Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,258.00 ft (383.44 m)
Trail type
2.30 mi (3.70 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Camelback Mountain is one of the most iconic mountains in the Phoenix Mountain range.  This is one of the most popular places, as well as, one of the most strenuous places to hike in the Greater Phoenix Area.  Hikers should be prepared for the elements and know that there is little shade on the trail.

Hikers will have one last chance to fill their water bottles and use the restroom at the parking lot.  Hikers will then start out on a series of switchbacks.  While the first portion of the trail ascends switchbacks, it is one of the easier portions of the trail.  Once hikers finish the switchbacks, they will reach a saddle and make a slight descent towards a series of stairs.  Once hikers reach the top of the stairwell they will come to one of the more technical portions of the trail where there is a railing to assist hikers that are both ascending and descending.  Hikers should take their time maneuvering on this portion of trail as it is often congested. Once hikers reach the top of the railing, they will make another short descent.  From there, there is another railing to help hikers up a boulder-filled wash.  Once hikers get to the top of the wash, it is a good opportunity for a break before the next section of trail that is similar to the one that was just ascended.  From there hikers the grade will ease up and hikers should be aware of the signs marking the trail.  The trail narrows and works its way over a very small saddle before making one of the longest ascents on the trail. 

Hikers can choose their own route up the small boulders and keep an eye out for the trail markers to ensure they are on the correct path. Hikers should keep an eye out for Marker #33 as this indicated the start of the last push to the top.  Once hikers get to the top they have a 360-degree view of Phoenix.  The summit is a wonderful place to top and take a rest before heading back down to the trailhead parking lot.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Big Views of Phoenix.



Trailhead Elevation

1,423.00 ft (433.73 m)

Highest point

2,681.00 ft (817.17 m)


Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Potable water
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping

Superstition Mountains Area, Mesa, Arizona
McDowell Mountain Regional Park


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.