These Boots Were Made For Walking – Hiking Season Resumes

Sun Lake hikers enjoy the scenic Superstition Mountains

Sun Lake hikers enjoy the scenic Superstition Mountains

Roberta Arpan

While the Sun Lakes Hiking Club took a summer hiatus, club members kept their boots busy by hiking trails near and far. Some members set foot on European soil by hiking the Bettmeralp in the Swiss Alps, the Camino de Santiago in Spain and various places in Italy, including Cinque Terre, The Path of the Gods, Mt. Etna and Volcano Island near Sicily and trails on and off the Amalfi Coast. Among the U.S. trails hiked by members were California (John Muir Trail), Wisconsin (Devil’s Lake and Mirror Lake), Nevada (near Tahoe), Ohio (Cuyahoga Valley National Park), Washington (Rattlesnake Ledge, Rocks of Sharon, Mount St. Helens and other trails), Arizona (Rim-to-Rim and North Rim on the Grand Canyon), Maine (Acadia National Park, Appalachian Trail and coastal area), Oregon (Columbia Gorge, Mount Hood, coastal area), New Mexico (Santa Fe area and mountain peaks), and various other mountain peaks in Colorado and Utah.

Now, looking ahead, the SLHC ushered in the new season on November 6 by hosting a welcome back picnic and monthly meeting. A highlight of the meeting was the announcement of the 11th annual Special Hike scheduled for April 4-9 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Reservations for this popular spring event fill up fast so interested persons are encouraged to quickly contact Sherrie Conner at 480-236-6818. The club is now in its 28th year of organizing hikes for residents of Sun Lakes and SunBird.

Hikes for December are listed below. For a more complete description and up-to-date information, please visit the club’s website at Unless otherwise noted, carpools meet at the Cottonwood parking lot east of the tennis courts at 7:45 a.m. for an 8:00 a.m. departure. If you have not hiked with the club, you must contact the hike leader before the day of the hike.

Monday Hikes:

December 7 (Retread) – Lost Dog Wash Trail and Ringtail Trail Loop in McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Leader Vicki Deken; 688-1771.

December 7 – Martinez/Box Canyon near Florence. Leader Bud Tasch; 802-2836.

December 14 (Retread) – Lookout Mountain Circumference Trail in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Leader Stu Frost; 883-8539.

December 14 – Bell and Windgate Pass Loop in the McDowell Mountain Preserve. Leaders James and Krissa Bolton; 802-989-5922.

December 21 (Retread) – Balance Rock Trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve North. Leader Mike Josephson; 248-496-5369.

December 21 – Romero Canyon near Tucson. Leader Dick Giachino; 895-5509.

December 28 (Retread) – Resolution Rock in South Mountain Park. Leader Mike Josephson; 248-496-5369.

December 28 – Holbert, National, Kiwanis and Box Canyon Loop in South Mountain Park. Leader Cheryl Verlander; 206-799-3116.

Wednesday Hikes:

December 2 – Brown’s Ranch at McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Leader Bill McCoach; 740-260-5671.

December 9 – Boulder Canyon in the Superstition Mountains. Leader Kathy Ivesdal; 688-7183.

December 16 – Butcher Jones at Saguaro Lake. Leader Deborah Greenwood; 503-706-9990.

December 23 – Oakwood Path and Holiday Brunch. Hosted by Marilyn and Dennis Harkins; 883-7173.

December 30 – Tortilla Flats in the Superstition Mountains. Leader Greg Jewell; 282-0061.

The deadline for paying your membership dues of $5 per person is February 28. Dues can be paid in cash or by check payable to the Sun Lakes Hiking Club and can be submitted at any SLHC meeting or mailed to Treasurer Mike Foerster at 24650 S. Ribbonwood Drive, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248. A new membership is $11 which covers the cost of a name tag. This amount can be submitted along with a completed application form at any club meeting. The next meeting is December 4 at 3:30 p.m. in the Phoenix Room at Cottonwood.

Tip of the Month: Sturdy, lightweight hiking poles are recommended for several reasons; they help provide a better upper body workout, they aid in better circulation in your arms and hands, they provide support and help with balance and they can hold back vegetation that is crowding the trail as well as push trail debris, such a lose rocks and twigs, out of the way. When carrying your poles while hiking, have the pointed tips in front of you and always be aware of where the tips are in relation to those around you so your fellow hikers don’t get poked.

For more information about SLHC, contact President Brian Hill at 802-1050 or [email protected]. You may also visit the club’s website at the address  given above.