Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Hike to Remember

Last Friday, the 13th, my neighbor Mickey and I hiked up the famous Camelback Mountain in downtown Scottsdale.  We had talked about it for a couple of years and decided it was time.  We took the Cholla Trail which is 1.42 miles with a 1235 foot elevation gain.

The trailhead is located in a residential neighborhood so parking is a challenge.  The spot we found was about a half mile from the beginning of the trail, but we thought that would give us a nice warm-up on paved sidewalks.

Once on the trail, we noticed that almost all the hikers were young adults.  Hum, I wonder why.  We made our way uphill, taking breaks as needed.

About halfway up, the trail flattens out for a short stretch.  There was even a spot that looked like a tiny helipad.  On the local news, we often hear about rescues of hikers on Camelback, so we wondered.

At this point, the trail became less obvious, with some rock climbing involved.  We decided to stash our hiking sticks and hope they would be there when we returned.

We thought we had to be close to the top, but the markers told a different story.
(I didn't realize the GPS coordinates went out to so many decimal places.)

This trail is not for those who are afraid of heights.

Finally we made it to the summit and posed for the 'proof' picture.

Uh-oh, we still have to get back down.

Although the rock scrambling was difficult for me, I felt fine until about halfway back down. By the time we got back to the car, my feet were killing me.  But that was nothing compared to the way the front of my thighs hurt the next day.  Even today, two days later, they still hurt.