Skip to main content

2016 Fall Mountain Trip Part 26; Climbing Camelback Mountain

Upon arriving to Phoenix one of the first things that I wanted to do was hike Camelback Mountain for old times sake.  The morning after arriving in Phoenix I headed out to Echo Canyon Parkway to ascend Camelback Mountain via the Echo Canyon Trail.


This article serves the 26th entry in the 2016 Fall Mountain Trip Series.  Part 25 covered the history of Arizona State Route 69, the second Arizona State Route 79, and Interstate 17.

2016 Fall Fall Mountain Trip Part 25; AZ 69 & 1-17 to Phoenix (the history of AZ 69, AZ 79 ii, and I-17)

So why feature Camelback Mountain in a primarily highway oriented road trip series?  The answer is simply; the 360 degree views of Phoenix from atop Camelback Mountain are virtually unobstructed and two good to ignore.  Camelback Mountain is peak in the Phoenix mountains located at an elevation of 2,706 feet above sea level.

Camelback Mountain is known as Cew S-wegiom by the O'odham culture and likely was a scared site of local tribes in the 14th century.  Early efforts to protect Camelback Mountain began in the 1910s but it wasn't until 1968 that it became a Phoenix City Park.  Camelback Mountain can be ascended via the 1.2 mile Echo Canyon Trail from Echo Canyon Parkway or the 1.5 mile Cholla Trail from Cholla Lane.  Both the Echo Canyon Trail and Cholla Trail while short make a steep 1,420 foot ascent to the summit of Camelback Mountain.  While both trails are short and well traveled neither is exactly a cake walk as they very rocky.  When I lived in Scottsdale I would frequently bookend distance runs with a hike up Camelback via the Cholla Trail.


As for the cover photo of this blog that was taken from a plane headed east out of Sky Harbor in 2019.  My intent was to get some photos for an article on AZ 143 which can be found here:

Arizona State Route 143; the Hohokam Expressway

I quickly made my way up the Echo Canyon Trail (which was interesting after forgetting my hiking shoes) shortly after sunrise to the peak of Camelback Mountain.  To the southeast downtown Phoenix and the Estrella Mountains can be seen.



Looking south from the summit of Camelback Mountain one can see; South Mountain, Papago Park, and even the San Tan Mountains.






Looking eastward from Camelback Mountain the Superstition Mountains can be see (which wasn't all that photogenic during sunrise).  The Four Peaks of the Mazatal Mountains can also be seen to the east.  If the Four Peaks looks familiar it is likely due to it being displayed on the Arizona State license plate.



Looking northeast from Camelback Mountain overlooks the City of Scottsdale and the McDowell Mountains.


Looking immediately north of Camelback Mountain reveals a look at Paradise Valley and Mummy Mountain.



Looking northwest from Camelback Mountain reveals a look at the Phoenix Mountains Preserve and Piestwa Peak (formerly Squaw Peak).  Piestwa Peak was a frequent hike for me when I was living on Shea Boulevard.


Hiking down Camelback Mountain was considerably harder than climbing considering my footwear was running shoes.  Upon leaving Camelback Mountain I returned to my family's house, the next day included a trip on Arizona State 88 on the Apache Trail.


Part 27 of the 2016 Fall Mountain Trip Series can be found below.

2016 Fall Mountain Trip Part 27; AZ 88 the Apache Trail

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Horace Wilkinson Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA)

Standing tall across from downtown Baton Rouge, the Horace Wilkinson Bridge carries Interstate 10 across the lower Mississippi River between West Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parishes. Unusually, the bridge is actually named for three separate people; three generations of Horace Wilkinsons who served in the Louisiana State Legislature over a combined period of 54 years. Constructed in the 1960s and opened to traffic in 1968, this is one of the largest steel bridges on the lower Mississippi. It’s also the tallest bridge across the Mississippi, with its roadway reaching 175 ft at the center span. Baton Rouge is the northernmost city on the river where deep-water, ocean-going vessels can operate. As a result, this bridge is the northernmost bridge on the river of truly gigantic proportions. Altogether, the bridge is nearly 2 ½ miles long and its massive truss superstructure is 4,550 ft long with a center main truss span of 1,235 ft. The Horace Wilkinson Bridge is one of the largest

Natchez-Vidalia Bridge (Natchez, MS)

  Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and Vicksburg near the city of Natchez, the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge crosses the lower Mississippi River between southwest Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana at the city of Vidalia. This river crossing is a dual span, which creates an interesting visual effect that is atypical on the Mississippi River in general. Construction on the original bridge took place in the late 1930s in conjunction with a much larger parallel effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen the area’s flood protection and levee system along the Mississippi River. One of the more ambitious aspects of this plan was to relocate the city of Vidalia to a location of higher ground about one mile downriver from the original settlement. The redirection of the river through the Natchez Gorge (which necessitated the relocation of the town) and the reconstruction of the river’s levee system in the area were undertaken in the aftermath of the Great Flood of 1927, wh