Hiking in the Summer

Moderate hikers at South Mountain this past March (left to right): David Coffman, Kees Cusveller, Ron Deraas, Chip Bortnem, Ted Maresh, Kevin Bjordahl, Scott Downey, Connie Bond, Vince LeBlanc, Kitch Trost, Marge Mogelnicki, and Paul Feeney (photo by Scott Downey)

Warren Wasescha, Sun Lakes Hiking Club

As I write from the North, my Hiking Club friends have commented on how mild the weather has been this past month and how they’ve been able to enjoy a lot of hikes that normally would have been more challenging in hotter weather. It’s been a good extension to what was already a great hiking season.

And when it does get hot, your hiking can continue if you remember a few important rules. Most important is to start early. Get to the trailhead before sunrise. Use a headlamp if needed at the beginning of your hike. Plan to get off the trail before 8:30 or 9 a.m. if it’s super-hot. Drive to closer-in trails. Pick shorter trails. This is not the time to do a 10-mile hike unless you’re headed to cooler elevations.

Venturing north to Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, or Payson where the elevations are higher and the temperatures cooler is a good idea. It makes for a nice outing for the day to get away from the heat. Always bring enough water, and dress with sun protection in mind.

A number of club members are snowbirds and are reacquainting themselves with trails back home. Others who are year-round Arizona residents are already hiking in cooler vacation destinations in Europe and elsewhere as a respite from the heat.

Like the thought of hiking socially with other like-minded individuals? Want to hike some of the best trails in the Valley? We’d love to have you be part of our group. We are a friendly, inclusive group of hikers who welcome all able-bodied hikers. We hike formally November through April and informally in the summer. Our goal is to make group hiking fun, challenging, social, and safe.

All past hikes, along with information about our club, can be viewed on our Meetup site. Just type “Sun Lakes Hiking Club” into your web browser to locate us. Interested in summer hiking or have questions not found on our Meetup site? Please reach out to our president Stu Frost at [email protected].

We look forward to hiking with you!