Arizona Hiking Gallery
Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike
December 2, 2007
Gallery contains 33 photos
Gallery last updated: 12/25/2007
This is an urban hike up Camelback Mountain along the Cholla Trail. Camelback Mountain rises about 1300 feet from the desert floor in the middle of the great Phoenix Metropolis. From the trailhead on the eastern end of the mountain the steep and rocky Cholla Trail climbs about 1200 feet in about 1.5 miles to the top of Camelback Mountain. Being right in the middle of a metro area, the mountain draws many hikers to its peak. In the short period of time that I spent on the top there were probably anywhere from 15 to 40 people on the top...quite a crowd!
Starting out along the Cholla Trailhead near the eastern end of Camelback Mountain the trail skirts around the Phoenician Golf Club.
A view overlooking the Phoenician Golf Club south toward the Papago Buttes.
The trail starts up a steep rocky climb on the eastern side of Camelback Mountain.
A view to the northeast overlooking Scottsdale toward the McDowell Mountains.
Looking south to the Papago Buttes.
A view looking down on the Phoenician Golf Club.
The trail heads in a westerly direction along the rocky northern slopes of Camelback Mountain.
A view looking east from the northern side of Camelback Mountain. Four Peaks can be seen off in the distance at the far left.
The Cholla Trail climbs toward a saddle (left) before making the climb to the top.
From the saddle the vast expanse of the City of Phoenix comes into view.
From the saddle the trail leads into a rocky scramble along the ridge top.
Did I mention that it's a rocky scramble to the top?
56th Street stretches south toward Papago Buttes.
The City of Phoenix appears far below beyond the face a sun-lit cliff.
Whoa . . . Anybody else getting dizzy?
The cities of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley spread out beyond a wall of granite boulders.
Looking back down at the saddle and a crowd of hikers making their way up the mountain.
A view looking over Scottsdale and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to Four Peaks in the distance.
Twin Saguaro Cactus looking south toward the City of Tempe and the Papago Buttes.
56th Street stretching southward.
In places the trail tends to branch into many indistinct spurs, but the general idea is to head up and keep to the spine of the ridge.
A close look shows a crowd of hikers making the final pitch to the top.
Nearing the top of Camelback Mountain reveals only some of the crowd of hikers that congregate on top, proving that this is a very popular destination.
A view to the north looking down on Mummy Mountain.
A view to the top of Camelback Mountain with the City of Phoenix off to the left.
A northwest view towards the Phoenix Mountains.
Just a few more feet up the spine of this ridge and I'll be on top.
From atop the "hump" of the camel looking down on the brown layered sandstone which makes up the "head" of the camel at the western end of Camelback Mountain. Squaw Peak rises in the background.
Looking north over Mountain Shadows Country Club and toward Mummy Mountain from atop Camelback Mountain.
From the top of Camelback Mountain looking out toward Squaw Peak on the left and the Phoenix Mountains on the right.
A view to the east on my way back down Camelback Mountain.
The lush green golf course contrast with the dry and rocky desert mountain landscape.
All images Copyright ©2007 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.