Camelback Mountain Trails

 

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. 

 

 

 

​Trail Descriptions

 

Cholla Trailhead
6131 E. Cholla Ln.
Trailhead and Trail Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Parking Restrictions at Cholla Trailhead:

Public parking is limited at Cholla Trailhead. There are several areas where parallel parking is permitted, however, parking is not permitted along the majority of roadways near the trailhead. Vehicles parked in violation of posted signs will be towed at the owner's expense.

Please note, there is no potable water or restroom facilities at Cholla Trailhead.

DOGS ARE PROHIBITED AT ALL ECHO CANYON AND CHOLLA TRAIL AREAS

 

Cholla Trail -extremely difficult

Difficulty: Extremely Difficult

Access: The entry to Cholla Trail is off of Cholla Lane. There are no amenities or designated parking spots at the trailhead, and limited street parking is available near the trailhead. Hikers are required to parallel park in specific, designated sections along the west side of Invergordon Road. Once parked, there is a gravel path that parallels the south side of Cholla Lane and leads to the trailhead.

Description: Cholla Trail is a slightly longer alternative to the more strenuous Echo Canyon Trail, but don't expect an easy hike as this trail also is rated Extremely Difficult. Incredibly steep, and at times rocky, the trail traverses the eastern slope or "hump" of Camelback Mountain. To add to its difficulty, Cholla Trail is completely exposed to the elements and offers little shade. The lower portions of the trail are well defined and easy to follow, however, the upper-third section that leads to the summit is extremely steep, strewn with boulders and difficult to follow. Just prior to entering the boulder section, in the saddle, there is a small rest area where exhausted hikers should turn around. It is recommended that only capable, prepared and experienced hikers attempt climbing the final third of the trail. For hikers that adhere to "Take a Hike. Do it Right" guidelines the payoff is a picturesque view from the summit (2,704 feet above sea level), which provides unmatched views of the Valley.

Smaller animals, including cottontail rabbits, lizards, Harris antelope squirrels, a variety of birds and snakes (including venomous rattlesnakes) are regularly encountered.

Plant species include saguaro, barrel, hedgehog, pincushion, jumping cholla, christmas, staghorn, cholla and prickly pear cacti. Tree species include palo verde, mesquite and ironwood, along with the ocotillo plant.

Distance: 1.5 miles

Elevation change: 1,420 feet


  

Echo Canyon Trailhead
4925 E. McDonald Dr.
Trailhead and Trail Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Parking and Traffic Alert for Echo Canyon Trailhead:

During winter and ​​​spring months, Echo Canyon experiences extremely high visitation. The parking lot will typically be full from late morning through early afternoon on weekdays, and remain full throughout the day on weekends. When the parking lot reaches capacity, the entry gate will be closed. Visitors cannot idle vehicles on nearby McDonald Drive or Tatum Boulevard to wait for the gates to reopen. Police will ticket visitors who idle their vehicle along those roadways and tow those parked illegally.
The Echo Canyon Trailhead features restrooms, benches, potable water and a small shade canopy.

DOGS ARE PROHIBITED AT ALL ECHO CANYON AND CHOLLA TRAIL AREAS


Bobby's Rock Trail -easy

Difficulty: Easy

Access: Start at Echo Canyon Trailhead and connect with Echo Canyon Trail. From Echo Canyon Trail, proceed to Bobby's Rock Trail.

Description: Located within beautiful Echo Canyon, Bobby's Rock Trail is a short hike that loops around a large cube-shaped sandstone rock, Bobby’s Rock. To find Bobby’s Rock Trail, start on the Echo Canyon Trail and veer to the right shortly after beginning your ascent. Hikers will immediately find a helipad and then Bobby’s Rock. Follow the loop trail approximately two-tenths of a mile from its initial intersection to be brought back to Echo Canyon Trail.  A turn to the west will return hikers to the trailhead, while a turn to the east will take them toward the Extremely Difficult summit trail. Bobby’s Rock Trail has a total elevation gain of 200 feet and provides hikers with a fantastic view of Paradise Valley and the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. 

Hikers will see a variety of Sonoran Desert vegetation, including saguaro cactus, creosote bushes and teddy bear cholla. Hikers also may observe small animals, including cottontail rabbits, Harris antelope squirrels and the occasional snake (including venomous rattlesnakes).

Distance: 0.2 miles

Elevation change: 200 feet


Echo Canyon Trail -extremely difficult

Difficulty: Extremely Difficult

Access: Start at the Echo Canyon Trailhead and proceed to Echo Canyon Trail.

Description: Echo Canyon Trail is an Extremely Difficult, incredibly steep, very rocky, out-and-back trail that requires the assistance of handrails and other aides to reach the summit. To add to its extreme difficulty,  Echo Canyon Trail is completely exposed to the elements, and offers very little shade and few places to rest. Starting as a relatively light trek, the trail quickly escalates to a strenuous climb that increases in difficulty as you ascend along the mountain's western slope. As hikers approach the top of the trail it becomes less defined as you enter extremely rocky areas, and in certain sections hiking gives way to climbing. 

Echo Canyon Trail is one of Phoenix’s premier hiking destinations, and regularly is named a top national destination for avid and experienced hikers. Visitors from around the world have traversed this summit trail and praise its amazing 360-degree summit view of the city and challenging terrain.

It is not uncommon for hikers, even those who are capable and prepared, to underestimate the challenges of Echo Canyon Trail and require assistance from first responder rescue crews. Couple the trail's extreme difficulty with Phoenix's extreme triple-digit heat and unpredictable summer monsoon storms, and even the world's best hikers have required rescuing. Please understand the risks of hiking Echo Canyon Trail. Review these "Take a Hike. Do it Right" guidelines to better prepare for any hike, but for Camelback Mountain extra precaution is required.

Camelback Mountain is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including saguaro cactus. Additionally, hikers may observe smaller wildlife such as cottontail rabbits, Harris antelope squirrels and the occasional snake (including venomous rattlesnakes).

Distance: 1.2 miles

Elevation change: 1,400 feet