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Camelback Mountain
Vacation Travel Guide

A distinct “hump” in the landscape offers panoramic views over the Valley of the Sun.

Camelback Mountain resembles a camel at rest in the Sonoran Desert. The “head” of the camel is made up of red sandstone. Its “hump”, the peak of the mountain, is a granite formation that rises 2,704 feet (824 meters) above sea level. This makes it the highest mountain in Phoenix with one of the best panoramic views in Arizona.Walking or climbing the trails is a popular half-day trip.

For millions of years the huge landform stood deserted until the Hohokam people took up residence here in the first century. They abandoned the site some 1,450 years later for unknown reasons. The ceremonial cave they left behind gave Camelback its folk name: Sacred Mountain. Today, hundreds of thousands of hikers tackle the slopes each year.

To reach the summit, you have to ascend roughly 1,200 feet (365 meters) from the base at Echo Canyon. Steep narrow paths and rough surfaces can make it a challenge, especially on hot days. The Echo Canyon Summit Trail, a 2.3-mile (3.7-kilometer) round trip, is one of the more strenuous. The longer Cholla Trail is more gradual, but joins up with the final steep section of the Summit Trail. It is worth the effort to get a 360-degree view over the Valley of the Sun. Allow a few hours for the return trip. Watch out for snakes and sharp rocks, wear adequate clothing and carry your water on your back because you’ll need your hands for climbing.

There are plenty of great ascents for rock climbers. After a relaxing walk with a view, try one of the trails around Camelback’s base. Check out the rugged landscape of cacti, wildflowers, gardens of lichens, and rocks that have been beaten into a myriad of shapes by millennia of erosive forces.

Camelback Mountain is a 25-minute drive northeast of downtown. Come early, because parking near the base is very limited.

Please note that in January 2013 work began on an upgrade of the Summit Trail, Echo Canyon Recreation Area, parking area and restrooms, making future access easier but closing the trail for a large part of the year.

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Top Hotels Close to Camelback Mountain

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
5 out of 5
5700 E McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ
The price is CA $839 per night from Jan 25 to Jan 26

Located in Camel Dale Properties, this luxury resort is 2.2 mi (3.6 km) from Camelback Mountain and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Old Town. Scottsdale Fashion Square and ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (562 reviews)

"The resort is very clean, staff is polite and accommodating. There was a mishap on the resort’s end and unfortunately, we did not get the room we booked. The front desk staff was very empathetic to our situation and our concerns. They provided us with a resolution that exceeded our expectations. ..."…"

Reviewed on Sep. 25, 2020

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
The Villa Famous Amongst the Stars
The Villa Famous Amongst the Stars
Phoenix, AZ
Get Rates

Located in Camelback East, this villa is within 6 mi (10 km) of Scottsdale Fashion Square, Old Town, and Camelback Mountain. Scottsdale Waterfront and Biltmore ...

The Villa Famous Amongst the Stars
Scottsdale Home 2 Bdrm, 2 Bath, Sleeps 6
Scottsdale Home 2 Bdrm, 2 Bath, Sleeps 6
Phoenix, AZ
Get Rates

Located in Camelback East, this vacation home is within 6 mi (10 km) of Scottsdale Fashion Square, Old Town, and Camelback Mountain. Biltmore Fashion Park and ...

Scottsdale Home 2 Bdrm, 2 Bath, Sleeps 6
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Camelback Mountain

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
5 out of 5
5700 E McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ
The price is CA $839 per night from Jan 25 to Jan 26
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
The Villa Famous Amongst the Stars
The Villa Famous Amongst the Stars
Phoenix, AZ
The Villa Famous Amongst the Stars
Scottsdale Home 2 Bdrm, 2 Bath, Sleeps 6
Scottsdale Home 2 Bdrm, 2 Bath, Sleeps 6
Phoenix, AZ
Scottsdale Home 2 Bdrm, 2 Bath, Sleeps 6
Royal Palms Resort and Spa in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt
Royal Palms Resort and Spa in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt
5 out of 5
5200 E Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ
The price is CA $483 per night from Jan 20 to Jan 21
Royal Palms Resort and Spa in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt
Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale
Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale
4.5 out of 5
5445 E Lincoln Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ
The price is CA $378 per night from Jan 20 to Jan 21
Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale
Red Rock by AvantStay | Sleeps 18! Mid Century Modern Home w/ View, Pool&Hot Tub
Red Rock by AvantStay | Sleeps 18! Mid Century Modern Home w/ View, Pool&Hot Tub
3.5 out of 5
5719 E Starlight Way, Paradise Valley, AZ
Red Rock by AvantStay | Sleeps 18! Mid Century Modern Home w/ View, Pool&Hot Tub
Red Rock by Avantstay Desert Hideaway w/ View, Pool & Hot Tub
Red Rock by Avantstay Desert Hideaway w/ View, Pool & Hot Tub
Paradise Valley, AZ
Red Rock by Avantstay Desert Hideaway w/ View, Pool & Hot Tub
CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN MANSION
CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN MANSION
Paradise Valley, AZ
CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN MANSION
Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
5 out of 5
4949 E Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ
The price is CA $406 per night from Jan 21 to Jan 22
Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.