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If you hadn’t guessed it already, the name comes from the mountain’s shape which resembles the head and hump of a camel kneeling down. Located in the area between the Arcadia neighborhood and Paradise Valley, Camelback Mountain is a popular recreation stop for locals and tourists for rock climbing and hiking.
The mountain is composed of mostly Precambrian granite (ca. 1.5 billion years old) and sandstone from the Tertiary period (ca. 25 million years old) with an elevation of 2,706 ft. The mountain has two hiking trails the Echo Canyon trail which is 1.2 miles and the Cholla Trail which is 1.4 miles each take about 1.5 to 3 hours to complete.
Indications have been found on the north side of the Mountain in a cave that the site was dubbed sacred by the prehistoric Hohokam Culture before the 14th century. In the late 1800’s the government reserved Camelback Mountain for an Indian reservation. By the 1940’s most of the mountain fell into private hands. In 1965 the Preservation of Camelback Mountain Foundation promoted community efforts to save as much of the summit as possible. This effort was successful and was capped of the ceremony in 1969 marking land exchange. Camelback has now become one of the most popular hiking spots among Phoenix’s mountains