Climbing The Camel’s Back

So you’re in Phoenix, Arizona and you want to go for a desert hike. No problem! Camelback Mountain offers a terrific hike in the middle of the city with incredible 360 views and amazing desert plants, cacti, and wildlife. From a distance, the mountain resembles its namesake: a camel’s humpy back. I’m not sure if “humpy” is a word, but I’m making it one. Strike that. It’s a word. I just checked. 😜

The trail is rated extremely difficult as shown in my Vanna White pic. No joke. It’s tough. 1.4 Miles to the summit and 1,235 feet of gain with some scrambling closer to the summit.

It is absolutely imperative to start early to beat the scorching desert heat. We did this hike in early May and stepped on the dirt trail by 5:30am. We brought plenty of water, but honestly, if we had more, we would have downed it too. Don’t forget the sunscreen too. (Of course, we did. Oops)

There are two trails to the summit: Echo Canyon and the Cholla trail. We opted for the Cholla trail to the summit and back down the same route. We noticed that lots of local hikers will leave an extra car at one trailhead and then start at the other trailhead making a thru-hike.

A partial view of the trail in the light of the rising sun.

A little breather and a photo op. The trail had helpful markers, especially in the scrambling parts to guide hikers over the rocks.

I just loved the Saguaro cactus, the largest in the US. So cool!

Aaron, a former Phoenix resident, was a perfect guide pointing out different landmarks in the city below.

We climbed that! 💪🏼

At the summit, 2,704 feet above sea level. Funny to think, we live at twice that elevation!

Incredible 360s of Phoenix!

So worth the effort! Feelin’ accomplished and proud after this tough one.

Final Note:

I traveled lightly with a carry-on bag to Phoenix and just had my sneakers. Obviously, I made it, but sturdy hiking boots with ankle support would have been so much more comfortable.

Phoenix….you really impressed me! Beautiful city and I can’t wait to visit again!

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