Winter Hiking

Winter hiking is upon us and there are few places better to hike during the winter months than Phoenix Arizona.  Moderate temperatures, no snow and overall pleasant weather allow for an enjoyable hiking experience.

The only drawback to Hiking Camelback during the winter months is the dramatic increase in hikers which makes parking and navigating the trail more difficult.  Picking the right time to hike and avoiding high traffic times is a great strategy.  Remember that Camelback Mountain is open sunrise to sunset so plan accordingly.

Stretching In Cold Weather

Unless you are fairly advanced, it is a good idea to stretch correctly before hiking either Echo Canyon or Cholla Trail.  Remember your muscles and tendons act like rubber bands and when it is cold outside they are much more vulnerable to injury from improper stretching.  It is important to continuing breathing while stretching and to move slowly to allow for the muscles and tendons to warm up.  Holding each stretch position for 15-25 seconds is a good idea.  As with any health topic, be sure to refer to a medical or fitness professional for more detailed information.


The Echo Canyon trail-head will be very congested during most times of the day during the winter months.  It is critical to plan ahead as park rangers will not allow a large line of people waiting to park.  For now there is limited parking until the Camelback Mountain Parking Improvement Project is completed.  View the current parking locations for Echo Canyon trail.  You can also utilize one of the many shuttles that transport hikers to the mountain.  Cholla Trail Parking is more readily available, however take care to ensure you are not parking in a tow-away or ticket zone.

Trail Courtesy

With more hikers on the trail, hiker courtesy is more important than any other time of the year.  The following are some general guidelines for hiking during the winter months when the trails are busier.

  • Allow faster hikers to pass (ascending or descending)
  • Take rest breaks off of the main trail path (stay within trail limits)
  • Do not leave trash on the trail (pick up any garbage you find)
  • Pick up after you pets and dispose of waste appropriately

Happy Hiking!

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