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Arizona

Snow on Watson Lake & the Summit of Camelback Mountain

After feeding the burros who run the ghost town of Oatman, we continued onto Prescott, Arizona. Our intentions were to spend the night there then hike around Watson Lake in the morning. What we awoke to the next day:

Snow on Watson Lake in Prescott, Arizona - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/watson-lake-camelback
10 inches of fresh snow. In Arizona!

Snow on Watson Lake in Prescott, Arizona - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/watson-lake-camelback
We didn’t have any cold weather gear but headed to Watson Lake anyway, hoping to at least get in a couple minutes of lake viewing. Unfortunately, the road was closed. We had to satisfy ourselves with parking at a pull out viewing area near the lake.

Snow on Watson Lake in Prescott, Arizona - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/watson-lake-camelback

Snow on Watson Lake in Prescott, Arizona - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/watson-lake-camelback

We decided to nix our hiking plans at Watson Lake and head for home, thinking that the snow might create traffic. It wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be so as we were passing through Phoenix early afternoon, husband had another spur of the moment idea. We ended up stopping off at Camelback Mountain and hiking to the summit!

Hiking Camelback Mountain trail in Phoenix, Arizona - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/watson-lake-camelback
We took the Echo Trail, which is 2.4 miles round trip. The elevation gain is about 1,300 feet so it makes for a really steep and rocky climb. There really is no break from the steepness.

Hiking Camelback Mountain trail in Phoenix, Arizona - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/watson-lake-camelback
Last time we did this hike, it was ridiculously crowded. It’s an urban trail so it’s to be expected. This time around there were less people but it was still getting plenty of use. I think the rain, snow, hail, thunder, strong winds, and ominous clouds hovering above deterred the usual amount of traffic.

Hiking Camelback Mountain trail in Phoenix, Arizona - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/watson-lake-camelback
Not bad for spur of the moment!

Echo Trail on Camelback Mountain Overview

  • Address: 5700 North Echo Canyon Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85018
  • Fees: FREE
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Usage: HEAVY
  • Length: 2.4 Miles Out & Back
  • Things to note:
    1. This urban trail gets heavy use. Parking is limited, you may end up having to wait for someone to leave.
Tags : arizona hikesphoenix hikesprescott