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Thursday, January 16, 2014

ECHO CANYON RECREATION AREA

ECHO CANYON SUMMIT TRAIL
Camelback Mountain 
Camelback Mountain as seen from Piestewa Peak


After being closed for improvements for nearly a year, the new Echo Canyon trailhead at Camelback Mountain was opened Wednesday, January, 15, 2014. Providing access to one of the most popular, iconic and infamously crowded in-town hikes, the new recreation site features smoother traffic flow, double the parking, restrooms, water and a stabilizing trail realignment. The summit of Camelback Mountain is the highest point in Phoenix and  the aggressive ascent is a prime workout for peak-bagging hikers and cardio trainers alike.
This trail is NOT RECOMMENDED for novice hikers or those who are not accustomed to desert conditions. Although it's frequently touted as a "must do" for out-of-state visitors, Summit Trail is not a walk in the park.  It's an insanely steep haul with loose footing, sheer drop offs and elbow-to-elbow foot traffic.  Prime season for the hike is from November through April.  Off-season temperatures can climb to the triple-digits making it downright dangerous to attempt.  Dehydration---which can be, and has been deadly--- is a common problem for hikers on this route. Additionally, the sheer volume of trekkers using this trail is taking a toll on the terrain---and with so many other wonderful Phoenix hiking destinations, it's smart to test your mettle elsewhere.

LENGTH: 1.23 miles one-way
ELEVATION: 1504' - 2704'
RATING: difficult

GETTING THERE:
4925 E. McDonald Drive, Phoenix
INFO: City of Phoenix, 602-261-8318
http://phoenix.gov/parks/trails/locations/camelback/camelpark.html

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