This is looking down from the summit at a hiker making her way down the ridge on the Cholla Trail on Camelback Mountain. I liked how the last light of day was lighting just the sharp ridge line, leaving a dark shadow behind the ridge.
It is awesome to find such a great mountain trail in the middle of a giant city like Phoenix! If I lived here, I would do it all the time. As you can see, it isn’t just a walk in the park, it is fairly steep, with places that have sharp drops on either side. I can see why there are lots of rescues – when we hiked up, there were definitely some people up there who were completely out of place and really didn’t belong.
The Cholla Trail is a little over a mile and a half each way, but it does climb about 1,200 feet. The trail is fairly easy up to the saddle area between the two “humps”. After that, it gets steeper, and a little more tricky. The top photo is of one of the more difficult stretches. The view from the saddle is very nice, and probably an ideal destination for many hikers.
Maybe the biggest challenge hiking the Cholla Trail is finding a parking spot – at least on the weekends. We went mid week, and it wasn’t a problem, but that isn’t true for the weekends. The trail starts from Cholla Lane, but there isn’t any on street parking on this street. You need to park on Invergordon / 64th Street and walk to the trail head. The actual street name in this area is Invergordon, but a short distance away it turns into 64th Street. There is some parking available on this street, but it is limited.
On a hot day, the Cholla Trail is a great route in the afternoon and evening since this trail heads up the East side of Camelback Mountain, much of it is in the shade. There is a second trail up Cammelback known as the Summit Trail or Echo Canyon Trail – we haven’t hiked this trail.
The photo above is from the actual summit looking down on Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix. The mounds in the distance are in Papago Park.