“the head of the camel”
Camelback Mountain is considered one of the nation's top hiking destinations and attracts visitors from around the world. The range consists of two main trails, Echo Canyon Trail and Cholla Trail, both of which are rated Extremely Difficult and subject hikers to steep elevation gains, very rugged terrain and harsh elements associated with the Sonoran Desert. Only experienced hikers with adequate preparation during optimal weather should attempt to hike to the summit. Camelback Mountain gets its name from the unique silhouette it casts on the Valley skyline. The "head" of the mountain, where Echo Canyon Trailhead is located, is made up of relatively soft layered sandstone. The "humps" are primarily composed of much harder and older granite. Contrasting rates of erosion created the dramatic camel-like slopes. During winter and spring months, Echo Canyon experiences extremely high visitation. The parking lot will typically be full from late morning through early afternoon on weekdays, and remain full throughout the day on weekends. When the parking lot reaches capacity, the entry gate will be closed. Visitors cannot idle vehicles on nearby McDonald Drive or Tatum Boulevard to wait for the gates to reopen. Police will ticket visitors who idle their vehicle along those roadways and tow those parked illegally.
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Echo Canyon Trail and Recreation Area
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