Camelback Mountain is 5 miles from my home. Back in September I rode my bike to the Echo Canyon Trailhead. When I saw it I knew I had to climb it. The last time I climbed anything was in 2013.
Try to picture a mountain that does in fact look like the back of a camel. 1200+ feet high. It didn’t seem that daunting until I started to climb. Straight up. Like 1200+ feet.
The trail has stairs and railings on the bottom half. Then it’s just scrambling over boulders the rest of the way to the summit. Every time I reached a plateau, there was more climbing. A real butt kicker. When I finally reached the summit I was overjoyed!
But wait. I still had to go back down. The going down turned out to be even more challenging. My legs were exhausted. I slipped on gravel. Gashed my knee and my head. Almost fell of the mountain. Ran into a concerned hiker who freaked out at the sight of blood. There was 911. Hot firefighters to the rescue even though I was fine. Oh. Did I mention the 110° temperature? Clearly there was a happy ending because I’m writing this post. 😜
At the bottom, the ranger took my info to add me to the statistics and then said, “You do know this is the hardest trail in Phoenix?” Ha! “I do now!” I replied.
And so a love of hiking was reborn. 🙂