Weather: 49°, overcast, very windy
Time: 28 minutes
About this hike: There was something strangely delightful about hiking Echo Canyon on this cold, blustery winter morning in Phoenix. Last night brought the equivalent of a January monsoon storm and today's temps are much cooler. The wind has been relentless, meaning trails were predominantly dried out.
Today's conditions also meant far fewer hikers. I chose to bundle up in a thermal, plus a wind breaker, and have to say I was not overdressed. I only wish I had brought a winter hat.
The wind was enough to destabilize my balance at times, and clouds hanging over the McDowells indicated rain could be waiting in the wings. Thankfully I never encountered any rain and the slick rocks that would come with it. As expected, wind was the worst at the summit. I paused a brief moment for a water break and then headed back down. The descent was especially slow and deliberately careful.
I always enjoy these hikes with unique weather conditions. Let's face it—in but a couple months it's going to be extremely hot hiking up Camelback (not that the heat will stop me).