I enjoy trying new things, I want to avoid total repetition (and a potential rut). I have been hiking, running, and biking for awhile now. I absolutely love all three, but I was open to trying something a little different. A friend invited me to go check out Echo Canyon at Camelback Mountain with her. This still falls under the category of hiking but it has A LOT more climbing involved. The climb is nearly 1300 feet, whereas my normal steep incline at South Mountain is just over 800 feet. Camelback has a much more intense incline as well, it’s not switchbacks but instead steep boulders throughout most of it.
It was a beautiful journey throughout. Strenuous. And to be honest, parts of it were a little scary to me. One part of the trail definitely gave me a feeling of vertigo.
Here are a couple of pictures from that first trip. This is the view looking up at the mountain, near the parking lot:
Camelback Mountain, Echo Canyon – looking up
This photo was taken of me at the top of the climb:
I was thrilled by it. The next day, my body was sore all over! I used so many muscles to pull and steady my balance, scrambling up and down giant rocks. I felt tender not only in my legs but my arms and sides. I knew that this provided a completely different type of cardio than I was used to. After one trip I really wanted to try it again. I told my husband about the hike and he was interested. My best friend hooked up to do some hiking so the three of us hit it again today.
I wanted to try to get a photo to try and provide a little perspective of how steep some of the climb is:
Camelback Mountain, Echo Canyon – looking down
I don’t think pictures do this place justice.
Camelback Mountain, Echo Canyon – sunrise
I’ve been continuing with long trail runs every Sunday at too. During the last two my running buddies and I have been doing a 7.3 mile at South Mountain by going to “the waterfall” and back. There is no actual water, instead there’s a steep section of boulders – more famous with mountain bikers.
I took a photo from a ledge on it this weekend:
View from “The Waterfall” National Trail, South Mountain
Plus an artsy photo I took and played with, just for the fun of it:
National Trail, South Mountain
Another exquisite Arizona sunrise, taken at South Mountain:
National Trail, South Mountain – sunrise
I am completely addicted to beautiful sunrises.