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Hikers from around the world come to Phoenix to summit Camelback Mountain. The peak is accessible via two trails: Echo Canyon and Cholla. While each hike is less than 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) out and back, they’re both strenuous, with steep ascents and scrambles over large boulders. Travelers who aren’t up for the climb can get some of the best views of the mountain from Old Town Scottsdale (the perfect setting for a Segway tour) or from a hot air balloon ride high above the Sonoran Desert.
Camelback Mountain is a must-visit for experienced hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Remember to wear sturdy shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat, as the trails offer little shade.
Dogs are prohibited on the trails.
Restrooms are available at the Echo Canyon trailhead off East McDonald Drive.
Camelback Mountain is located 20 minutes outside of downtown Phoenix. The easiest way to get there is by car—take East McDonald Drive to the Echo Canyon Trailhead or Cholla Lane in Paradise Valley to the Cholla Trailhead.
Hiking trails on Camelback Mountain are open from dawn to dusk throughout the year. The best season for hiking is between November and April, when daily highs rarely reach the low 80s. Hot air balloon rides generally depart at either sunrise or sunset for the most colorful views.
Despite its urban setting, Camelback Mountain provides a habitat to numerous native species, including the desert tortoise, cottontail rabbits, chuckwalla lizards, and rattlesnakes. Also keep an eye out for native Arizona flora like mesquite and palo verde trees, as well as saguaro, cholla, and prickly pear cacti.