Echo Canyon Summit Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,140' 348 m
Descent: -1' 0 m
High: 2,575' 785 m
Low: 1,435' 437 m
GradeAvg Grade: 19% (11°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)
Popular runs nearby
8A-8B-200 Loop Near Piestewa
3.8 mi 6.0 km • Loop • 917 ft Ascent 279.5 m Ascent
XTERRA Papago Urban Desert Trail Run 26k
8.7 mi 13.9 km • Loop • 525 ft Ascent 159.88 m Ascent
XTERRA Papago Urban Desert Trail Run 10k
6.4 mi 10.3 km • Loop • 445 ft Ascent 135.71 m Ascent
South Mountain Park - East Tour
10.1 mi 16.2 km • Loop • 1,153 ft Ascent 351.43 m Ascent
Tom's Thumb from Gateway
12.6 mi 20.2 km • Loop • 2,591 ft Ascent 789.85 m Ascent
4.4 mi 7.1 km • Out and Back • 1,084 ft Ascent 330.45 m Ascent
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“As one of the most publicized, yet overrated trails in the Phoenix Metro, this trail will be jammed with people.”— Hunter R
One last thing: if your heart is set on climbing Camelback, look at the Cholla Trail before making up your mind. Its gentler grades and safer trail surface provide a much nicer way to the top while still getting your lungs and legs working!
All of the above considered, the trail description for the Echo Canyon Summit Trail is below:
Starting at the Echo Canyon Trailhead Parking Area, follow the trail south as it climbs gently on a smooth tread through a landscape dotted with large boulders. Soon, the trail steepens dramatically as it switchbacks through a new section of trail built to reduce erosion and thereby prolong the lifespan of the Echo Canyon Summit Trail while increasing visitor safety.
After executing the numerous sets of switchbacks, the trail climbs moderately to a viewpoint atop Echo Saddle (elevation 1,690 ft). This is a great turnaround point for anyone feeling strained by this point in the run. Be warned - it gets much, much harder from this point.
If you're feeling good and like you might have brought too much water (trust me, you won't feel that way in a few minutes), continue up the trail, climbing strenuously through sections of slickrock terrain aided by handrails before reaching the second saddle. Upon reaching the second saddle, be sure to stop, drink some water, and enjoy the pleasant view of South Mountain while you let your legs rest.
Before you continue up the trail, make sure to stow anything you're holding into your bag so you have free use of your hands. The upcoming section of trail requires hands-and-feet scrambling at times, not to mention the use of acute route-finding skills as you navigate the large boulder piles on the way to the summit. Take your time through here, and don't forget to take water breaks.
Finally, after surpassing the last rocky stretch, you'll reach the summit and its panoramic views of Phoenix and the entire Valley of the Sun.
Run this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes
Land Manager: City of Phoenix - Trails and Desert Preserves