Arizona Hiking Gallery
Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike
Phoenix, AZ
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!

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 1
Starting out along the Cholla Trailhead near the eastern end of Camelback Mountain the trail skirts around the Phoenician Golf Club.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 2
A view overlooking the Phoenician Golf Club south toward the Papago Buttes.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 3
The trail starts up a steep rocky climb on the eastern side of Camelback Mountain.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 4
A view to the northeast overlooking Scottsdale toward the McDowell Mountains.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 5
Looking south to the Papago Buttes.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 6
A view looking down on the Phoenician Golf Club.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 7
The trail heads in a westerly direction along the rocky northern slopes of Camelback Mountain.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 8
A view looking east from the northern side of Camelback Mountain. Four Peaks can be seen off in the distance at the far left.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 9
The Cholla Trail climbs toward a saddle (left) before making the climb to the top.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 10
From the saddle the vast expanse of the City of Phoenix comes into view.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 11
From the saddle the trail leads into a rocky scramble along the ridge top.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 12
Did I mention that it's a rocky scramble to the top?

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 13
56th Street stretches south toward Papago Buttes.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 14
Caption for IMG_5314

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 15
The City of Phoenix appears far below beyond the face a sun-lit cliff.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 16
Whoa . . . Anybody else getting dizzy?

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 17
The cities of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley spread out beyond a wall of granite boulders.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 18
Looking back down at the saddle and a crowd of hikers making their way up the mountain.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 19
A view looking over Scottsdale and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to Four Peaks in the distance.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 20
Twin Saguaro Cactus looking south toward the City of Tempe and the Papago Buttes.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 21
56th Street stretching southward.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 22
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.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 23
A close look shows a crowd of hikers making the final pitch to the top.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 24
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.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 25
A view to the north looking down on Mummy Mountain.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 26
A view to the top of Camelback Mountain with the City of Phoenix off to the left.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 27
A northwest view towards the Phoenix Mountains.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 28
Just a few more feet up the spine of this ridge and I'll be on top.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 29
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.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 30
Looking north over Mountain Shadows Country Club and toward Mummy Mountain from atop Camelback Mountain.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 31
From the top of Camelback Mountain looking out toward Squaw Peak on the left and the Phoenix Mountains on the right.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 32
A view to the east on my way back down Camelback Mountain.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail Hike: Image 33
The lush green golf course contrast with the dry and rocky desert mountain landscape.

All images Copyright ©2007 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.