On the surface hiking seems straightforward, walk up and then down a mountain; but there are many steps of preparation that are necessary when hiking, especially in conditions like Arizona’s weather.
Some tips for successful Arizona hiking are:
- Plan ahead: time your hike so you are not stuck hiking in the middle of a Summer day in 100+ degree heat.
- Stay hydrated: the dry weather of the desert combined with physical activity can leave you parched; it is important to hydrate the day before as well.
- Do not hike alone: not only is it often more fun spending time with a friend, but it is safer to have a partner when hiking up 1,264 feet.
- Take only what you need: bringing unnecessary gear will weigh you down, making the journey up Camelback Mountain more strenuous.
- Know your limits: take breaks when you need to, and let others pass you. Keep your own pace, hiking is an experience, not a race.
If you are from out-of state it is important to be aware of Arizona’s extreme weather and the impact this can have on your body. Not only does the average temperature in Summer months exceed 100 degrees, but the rate of Emergency Department visits due to illness from exposure to excessive natural heat in Arizona is about 900% more than other U.S. residents.
Despite the hike’s popularity, it is also fairly dangerous, the hike to its breath-taking view having claimed the lives of novice hikers.
While Camelback Mountain is rated a double black diamond hike, if you follow the tips above and are cautious when hiking, this is an experience unique to the Phoenix area. The view and sense of calm at the top of Camelback allows hikers to take a moment out of the day to simply be.
Post and infographic slideshow by: Sophia Molinar