Climbing Camelback Mountain
one of the hardest hikes I've done so far. Very strenuousTripAdvisor reviewer
absolutely challenging from the first stepTripAdvisor reviewer
Kind of risky...thought I would dieTripAdvisor reviewer
Worth the challengeTripAdvisor reviewer
Beautiful trails and gorgeous viewsTripAdvisor reviewer
Spectacular views & well worth the hike!TripAdvisor reviewer
The above are a selection of quotes from TripAdvisor reviewers of the Camelback Mountain Hike. When I visit a new place I like to escape the hustle and bustle of the urban centre and a hike is perhaps at the top of list of options. Upon reading TripAdvisor even I, a relatively young and good-looking 27 year old and conquerer of several day hikes in my time, hesitated (briefly) from attempting the trip.
I am alive and well, and my life is much richer from making it to the top and back. It’s true that it is tough going, but I saw a huge variety of people in terms of age and fitness. Take your time and you will succeed. This was one of the most enjoyable hikes I’ve done.
Why is the name Camelback?
The English name is derived from its shape, which resembles the hump and head of a kneeling camel.Wikipedia
2 routes to 1 summit
There’s the Echo Canyon trail and the Cholla trail. The former is the one people who have attempted and completed. With many steep parts over which you may need to use your hands (I am a tall guy and still felt the need to clamber), it is far from impossible. It certainly is a hike and not a walk, but it’s incredibly fun and rewarding. In places where it is very steep there are railings provided to help you.
The Cholla trail, which I did not take, is far less steep and begins at a different location at the base of the mountain. Due to its kinder incline it does take a lot longer to complete. One reviewer on TripAdvisor who makes this hike regularly suggested taking the whole day to walk both trails.
Take lots of breaks on the way – it’s worth it
There’s no rush to the top, unless you’re one of the many crazy people who run up and down it for the adrenaline rush. So take lots of stops to take in the marvellous views that reach out towards the horizon. I went in February and the weather was perfect: clear blue skies, thin clouds, the sun not hot. Also, there are cacti everywhere which make for some cool photos especially if these are plants that you only see at the cinema.
The colours are beautiful
One of the things I loved about the canyon was the range of colour on show. It reminded me of walking around Uluru and Kata Tjuta in Australia. The bright green of the vegetation, the yellow/red of the sandstone and of course the vibrant blue sky was a welcome addition.
Keep your eyes peeled
You might just see some cool wildlife. I got a short glimpse of what I think was a chipmunk at the top and there is many a reptile to be seen.
Enjoy! Don’t forget to go early in the morning if it’s the summer time or you want to avoid the crowds. Take lots of water! Here’s the checklist the park recommends.