Summer Hiking – Bonus Challenge

There are a few obvious tips you will read about when it comes to summer hiking.  These include, drinking and carrying plenty of water, wearing sunscreen and appropriate protective clothing.  There are other common sense guidelines and yes they are very important to follow when hiking Camelback Mountain given the intensity of both trails that lead to the summit.

So what is the less noticeable advice about hiking in the dead of Arizona heat, practically smack dab in the middle of the Phoenix Metro area with all of its urban glory?  The biggest piece of advice that I could give is about mental preparedness for a vertical 1.2-1.5 mile hike in temps topping 100 degrees.  When it comes to hiking Camelback in the hottest part of AZ summer, how mentally prepared you are determines how successful or painful your hiking experience will be.

There is no doubt that hiking Camelback in over 100 degree heat is for lack of a better word hot.  Some might even say unbearable, dangerous or down right crazy.  There is however an added bonus element that comes with the hottest of hot summer hiking on Camelback.  This is the mental challenge received when taking on either Echo Canyon or Cholla trail when temps are high.

There is no doubt a physical and mental challenge no matter what time of year you hike the mountain.  However when it gets really hot, add to those existing challenges an additional elemental mental challenge.  When it is really hot on Camelback, it is as if I little fight or flight response in your head tells you to turn back at every step.  This is the same response that protects you from danger, death and dismemberment.  Because it is so hot, it’s like an extra precautionary system kicks into gear and tells you to stop.  Overcoming the little voice that says “no” provides an extra bonus when taking on Camelback in the summer.

So take all you normal precautions when getting ready to hike Camelback in the summer.  However also get your mind ready for the scorching heat that will not only reign down on you from above but also bounce back off the rocks and directly into your face.  Know that for the duration of the hike a little guy or gal in your head is going to yell at you to stop, quit and turn back.  Be ready to beat that little person in the metaphorical sense, and get excited about the opportunity to conquer the mountain, your body and your mind.

Oh and I forgot to mention that parking is no problem…

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