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

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

One Long Drive - Allegheny County's Orange Belt

When I trace my early interest in traveling and the hobby of roadgeeking, I always go back to where I grew up. Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA 48, and the Orange Belt. I grew up on Route 48 in Elizabeth Township on the Orange Belt. One of my family's favorite stories of me growing up is when I was around three years old - so 1980 - I told one of my aunts, "It's not that hard to get to our house - we live on the Orange Belt!"  The Allegheny County Belt System is one of the many things that are uniquely Pittsburgh. A series of existing roadways - minor and major - developed in post-World War II Allegheny County to navigate the region. Never intended to be a "beltway" in the modern sense - a full freeway encircling a city - the Allegheny County system is more like a wayfinding system connecting you throughout the county. It is uniquely Pittsburgh - it's been asked about , written about , and videoed .  On a recent visit home, I decided to drive the entire

Mosquito Road Bridge

The Mosquito Road Bridge is a wooden suspension span crossing the South Fork American River of El Dorado County.  The Mosquito Road Bridge incorporates elements in it's foundation which date back to 1867 making it likely the oldest highway bridge in California still is in service for it's original purpose.  The Mosquito Road Bridge can be found approximately 6.5 miles northeast of downtown Placerville.    Author's Note; Gribblenation's 2,000th published blog This blog serves as the 2,000th published entry on the Gribblenation blog site.  Ironically the the 2,000th blog entry closely aligns with the 20th anniversary of Gribblenation.  Adam and Doug recently discussed the history of Gribblenation on the Gribblenation 20th Anniversary Podcast: https://anchor.fm/gribblenation/episodes/Gribblenation-20th-Anniversary-Podcast-ep2nh8 For my own part I (Tom) have been part of Gribblenation since late 2016, it has been an honor to be part of one of the longest lived highway pages