Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hiking Camelback Mountain at Echo Canyon

On Sunday we went hiking at Camelback Mountain behind our hotel. We drove a couple of minutes to Echo Canyon where a trail led approximately 1.1 miles up to the top of the mountain.

I was under the impression that this was going to be just a walk along a trail up to the top of the mountain, no big deal. The hiking I had done in Brown County and the Smoky Mountains was a simple trek through the woods. People kept telling us to make sure we went early in the day and to take lots of water.

I didn’t expect the trip to take long. Very quickly I learned that I had the wrong idea about this kind of hike! It started out with a long section of steep rock and wooden steps.

I was breathing heavily within the first few minutes. Once we got past the hundreds of steps, we were faced with the last mile of rocks! It was really hands in the dirt, climbing up each rock. Long legs came in handy for this part of the trip.

There were a few parts that were so steep that they had put a metal pole and a chain fence so you could pull yourself up that section of rocks! I had to stop several times on the way up to take a break and catch my breath. It took us almost 2 hours to get up the mountain, including a few stops along the way.

The view from the top was amazing and there was a bit of a breeze to cool us off from the hot temperatures. We had to get our “I conquered Camelback” pictures from the top!

I had a much easier time on the way down and didn’t have to stop at all. It wasn’t as hard on our legs as going up, but we had to be very cautious with each step.

I am amazed that I didn’t see anybody limping down the mountain with a twisted ankle. It was really easy to slip on the sand or gravel and lose your step.

This is not the kind of place you want to take a fall because it would be awhile before there was something tall enough to stop you, and even then, it might have been a cactus! We had it down in 1.5 hours and thankfully there were no injuries on the hike. We did run into one critter on the hike. I heard a noise to my right and turned to see this lovely creature!

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