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Cholla Trail

Camelback Mountain

Phoenix Metro Area, Arizona

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Cholla Trail

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  • Sections of the Cholla Trail are steep.- Cholla Trail
  • View of Paradise Valley residences.- Cholla Trail
  • The trail leading up to the ridge.- Cholla Trail
  • Gorgeous ocotillo cactus.- Cholla Trail
  • Cholla cactus.- Cholla Trail
  • Saguaro cactus.- Cholla Trail
  • Scottsdale stretches out below Camelback Mountain.- Cholla Trail
  • The trail follows a ridge up to the summit.- Cholla Trail
  • Great views from the Cholla Trail, Camelback Mountian.- Cholla Trail
  • The Camelback Mountain summit.- Cholla Trail
  • Desert globemallow (Sphaeralcea Ambigua).- Cholla Trail
  • Cholla Trail on Camelback Mountain.- Cholla Trail
  • Barrel cactus.- Cholla Trail
  • Scottdale viewed from the summit of Camelback Mountain.- Cholla Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Sweeping views. Great climbing.
Cons: 
Extremely congested.
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Region:
Phoenix Metro Area, AZ
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,264.00 ft (385.27 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,440.00 ft (438.91 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

A wildly popular urban hike near Paradise Valley, Cholla Trail is one half of the trail system traversing Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale. Start at Cholla Trailhead and spend the first half mile climbing switchbacks until the trail intersects the climbing portion of the trail. The remainder of the hike is a steep scramble up Cholla Ridge. The trail is easy to lose at times, but trail markers are strategically placed along the way. Watch for blue dots that have been painted on rocks to mark the trail as well. Tree species along the trail include mesquite, ironwood, and palo verde. Plants on this trail are typical of those found in the lower Sonoran Desert: saguaro cactucs, cholla, prickly pear, barrel, hedgehot, pincushion, staghorn, and christmas cacti. Because this trail is heavily traveled and near housing, animal sightings are rare. Rattlesnakes are occasionally spotted, as are cottontail rabbits, harris antelope squirrels, and lizards. Cholla Trail is 3 miles there and back, though you can choose to continue the route via Echo Canyon to the other end of Camelback Mountain.

Note that there is no parking at the trailhead, so biking to trailhead is suggested. Police actively ticket vehicles parked on nearby streets.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(28 within a 30 mile radius)

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