The renowned summit trail and popular trailhead parking area at Camelback Mountain's Echo Canyon Recreation Area is now closed through the fall for work on a major improvement project. Crews have begun demolition of the existing lot, pictured at right, as well as salvaging and boxing cactuses and plants for replanting later. Trail crews have begun work on the reroute trail.
For project improvement project updates and status by phone, please call 480-281-1506.
View PHX11 City Update show on the Camelback Mountain project
The improvement project, viewable in this trailhead design illustration, will:
- Improve pedestrian safety through the addition of walkways throughout the parking area, providing a safety buffer for hikers approaching the area on foot, who in the old design had to approach on the roadway.
- Improve vehicle and pedestrian safety at the park entrance through the addition of a roundabout at the park entrance. The roundabout will control vehicle speeds at the park entrance, making it safer for hikers crossing over to the trailhead and for vehicles entering the lot.
- Renovate, rebuild and reroute the summit trail to improve footing, eliminate erosion-prone areas and increase long-term sustainability for the mountain.
- Increase the size of the parking area to 132 spaces from 68 currently.
- Improve traffic flow and reduce traffic through the creation of separate entrances for the trailhead and the neighboring residential area.
- Add a permanent restroom.
Looking for other great summit climbs in the Phoenix desert preserves? Try the hikes that are part of our annual Phoenix Summit Challenge. Collectively, these trails include thousands of feet of elevation gain that lead to panoramic valley views, so there's still plenty of places to get that workout and earn those great views.
Overall, there are still more than 180 miles of trails in Phoenix for hiking including the summit climbs. North Mountain, a challenging mountain climb with significant elevation gain, ample parking, convenient access off of 7th Street, and a smooth wide trail with no hiker backups is one great alternative. Our Trails and Desert Preserves pages, offer detailed information on all of Phoenix's renowned hiking areas including South Mountain, Lookout Mountain and the Sonoran Preserve.
As part of the trail and parking area redesign process, Arizona State University conducted a Usage Study of the Echo Canyon area, to better understand hiker usage of the area.