'Tis the season, hikers! How to meet Santa on Christmas Day at Camelback Mountain

On one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say Merry Christmas to all the good girls and boys on Camelback Mountain.

For the past several weeks, he's been hanging out at the top of Echo Canyon Trail, taking a little break at the bottom Friday afternoon to keep out of the rain.

"It's fun to come down to the Valley and warm up before I've got to fly around the world, go to Greenland, Antarctica, and all these cold places," Santa said.

Handing out candy canes to all the hikers, young and old, has been a tradition of his for the past eight years.

"Giving people high-fives, hugs, it's great, and some people come back and see me every year," he said. "It's great to see them."

He says it's good to be back this year because 2020 was a year without a Santa Claus, at least at Camelback Mountain due to concerns about COVID-19.

"It's tough," he said. "I mean, getting a visit from Santa via Zoom - just not the same as being there in person and hugging people."

The one thing that did not change last year was the tree at the very top, collecting donations for St. Mary's Food Bank.

Santa was out for the day on Christmas Eve, and he'll be back on Christmas Day, He'll be out starting at sunrise up until the early afternoon for anyone looking to venture out for a Christmas Day hike.

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