Time: 34 minutes
About this Hike: Been a while since I've been to Camelback. I've made hanging an ornament on the Christmas tree an annual tradition, and I wasn't about to miss out in 2016.
I arrived at the trailhead to traffic backed up onto McDonald Dr. and the 'Lot Full' barricade up. Being one who takes the path of least resistance, I turned around and went to my 'secret spot.' I'll reveal that it's a local resort whose parking garage gates used to always be open. Recently this has not been the case, and today was no exception. I pulled up to the gate and wanted to see if parking rates were published. A car pulled up behind me and now I had no choice but to pull a ticket and drive in.
I got Jake the Juke parked and made the 10 minute walk back to the trailhead. Upon my arrival plenty of parking spaces were open. This has happened to me so many times. I guess I need to be patient and circle the lot.
The mountain was still fairly crowded. I reached the top in an abysmal 34 minutes, but I guess that's to be expected when you're months out of practice.
For my 2016 contribution to the Christmas Tree, I used an old IKEA Christmas candle lid that was laying around the house (I used it as a coaster). Since it's going to be discarded anyway once the tree comes down, I figure why not repurpose household trash? I'm so green and resourceful...
I thought seriously about getting a picture with Camelback Santa, but decided I didn't feel like waiting in line. Instead I got some cool shots of the tree and sunbeams shining through. Oh, and this year the City of Phoenix generously posted a permit for the tree to be atop the mountain (even though this has been a tradition nearly as long as I've been alive). Anyone who follows local news knows there was some controversy this year regarding the Camelback Christmas Tree...
It ended up taking me an appalling 42 minutes to get off the mountain. I fear I'll never post the times I did back in early 2016 when a hike up Camelback was part of my daily 'funemployment' routine. Arriving back at the resort parking garage, I discovered it was going to be a $10 fee for parking. For all the times I parked there free, I should've bit the bullet. Instead, I visited the front desk and inquired about spa services. They generously validated my parking ticket.
|Repurposed IKEA candle lid|