Most Americans will probably never make it to the breathtaking mountain skyline surrounding Teheran. No worries--- go to Scottsdale where the red rocks of Camelback Mountain are always in your vista.
Camelback, so named because it looks like a camel crouching down for a rider to mount, becomes an orientation point in Scottsdale much as Lake Michigan gives bearings to those visiting Chicago or the Pacific is a guidepost in California.
From sunrise to sunset you are able to hike or bike granite trail, although it is quite difficult to imagine a biker on most of the Echo Canyon Trail.
(The other trail is called the Cholla trailhead.)
The wind and water etches on the red sandstone makes for wonderful views along the path.
A beginner hiker could start out on this path but will eventually see daunting steps with handrails ahead . These steeper inclines actually require far more dexterity going down.
There are many athletic hikers who seem to do this trail often who are bounding past the newbies. The path is always wide enough to accommodate hikers of all fitness and dexterity levels passing each other.
From Camelback you’ll see Scottsdale and Phoenix. Locals may think of it as a great place to catch a sunset but you need to be out of the park by the time the sun goes down. Travelers to the area who are less familiar with the terrain would likely do better going at other hours.
For morning people, this is an invigorating hike at sunrise.
Visit the Camelback Mountain website for more information.
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Photos: Peter Kachergis unless otherwise indicated