Weather: 68°, sunny
Time: 25 minutes
About this hike: I just did not have the patience today to deal with the crowds that are sure to be at Camelback Echo Canyon. Doubtful that my little secret spot would have their parking garage open today either. Add in the fact that I'm re-gaining my appreciation for Piestewa Peak (was my spot for over a year when Echo was closed), and this morning's hike was all but decided for me.
Upon arrival I chose to park on a residential side street assuming the main lots would be full. The trailhead lot actually had a few spots available. However, you wouldn't know it from the crowd on the mountain. From their conversations you could tell a lot were tourists/visitors, likely hiking off Thanksgiving feasts.
So achieving a 25 minute time was no easy task. I had to push hard and be aggressive around some of these slower tourists. Despite cooler temps, I had to stop a few times too. Disappointing since at one time I could go at this mountain without a rest til the summit.
I broke in a Black Friday gift to myself of new Coleman hiking shoes. I'm leery of the brand even if they are renown for their camping gear. However, for the first hike the Colemans were comfortable with good padding in the sole and a solid rubber toe. We'll see how they hold up. These are to replace a cheap pair of Denalis which lasted me since March and went thru Grand Canyon and countless other strenuous hikes. The uppers are still in great condition but the soles are hurting my feet now.