Choosing a Good Hike

Pre-Hike Planning Team for the Sierra Vista Special Hike (left to right): Tim Donovan, Al and Ginny Metz, Don Lewis (foreground), Paul Feeney, Kevin Craig, and Stu Frost (photo by Warren Wasescha)

Warren Wasescha, Sun Lakes Hiking Club

Our Hiking Club has hundreds of different hikes that they do in the Valley, most of which are well-known favorites. As good as these hikes are, it’s always fun to explore a new area. And that is why we go on a Special Hike every year in March.

This year’s Special Hike will span over three days in the Sierra Vista area, south of Tucson. We’ll be hiking in the mountains that flow into the Mexican border, a place where the Arizona National Scenic Trail begins before it travels 800 miles to the Utah border.

We’ll be hiking at four different levels during the week: Mellow, Mellow Plus, Moderate, and Motivated. The Mellow and Mellow Plus hikes will be done at lower levels. The Moderate and Motivated hikes will be at higher elevations. One hike will take the Motivated hikers on a crest trail to Miller Peak. On another day, the Moderate and Motivated hikers will take a trail down to the Mexican border and see part of the wall that separates our two countries. It’s a surreal experience to see something that’s been talked about in the news so often. Other hikes take breathtaking trails into some of the many canyons in the area, with very different vegetation from what you see locally. There’s even a trail option that takes us to a large cave to explore. If interested, bring a good flashlight.

How were these hikes selected? A bit of trial and error. We asked other club members who have hiked the area for their favorites. We asked Rangers we met in the area. We searched on All Trails. We read Top 10 hike lists on the Internet. Word of mouth from other hikers on the trails helped. It’s a process. That said, I think everyone will be pleased with what the Pre-Hike Planning Team pulled together for this year’s hike. I know I’m looking forward to doing our three hikes again later this month. A special thanks to the Pre-Hike Planning Team for making this year’s hikes possible.

Like the idea of hiking socially? Join our club and enjoy all that we have to offer. We are a friendly, inclusive group of hikers who welcome all able-bodied hikers. Our goal is to make group hiking fun, challenging, social, and safe. We hike Mondays at three different intensity levels and often a second Mellow or Moderate hike on Wednesdays. Our club is open to anyone living in Sun Lakes and SunBird. Annual dues are still only $5! Best bargain around!

For more information about our club, please type in “Sun Lakes Hiking Club” into your web browser and look for our Meetup page. You’ll find information about our club, along with photos and descriptions of past and future hikes. If you have questions about the club not answered on our website, please contact our president Ted Maresh at [email protected] and he can help you.

Hiking is one of the many rewarding activities you can do in our community. We look forward to hiking with you!