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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

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