Let the Hiking Begin!

Taking a break on the trail during pre-COVID hiking days

Warren Wasescha

Welcome to the 2021-22 hiking season. It officially begins this month. Let the fun begin!

If you like hiking, we’d love to have you join us. 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 from November through April at three intensity levels. And we hike Mondays of each week from November through April.

Mellow hikes are the easiest pace, led at a leisurely speed, usually up to five miles and 500 elevation gain. Moderate hikes are a bit more strenuous and are in the five- to seven-mile range and up to 1000 elevation gain. Motivated hikes are more rigorous and are usually seven to ten miles in length with 1000-2000+ elevation gain.

All upcoming and past hikes can be viewed on our Meetup site by typing “Sun Lakes Hiking Club” into your web browser. This is an easy way to see upcoming and past hikes and learn more about our club.

If you already hike with our club, welcome back to club hikes!

With COVID-19 still with us, we will continue to take extra precautions in how we conduct our club activities. Masks are still required at morning roundup and at trailheads before and after hikes. If you carpool with others, it’s up to the driver to determine masking protocol in their vehicles. At this point, all group meetings will be conducted outdoors, if at all possible. On the trails, it’s your decision whether you wear a mask or not. If you prefer distancing, you can hike in front of the “sweep,” and they will help give you the spacing you want from others.

In January we’re hoping restrictions will no longer be needed, and we can go back to our pre-COVID protocol. That includes reinstating Wednesday Moderate hikes and going on our Spring “Special Hike” where we do an overnight in a different city to enjoy hikes the club might not otherwise do, along with having the opportunity to socialize over an extended period with others in the club.

Member or not, please join us on Friday, Nov. 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Oasis Ramada in Sun Lakes Country Club. The Oasis Ramada is located at 9049 E. Sun Lakes Blvd. between S. Trevion Drive and E. Palmer Drive. We’ll discuss details of the Special Hike, present awards from last year’s season, take annual dues ($5 for existing members, $11 for new members, which also covers the cost of name badges), and meet and greet with everyone. Bring a snack and beverage if you want and a chair and sun protection if you prefer to socially distance.

Need more answers not found here or on our Meetup site? Please reach out to our president DeEtte Faith at [email protected].

We are looking forward to hiking with you on the trail!