Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.00 mi (4.83 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.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Sweeping views. Great climbing.

Cons

Extremely congested.

Trailhead Elevation

1,440.00 ft (438.91 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,264.00 ft (385.27 m)

Features

Mountaineering
Rock climbing
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Shelters
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

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