Hike of the Week: Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, AZ

Climb above Phoenix for an aerie-like view over the valley.
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Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 2.4 miles (out and back)
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: 2 out of 5

Summary

It's popular for a reason: Score the best view of the Valley of the Sun on this leg-burner. From the Echo Canyon trailhead (33.5213, -111.9738), head southeast up Camelback's flank, zigzagging past boulders, cactuses, and sagebrush to the 2,707-foot summit. (Watch for rattlers.) No one said this was a quiet hike, but no one's complaining about the super-easy access, either. 

In 1.2 miles, gain some 1,700 feet on this StairMaster. The last bit is a straight scramble, but the 360-degree view at the top is worth it. I.D. Squaw Peak to the northwest, Mummy Mountain to the north, and South Mountain to the—you guessed it—south, beyond the Papago Buttes and Salt River. Between it all, it's heat waves and the glinting windows of buildings and pools of Phoenix proper.

Note: Try it super-early or even at night by headlamp to ditch the crowds.

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