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Camelback Mountain


Camelback Mountain is located in the Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area between the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix and the town of Paradise Valley, AZ.


For more information and the latest updates, visit the official website: Camelback Mountain


Camelback Mountain, named for its resemblance to the hump and head of a kneeling camel, is a popular outdoor destination in the Phoenix area. The mountain’s elevation is 2,704 feet, and it offers stunning views of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Camelback Mountain provides a unique desert hiking experience, with two challenging trails: the Echo Canyon Trail and the Cholla Trail. These trails are steep and strenuous, but the panoramic views at the summit make the effort worthwhile.

Things to Do

1. Hiking: Both the Echo Canyon Trail and the Cholla Trail are popular among fitness enthusiasts and experienced hikers. Think of it as nature’s stairmaster, with the reward of a beautiful 360-degree view of the Valley at the top.

2. Photography: The unique shape of Camelback Mountain, combined with the surrounding desert landscape and wildlife, makes it a great location for photography.

3. Wildlife Viewing: The mountain and surrounding area are home to a variety of desert wildlife, including birds, lizards, and rabbits. Occasionally, hikers may spot larger animals like coyotes or javelinas.

4. Sunrise/Sunset Viewing: Many hikers aim to reach the summit in time for sunrise or sunset, which can be a breathtaking experience.

Opening Hours

The trails at Camelback Mountain are open from sunrise to sunset. However, these hours can change depending on the season and weather conditions, so it’s always a good idea to check the official website for the most current information.


There is no admission fee to hike Camelback Mountain. Parking is also free but can be limited, especially during peak times. Arriving early or using ride sharing services are recommended.


Camelback Mountain is a prominent landmark in the Phoenix Metropolitan area and is composed of two main geological formations. The “head”, or eastern part of the mountain, is made up of granite that is estimated to be around 1.5 billion years old. The “hump”, or the western part, is made up of sandstone that is only around 25 million years old. This combination of two different geological formations in the same mountain is quite rare, adding to Camelback Mountain’s uniqueness.

Hiking Trails

Camelback Mountain has two main hiking trails:

1. Echo Canyon Trail: This is the more popular of the two trails. It’s about 1.2 miles long and is quite steep, with an elevation gain of about 1,200 feet. The trail includes a number of large boulders that need to be navigated, adding to the challenge.

2. Cholla Trail: This trail is slightly longer than the Echo Canyon Trail, at about 1.5 miles, but is considered slightly less strenuous. However, it still has an elevation gain of about 1,200 feet, and the trail becomes quite steep and rocky near the summit.

Flora and Fauna

Camelback Mountain is located in the Sonoran Desert, and as such, it is home to a variety of desert plants and animals. Some of the most common plants you’ll see include the saguaro cactus, the palo verde tree, and various types of yucca. Wildlife includes creatures like the Gambel’s quail, the desert tortoise, and the chuckwalla lizard.


Because of the challenging nature of the trails and the extreme heat in the summer, safety is a major concern when hiking Camelback Mountain. Each year, several rescues are performed on the mountain due to hikers getting dehydrated, overheated, or injured. To stay safe, it’s essential to bring plenty of water, avoid hiking in the middle of the day during the summer, and wear appropriate footwear.

Photography and Sightseeing

The views from the top of Camelback Mountain are breathtaking, offering a panoramic vista of the entire Phoenix metropolitan area. On a clear day, other landmarks such as the McDowell Mountains, Piestewa Peak, and even the Superstition Mountains can be seen in the distance. This makes the summit a great place for photography or simply enjoying the view.

Whether you’re a local looking for a fitness challenge or a visitor wanting to experience the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, Camelback Mountain is a must-visit destination. Just remember to hike responsibly and respect the natural environment.

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