Camelback Mountain-Cholla Trail

Phoenix, Arizona 85014

Camelback Mountain-Cholla Trail

Camelback Mountain-Cholla Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The summit of Camelback Mountain is the highest point in the City of Phoenix. The 2,704-foot summit affords hikers an impressive panoramic view of the city and the surrounding mountain ranges. Cholla Trail offers hikers an easier, albeit longer, way to reach the top of Camelback Mountain than does the popular Echo Canyon Trail. Fans of cityscape can appreciate Cholla Trail for its open views along the way.

Note: No parking along Cholla Lane—park along Invergordon Road instead; no dogs allowed."

More Camelback Mountain-Cholla Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Easy Day Hikes: Phoenix (Falcon Guides)
Stewart M. Green
View more trails from this guide book
"This excellent but strenuous hike ascends the long east ridge to the summit of 2,704-foot-high Camelback Mountain. The 1.75-mile Cholla Trail is a great alternative hike to the steeper and busier Summit Trail on the opposite side of Camelback Mountain. The well-maintained trail gains 1,300 feet from trailhead to summit, roughly following the long east ridge of the mountain, and offers marvelous views of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and the Phoenician Resort. Expect some steep, rocky sections near the top with scrambling over boulders and along the ridge crest. No water is available along the trail. Carry plenty to drink, especially in hot weather. A quart per person would not be too much." Read more

Camelback Mountain-Cholla Trail Reviews

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4/17/2018
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3/12/2018
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9/24/2011
It was a good trail, but really easy. It mostly makes for a nice 360 view of Phoenix. Not all that hard for most people - good exercise.
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3/16/2011
Great hike right in the middle of Scottsdale, Az. We got an early start & were thankful for it as it got hot closer to midmorning as well as the number of people hiking up grew as the day went on. First half of the hike is some simple switchbacks up the side of the mountain with lots of great views/picture taking opportunities. Second half of trail is pretty much UP the side of the mountain with lots of climbing on & around rocks. The view from the top is worth the hike as you get a 360 view of the entire valley. Saw all ages on the trail from young kids to the wisest amongst us. Most made it to the top.
Tips: start early, bring lots of water & practice the parking as it is on the street about 1/2 mile away from trail head
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3/28/2010
Great hike. As an out-of-towner it was a very nice hike. Get there early because the trail gets busy around 11am. Also the last 20 percent of the trail is the strenuous part, don't be intimidated, it isn't that bad. The saddle also offers some great views, but the peak is spectacular. This is a great urban peak.
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9/26/2009
Great trail. Bring lots of water, my friend started feeling nauseous and threw up halfway up. This trail is a great workout but can be quite crowded.
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8/24/2009
Great trail, great workout and awesome views! Not a trail for beginners though and bring lots of water with you as it gets hot when the sun comes up.

The only down side is the difficult access to the trail from this side. No parking and if you street park past a certain time they ticket you. If they have a trail entrance, they should look at some options for people.
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3/29/2009
This is a fun hike with some of the best views of the city any hike in the area has to offer. It's a great workout too. Only bad thing is you have to park out on the main street since the rich mansion owners got the city to ban parking at the entrance to the trail. Good way to brush up on your parallel parking skills!
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8/14/2008
My favorite trail up Camelback. Parking can be hard to find, so get there at the crack of dawn. Trail starts with nice switchbacks that lasts for about a mile. The last 1/3 mile is steep climbing up rocks towards the summit. This is a nice workout after work during late February through early May.
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5/8/2007
Quick running note. Nice little run if you turn around at the saddle. Not feasible to run much past that, plus the saddle represents a good one miile mark. Brisk walk or slow jog from the car is a good warmup. You can stash your water behind some boulders at the start of the trail.

Other posts are dead-on. Crowding exists, parking is tough, but it is easy to access and outside of Piestewa (formerly Squaw) the best hill/mountain climb in close proximity to Phoenix.
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Camelback Mountain-Cholla Trail Photos

Trail Information

Phoenix
Nearby City
3.8
Distance
1,329 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
2 hours
Duration
Sunrise–sunset; limited parking
Season
1,375 feet
Trailhead Elevation
2,704 feet
Top Elevation
Views
Features
USGS: Paradise Valley
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018