Hike | Echo Canyon | Phoenix
- Length: 2.4 miles (round trip)
- Trailhead Elevation: 1,424 ft.
- Gain/Loss: +1,280 ft.
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Dog Friendly: No
When you here people talk about "hiking Camelback" Echo Canyon Summit Trail is typically the trail they are referring to. This jewel in the heart of the Arizona urban sprawl is a fantastic anaerobic workout for anyone who is looking for a new way to get their heart rate up. This trail is one of the most popular hiking destination in the Valley of the Sun so make sure you put this one on your to-do list and make sure to get there early!
Echo Canyon Summit Trail is PACKED on the weekends and is becoming more and more popular on the weekdays as well. It is vital that you get there early (before 6 a.m.) because the lot will be full within minutes. Be careful where you park if you can't find a spot in one of the two lots at the Echo Canyon Recreation Area because there are several places where police will give out tickets.
The trailhead begins at the recreation center and really cannot be missed. It is an extremely well worn path nearly the entire way to the summit and is virtually impossible to get lost (just follow the hoards of people in front of you). After about the first 1/4 mile, the trail becomes a scramble for a mile uphill hike to the summit. I don't really consider this trail a hike at all; it is more like an outdoor crossfit gym filled with shirtless dudes and Lulu Lemon tights.
The views at the top of the hump are beautiful because it overlooks the valley with 360 degree views. It is especially beautiful when you pair it with a ridiculous Arizona sunset. When you have taken as many photos as your memory card can handle, come back the way you came.
- Camera is a must have
- Bring plenty of water. Arizona is hot and dry (duh right?)
- For novice hikers, go slowly and don't rush. This is good advice for everyone but especially for those who are not used to walking on unstable ground.
- This is a great alternative workout and be prepared to see several people trail running/fast hiking
- Get there EARLY.
- STAY ON THE TRAIL! Several people die every year (yes, die) because they wander off, get lost and get heat stroke or fall.
- One of the most popular hikes in the Phoenix area
- Great 360 degree views
- Excellent workout, right in your backyard