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As one of the most publicized, yet overrated trails in the Phoenix Metro, this trail will be jammed with people.

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Point to Point

2,575' 785 m


1,435' 437 m


1,140' 348 m


1' 0 m



Avg Grade (11°)


Max Grade (22°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views

Echo Canyon Recreation Area is open every day from sunrise to sunset.


Perhaps the most famous trail in all of Phoenix, and the first that everyone thinks to do when going for a hike, the Echo Canyon Summit Trail is a mainstay in Phoenix hiking culture. While its fame has only grown in recent years, when you boil it down, the trail is really not that great. Massive erosion and hellaciously steep climbing coupled with the extreme heat and sun for which Phoenix is known leads to numerous helicopter rescues of unprepared hikers every year. Add that to a ridiculous amount of traffic on trail, no available parking at the trailhead, and fierce ticketing of improperly parked cars by police, and it's almost needless to say that you can have a better time hiking on one of the numerous other trails nearby that offer you comparable views of the city in a much less hostile, Black Friday-esque environment.

One last thing: if your heart is set on climbing Camelback, look at the Cholla Trail before making up your mind. Its gentler grades and safer trail surface provide a much nicer way to the top while still getting your lungs and legs working!

All of the above considered, the trail description for the Echo Canyon Summit Trail is below:

Starting at the Echo Canyon Trailhead Parking Area, follow the trail south as it climbs gently on a smooth tread through a landscape dotted with large boulders. Soon, the trail steepens dramatically as it switchbacks through a new section of trail built to reduce erosion and thereby prolong the lifespan of the Echo Canyon Summit Trail while increasing visitor safety.

After executing the numerous sets of switchbacks, the trail climbs moderately to a viewpoint atop Echo Saddle (elevation 1,690 ft). This is a great turnaround point for anyone feeling strained by this point in the hike. Be warned - it gets much, much harder from this point.

If you're feeling good and like you might have brought too much water (trust me, you won't feel that way in a few minutes), continue up the trail, climbing strenuously through sections of slickrock terrain aided by handrails before reaching the second saddle. Upon reaching the second saddle, be sure to stop, drink some water, and enjoy the pleasant view of South Mountain while you let your legs rest.

Before you continue up the trail, make sure to stow anything you're holding into your bag so you have free use of your hands. The upcoming section of trail requires hands-and-feet scrambling at times as you navigate the large boulder piles on the way to the summit. Take your time through here, and don't forget to take water breaks.

Finally, after surpassing the last rocky stretch, you'll reach the summit and its panoramic views of Phoenix and the entire Valley of the Sun.


Shared By:

Hunter R with improvements by Dave Wyant

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 60 votes


  4.3 from 60 votes
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Trail Rankings


in Arizona


96 Views Last Month
14,983 Since Oct 6, 2016
Difficult Difficult



Looking South from the peak.
Nov 5, 2021 near Paradis…, AZ
Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, AZ.
Oct 6, 2016 near Paradis…, AZ
The saddle on Camelback Mountain.
Oct 6, 2016 near Paradis…, AZ
Get there early or risk big crowds hiking up Camelback on the weekends.
Oct 6, 2016 near Paradis…, AZ
Camelback Mountain views.
Dec 27, 2016 near Paradis…, AZ
View of the city from atop the mountain
Jan 7, 2018 near Paradis…, AZ



Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 25 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Apr 28, 2024
Andy Demaertelaere
Aug 12, 2023
it was cool
Apr 4, 2023
Anna Blanchard
Mar 5, 2023
Elynna Youm
Definitely a highly-trafficked trail (not my cup of tea). We went down the Cholla trail after summit. 1.1mi — 1h 45m
Jan 13, 2023
Lou Hibbard
With Janelle, lots of mini scrambles for Janelle 2.2mi
Jul 8, 2022
Patrick Womack
1h 30m
Jun 18, 2022
Jeff Hrabe
Apr 4, 2022
Timmy Kessel
Fun! With Mik,Abby, and Dad

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