Today was our final day for hiking in Arizona and we decided to end with the big one, Camelback Mountain! The Cholla Trail is closed right now, so it was easy to pick the Echo Canyon Trail. This was the hardest hike I’ve ever done by a pretty big margin. In fact, both Tammy and I felt most of the hike was really more of a scramble over boulders. We took a steady pace up. Tammy would get ahead of me and wait for me to catch up. The hike up took 73 minutes, ascending 1,317 feet over 1.37 miles.

I always feel like going down on steep trails is harder than going up, but for Camelback you are going down such a steep rate that it is more like climbing down rocks so you are using your hands to brace. I found going down easier than I expected. I did slip on loose gravel at one point and fell down. I was fine, but it was cool to see my Apple Watch accurately detect the fall. It took me 68 minutes to descend.

The trail has two sections with handrails installed to help you get up and down.

Second section of handrail with Tammy hanging out for me to arrive.

This gives some sense of what the ascent is like.

Looking back and seeing other hikers coming up the trail.

The trail curves around and climbs up on the ridgeline.

Looking back along the trail.

More hikers ascending up the steep boulders.

The trail just goes up for as long as you can see.

Tammy and I at the Summit of Camelback! πŸ†

Selfie with Phoenix way below me.