Echo Canyon Trail
Total Time: 2:30 hrs
Estimated Distance: 4.2 miles (including walk on road to trailhead)
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended, though very busy
Points Of Interest: Excellent climb with odd formations and great views
I had traveled to Arizona for the week, and was staying in Scottsdale on Sunday, nearby Camelback Mountain. The last time I was staying in the Phoenix area, I was determined to hike Camelback on my next trip, and this was my opportunity. Camelback Mountain is the most prominent mountain in Phoenix, and it's a rugged hump right in the middle of the city.
There are two trails that climb the mountain to the summit: The Echo Canyon Trail on the west, and the Cholla Trail on the east. I started at the Echo Canyon Trail. Parking here is a nightmare - especially on a Sunday in the winter. The parking lot is tiny considering the volume of people. The only option if the parking area is to park about a mile a way and walk over, or take a shuttle which I was unable to find. So I parked all the way down, and walked all the way down the road to the trailhead. I took the Echo Canyon all the way up, and then continued past the summit to the Cholla Trail all the way down, for a full Camelback experience. I was able to get a rid at the bottom back at my car.
|Map of the Route
|At the beginning of the hike
|Caves in the sandstone,
with some Saguaros, near the beginning of the hike.
|Continuing the climb.
|The steep climbing scramble part.
|Continuing the Ascent
|View facing downtown.
|Mummy Mountain and Paradise Valley.
|View from the summit.
Facing southeast towards Scottsdale.
|Me at the Summit.
|View north from the Summit, with Mummy Mnt.
|View from summit facing northeast.
|Vertical Cliff right below the summit.
Note the person on the top left.
|View towards Downtown Scottsdale on the Descent.