New Hiking Season Begins Now!

A flashback photo from our club hike at Chiricahua National Monument in Southeastern Arizona

A flashback photo from our club hike at Chiricahua National Monument in Southeastern Arizona

Warren Wasescha

Yes, it will look a bit different, but the 2020-21 hiking season is “on” with COVID-19 precautions in place!

As mentioned last month, no social dinners, picnics, brunches, Special Hike, or endorsed lunch stops after a hike. It is too risky to be in close proximity with lots of people, both indoors or out. Hard to keep a mask on and eat and drink. We want you to stay safe!

Monthly meetings will shift to an online format. Zoom video conference calls will become the norm this season. It is too risky to pack into the Phoenix Room. If you haven’t used Zoom, send an email to our president, DeEtte Faith, at [email protected], and she can send you a test meeting link and walk you through a trial meeting. It’s easy!

We will hike Mondays only at all levels. No Wednesday hikes this season. We will have precautions in place to keep everyone safe on those hikes.

Masks will be required when you arrive at roundup, and you’ll need to keep those masks on until you’re on the trailhead. We’ll be asking you to sanitize your hands before and after the sign-in process. So, bring your pocket hand sanitizer or wipes with you.

Carpooling will change as well. Before getting into a driver’s car, you’ll be required to keep your mask on and sanitize your hands. Drivers will keep their “fresh air” cycle on and crack windows to make sure fresh air keeps entering the car. Depending on the driver’s comfort level, the number of passengers per car may be reduced to four or less. Not comfortable with carpooling? You can always choose to drive to the trailhead separately.

At the trailhead, we’ll be asking you to keep your mask on while grabbing your gear and getting ready to hike. When we circle up, masks stay on both before and after a hike.

On the trail, if able to maintain a six-foot social distance, masks are optional. And you can always hike near the back and give yourself greater distance from others if desired. Come across a hiker going the opposite direction? Try to give them space if you can do so safely; otherwise, take a deep breath and hold it until they pass.

During snack and water breaks, we will stay six feet apart when masks are off to help keep everyone safe.

Please note that our tentative Nov. 7 Open House has been canceled, given the COVID-19 situation. But remember to check the MeetUp site for the latest information on our hiking schedule by typing “Sun Lakes Hiking Club” into your web browser.

Interested in hiking with us or have further questions? Please reach out to our president DeEtte Faith at [email protected] We are a fun, inclusive group that welcomes all able-bodied hikers!