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.