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Camelback Mountain via Cholla Trail

Paradise Valley, Arizona

based on 17 reviews



2.68 miles

Elevation Gain

1158 ft

Route Type



Added by Kevin Kaminski

Take this slightly longer hike up Camelback Mountain for scenic views of Phoenix. For the shorter and arguably easier hike up, check out the Echo Canyon Route.

This challenging hike up the east side of Camelback Mountain has beautiful views of Phoenix and Scottsdale, and is not often crowded.

You will begin on switchbacks heading up the mountain, with trail markers to guide you at first. The hike increases in difficulty about 1 mile in, when you reach the saddle, and you will have to do some scrambling during the last stretch to the top.

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Camelback Mountain via Cholla Trail Reviews

This is a strenuous hike. It gains evaluation quickly. Many people who are beginners attempt this hike and end up slowing everyone else. Speaking of everyone else, this trail get ridiculously crowded! The parking lot gets completely full and you have to walk an extra mile along a busy road. If you can find a time to do it when it isn’t over crowded and you are prepared properly, it’s a very rewarding hike with spectacular views of the valley.

Make sure to do this early in the day to avoid the heat, and also make sure to have enough water and proper footwear. The hike up is one of the toughest hikes I have ever done, but the vies of the sonoran desert and phoenix were awesome.

Camelback is the perfect mountain to hike for a workout due to it's location and great views from the top. The trail gets extremely busy though which is a big deterrent for me. I'm not a fan of crowds when trying to navigate a trail. There are also many rescues from the mountain due to it's popularity and people not coming prepared for how steep the climb is and the hot Arizona sun.

Start early, it get's hot quickly! And Camelback is ALWAYS busy, so be prepared. Make sure to practice proper hiking etiquette (people coming up have the right of way) and bring more water than you think you need. And also, know your abilities. You don't want to be one of those people that has to be rescued by the Phoenix FD :)

Tough and steep hike but totally worth it. Was able to see north Scottsdale and downtown PHX at the same time. Will definitely hike it again

Definitely the easier side of Camelback. Get there before the work rush hour, and on weekdays to beat the rush. Parking can be a problem when it is super busy.

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