About the Sun Lakes Hiking Club

Hiking Club members DeEtte Faith, Diane Alessi, and Henry Silberblatt hiking Mount Baldy Wilderness (photo by Henry Silberblatt)

Warren Wasescha, Sun Lakes Hiking Club

Like hiking? Come join our club. We are a friendly, inclusive group of hikers who welcome all able-bodied hikers. Membership is open to individuals who reside, rent, or lease in Sun Lakes or SunBird. We also allow former residents to hike with the club, provided they continue to maintain their annual membership with the club.

Our club hikes formally November through April and informally in the summer. We hike at three different levels of intensity. Motivated hikes are considered difficult and more rigorous hikes, led at a faster pace with less frequent stops. They are 7 to 10 miles in length and involve 1,000 to 2,000-plus elevation gain. Moderate hikes are less strenuous and allow more time for socialization rests. They are under 7 miles in length and less than 1,000 feet elevation gain. Mellow hikes are the easiest of the three different hiking levels, led at a leisurely pace and often involve a lunch stop afterwards. They are under 5 miles in length and under 500 feet elevation gain.

Hike leaders assess the variables impacting the intensity of a hike and may add a “plus” or “negative” to the hike rating. All three levels of hikes are led on Mondays, with a second weekly Moderate hike on Wednesdays.

From November through February we meet up at 7:45 a.m. at the Cottonwood Country Club parking lot. In March and April, due to higher temperatures, we start earlier, at 6:45 a.m. We carpool to the trailheads to enjoy conversation and share travel expenses, but ever since COVID-19, we understand if individuals would prefer to drive solo to the trailheads.

We use Meetup to post all upcoming and past hike descriptions. To access it, type “Sun Lakes Hiking Club” into your web browser. If you are a first-time hiker with the club, you must call the hike leader by Saturday prior to the following week’s hikes to determine capabilities to hike and eligibility to join the club. New hikers must sign a Release from Liability form at their first hike. You must successfully complete two hikes and have the hike leader sign off on both completed hikes. You are then eligible to complete a Membership Application and pay a one-time name badge fee, along with the annual $5 club dues.

Equipment recommended for hikes includes: 1) good hiking boots and socks; 2) sun protection, including hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses; 3) a backpack or waist pack capable of carrying adequate water for the hike; 4) a snack or lunch; and 5) basic first aid supplies. Also useful are hiking poles, jacket, and a comb or tweezers should you need to remove cactus stickers.

The Sun Lakes Hiking Club was formed in 1985 and by 1987, had formal operating by-laws, with the intent of making group hiking fun, challenging, social, and safe.

If you have more questions or need information about the club, please visit our Meetup site or email Stu Frost at [email protected] for assistance.

We look forward to hiking with you!