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Camelback Summit - Cholla TH
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mini location map2015-11-25
12 by photographer avataradilling
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Camelback Summit - Cholla THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 25 2015
adilling
Hiking3.94 Miles 1,275 AEG
Hiking3.94 Miles   2 Hrs   10 Mns   2.15 mph
1,275 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The last time I was on this trail, November 2011, I was making my way down on a very busy Saturday morning. There was a bottleneck just below the summit and everyone was taking turns, going up, going down...sorta. Then, a "shirtless jogger dude" appeared and was not going to stop or slow down for anyone...even though I and the other hikers in our party had already started going down. Me, being ever so polite, moved out of the way, in a very tight spot. As the "shirtless jogger dude" cut his way though the crowd of lesser and unworthy people, I lost my footing and started falling. I diverted the serious fall off the edge, but still went down. I landed on my right shoulder and snapped my right humerus bone right in half. The fall also knocked the wind out of me. So, there I lay, in the middle of the trail, half hanging off the edge. For about 10 minutes, I did not get up, but that did not stop the crowds....right over me they went, hikers, dogs, more jogger dudes and dudettes...some sympathetic, others pissed off and wishing I would chose to fall when they were not there. I ended up making a sling out of my shirt and walked down. A rough and crappy day hiking, for sure. So, for 4 years, I avoided this place....and Piestewa Peak...for the same reason....too many people on the trail.

I am not sure what motivated me to do this hike yesterday, but I decided it was time to go back up the Cholla Trail and get to the top. I almost turned around when the parking along Invergordon was almost to Camelback Road, but I spotted a group leaving and I took the spot.

The good and bad of this trail? The good is it's a nice steep hike and gives a great workout with awesome views. The bad, of course, is the number of people on the trail. Yesterday was not a weekend, but I would guess the day before Thanksgiving and the arrival of the first wave of snowbirds added to the numbers. So, not as packed as the day in 2011, but hardly empty. The same crowd is always there....hikers, fitness folks, tourists....lots of kids, which is always good to see. I like this hike, but I wish it was less crowded. Perhaps I will only come here when the heat is on....that is a good filter, usually. We'll see, it might take another 4 years for me to come back. In the meantime, I will stick to paths less traveled.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
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169 Photosets

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