I went down to Scottsdale with my dad because he had to get some lymph glands removed at the Mayo Hospital because they had become infected with cancerous tissue. A couple of hours after the surgery, I found out he was going to be okay and was healing rapidly. Sharing my interest in mountains and landscapes, we talked about the mountains in the region. I decided to go on a little hike the morning after his surgery with his permission. Camelback Mountain was the closest park that was not closed from fire danger.
I stayed overnight in the Marriott Courtyard near the Mayo Clinic on the eastside of Scottsdale, which is actually over 10 miles away from the hospital. After dinner the night before the hike, I took a quick detour to make sure I knew where to go to get to the trailhead. The Echo Canyon trailhead on the east end of the long mountain proved easy to find.
I woke up at 8:10 am and managed to get to the parking lot at 8:50 am, which was half full on a Monday morning. A gorgeous housewife and two cute college students were the first people I ran into at the very beginning of the trail. I quickly passed them and investigated the first leg up to the ridge, which was pretty simple with a couple hundred railroad-ties forming the stairs. I found it a little odd how the trail on the other side had a large overhanging fence to prevent people from entering on to private land: I guess it is necessary in a large city like Phoenix. The rock was pretty steep in this section but provided great traction so falling was not a concern for me. The ridge was relatively flat until the gully. I saw several more college students in this stretch. The boulder-filled gullies were fun and challenging to maneuver through at high speed.
I reached the summit at 9:35 am going at a steady pace. I saw a lot of people coming up from the other trail, mainly tourists who had underestimated the length of the hike and were breathing heavily. Luckily, the temperature was in the 60’s and 70’s at that time and they ran no real risk of getting dehydrated. I sped down the trail after spending 10 minutes at the top, stopping numerous times to take pictures of the saguaros and rock formations. I made it down in 25 minutes.