The best-known natural landmark in Phoenix, Camelback Mountain is named for its two summits resembling the hump and head of a kneeling camel. It offers year-round beauty and recreation, with a host of activities to enjoy. Whether you want a scenic walk, an unforgettable hike or a challenging rock climb, the mountain offers all this and more.
1. Highest Peak in Phoenix
Phoenix offers seven breathtaking mountain summits to climb, and Camelback Mountain has the highest, reaching 2,704 feet to provide the best views in the area. With a vertical slope of 1,264 feet over less than 1.5 miles, first-timers often find themselves overwhelmed by its difficulty, but many return to try again.
2. Popular Hiking Trails
More than 700,000 people combined hike up the Cholla and Echo Canyon trails of Camelback Mountain each year. Climbing to the summit has become almost a rite of passage for many nature lovers living in or visiting Phoenix. For less experienced hikers, there are two shorter, less-strenuous trails to take.
3. Holy History
Camelback Mountain was once a holy place for ancient Native Americans who lived in the Salt River Valley. Caves have been found that indicate the area was sacred to the Hohokam culture. The famous “Praying Monk” seems to give homage to that holy history. When viewed from a number of places throughout the valley, this red, sandstone rock formation resembles the shape of a man kneeling as if in prayer.
4. Distinctive Beauty
In contrast to the surrounding mountains, Camelback offers a brilliant array of reds, oranges and pinks created by the soft granite, sedimentary sandstone and bubbly conglomerate rock it’s made of. With jutting rocks, awe-inspiring cliffs, curving domes, caves, holes and crevices, the mountain itself is a natural wonder. The exquisite plants and blooming wildflowers in this lovely landscape only add to the breathtaking beauty.
5. Abundant Animals
The abundance of nature here is incredibly diverse. The high, crevice-filled cliffs are the perfect home for native chuckwallas (related to iguanas), pig-like javelinas, foxes, bobcats, coyotes, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, snakes, birds and bees.
6. Close To Downtown
Despite the imposing presence that seems to indicate distance, Camelback Mountain is actually only 20 minutes away from Downtown Phoenix and all of the culture and history offered there. In fact, much of Camelback Mountain is actually a Phoenix City Park, and the mountain is officially designated a Phoenix Point of Pride.
The facilities at Camelback Mountain recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation which expanded the formerly tiny parking areas, added rock-hewn steps on many of the trails, and provided new restrooms with chilled water fountains. These renovations make a stop here even more pleasant, especially if you’re lucky enough to get in early or stay late for the brilliant sunsets.
Located on scenic Camelback Mountain, Sanctuary Resort and Spa offers everything you need for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation in any season. Contact us today to begin planning your stay.