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NATIONAL PARKS COLLECTION AVAILABLE NOW!

Camelback Mtn at the heart of Scottsdale, AZ

Iconic Camelback Mountain in Phoenix AZ at sunset artwork

 

Ever wonder who drunk all AZ water and turned it into a Wild West desert? Well, it could be the 🐪.

 

In the center of the Phoenix Valley lays a big lazy looking mountain called Camelback. With an elevation of 2,704 ft, hiking it is one of the most popular tourist and first-date activities for nature lovers. The views are great from the top, access is easy and it is also fairly short. The mountain is surrounded by the green Arcadia and Paradise Valley on both sides. There are a couple of golf courses and lavish resorts soaking up the sun and the views of this centrally located landmark.

 

Camelback has been a Phoenix city park since 1968. It has two trails that differ by intensity but meet at the peak. One is called Cholla with a trailhead located East of the mountain and is a much milder hike. The other one is Echo Canyon and it is accessible from the Northside. While it is a magnificently gorgeous ascend that you can explore (but are not encouraged to) a bit off the trail it is a much harder hike and should be approached with much caution and WATER 💦.

 

One of the most unique sports on the Echo side is a rock in a shape of a praying monk. You can see it even from the 101 Highway West of the mountain. Once you see it you’ll know why it is called this way. It has become a city’s unique rock climbing spot (if you’re into that kind of exploration :)

 

Another amazing feature is close to the top of the Echo Canyon side. It is a hole in a rock with a small adjacent cave. To get there you have to wonder just slightly off the trail about two-thirds up. It is easier to spot when going down. There is a sign that says be aware of wild bees. I love sketching from there as it is often shaded and secluded.

 

The variety of hikers makes for great people watching as it ranges between the struggling and unprepared first-time hikers powering through to the seasoned trail runners who seem to have an extra pair of lungs as they pass by you swiftly. The hike is so popular that some of the boulders along the trail are polished and make it tricky to find some grip. But all in all, it is always worth it!

 

The moment you reach the peak you stop with a feeling of AWE regardless of the time of the day.

 

Just remember to always stay hydrated and turn back before you get too tired as descending is no easier than going up. And staying aware of your capabilities without being a show-off can mean a difference between a fun hike and a broken leg or a heat stroke.

 

Cheers,

Couloir

 

(p.s. Couloir bottles will keep your water ice-cold through the hike and won’t break from hitting those rocks along the way 😉⛰️)

 

We chose these five non-profit organizations to support for a reason:

Pollinator Partnership

My original last name (Pasichnyk) means the beekeeper if translated literally to English. My extended grandfather had a few beehives and my childhood memories definitely included the smell of the fresh honey, stories about bees, and then large glass jars used to store honey for the whole year till the next season comes. There were dark brown jars with buckwheat honey, bright yellow with the mixture of the field blooms, and then very pale almost white jars made from acacia pollen. One thing I learned was that honey bees are crucial to our ecosystem. They make sure we have fruits each year, and that the plants flourish and are able to give us their rich harvests. That's why the initiative of the Pollinator Partnership is so important. As is buying your honey supply from the local sustainable producers. And moreover, the honey made from the bloom in the area where you reside is known to cure allergies as it introduces your body to the pollen gradually and consistently. 

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Protect Our Winters

This one is special. Just as they state on their front page: Your passion for the outdoors can help save it. This guy who is a professional snowboarder (Jeremy Jones) has always been an inspiration for me. He turned winter sports into art. His lines and routes were unheard-of and following his trips through the photos that he would post was always a huge tease. But most importantly he made his statement clear. We thrive in the snow and the great outdoors and the climate issues can drastically change that. So if you love your winter ski trips - Help to Protect Our Winters. They have currently a few initiatives and a clear 'game plan' with instructions for those interested to get involved. For this simplicity and a great spirit, I would love to support them! (And in case you wandered the name Couloir is actually a mountaineering term used a lot by 'free riders' which means a passage in the mountains or a corridor.Think of those Red Bull videos where a helicopter drops off the skier at the top of the mountain from which they then descend between the rocky 'corridor' producing a beautiful symmetrical curve.)

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Arizona Humane Society

This one was a no-brainer. Half of our adventure photos include the two dogs: a lab and a husky. And while a lab was lucky to be born on a nice farm with a huge yard, a husky wasn't so much. He was found on the streets of Tucson wandering aimlessly. He then was adopted at the age of around two years. The sweetest dog ever (literally - he loooves everything baked and ones ate the whole pack of the Hawaiian rolls while we were away and left them on the table).However, thinking of him wandering the streets of the Southern city is heart-breaking. While coyotes have adapted to the striking heat of this state - other dogs haven't and heat can kill them very fast. I have personally known a few of the organization's representatives and I believe they are a highly professional team that helps the pets that were less lucky.

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Wolf Conservation Center

Now, this might sound a little weird... Since I was a kid, I was obsessed with the wolves. I remember watching the movie Balto and falling in love with wolves. That children's story about the brave wolf-dog who saved the town in Alaska melted my heart as well as many other kids'. 

But jokes aside - wolves are crucial to our environment. They help to control the population of herbivores and ensure that the latter have enough food for their families.

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Ocean Clean Up

This one is pretty obvious. Most of the planet Earth is covered by oceans. I'm sure everyone has at least once googled those awful plastic trash islands. Ocean pollution is real. So this was the least 'romantic' choice for us to support. It is just something that really matters. Period.

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