Instantly recognizable for its dromedary shape, Camelback Mountain juts out of the desert, straddling Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale, lavish homes and resorts clinging to its lower flanks. When development threatened the peak in the 1950s and ’60s, a grassroots effort—spearheaded by Senator Barry Goldwater—spurred locals to save the area as a preserve. It’s been a favorite urban hike since, but now there’s a new reason to head for the hill: The popular Echo Canyon Trailhead reopened in 2014 after a $4.5 million makeover, in which workers stabilized the trail, added more parking spaces, and built a shade shelter. The 1.3-mile trail begins gently, but after the first quarter-mile, it’s a strenuous, lung-busting scramble over lichen-dotted boulders. The reward? A stunning 360° view of the valley.
4925 E. McDonald Dr.