
or call 602-261-8318


Take a hike, do it right logo

Review "Take a Hike. Do it Right." guidelines before visiting the trail.  The symbol to the right of each trail name represents the difficulty rating.

Trail rating guide

*Add an additional level of difficulty when the temperature is in the triple digits. 

 


Additional History and Area Information:

Camelback Mountain saw increased encroachment from private development until the 1960s. The Preservation of Camelback Mountain Foundation, led by Barry Goldwater, helped to ensure the area's protection in 1968. By that time much of the mountain was already surrounded by residential development which cut Camelback Mountain off from other natural spaces, thus limiting the number of large animals found in the area today.  However, Smaller animals including cottontail rabbits, lizards, Harris antelope squirrels, a variety of birds and snakes (including venomous rattlesnakes) are regularly encountered. 

Plant species found at Camelback Mountain are typical of those found in the lower Sonoran Desert and are dominated by the cacti species such as the saguaro, barrel, hedgehog, pincushion, jumping cholla, christmas, staghorn, cholla and prickly pear. Tree species include palo verde, mesquite and ironwood, along with the ocotillo plant.