Summer Hiking Begins

Motivated hikers at the junction of the Derrick Trail and Highline Trail (left to right): Henry Silberblatt, Diane Alessi, Marilyn Harkins, Dena Brinkman, Brian Hill, Mei-Mei Hill, and DeEtte Faith (photo by Henry Silberblatt)

Warren Wasescha, Sun Lakes Hiking Club

The weather has grown hot. Our formal hiking season is over. Our Meetup site won’t have new hikes posted until November. But that doesn’t mean your hiking is over for the summer. In fact, there are a surprising number of our club members who continue to hike this time of year. They just practice a little bit of common sense, given the heat.

One of the most important things 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., before it gets too hot and unbearable. Pick shorter trails. Drive to closer-in trails. This is not the time to do a 10-mile marathon hike farther away unless you’re heading to cooler elevations up north.

Many of our club members make the journey to Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, or Payson during the summer where the elevations are higher and the temperatures are cooler. It makes for a nice outing for the day to get away from the heat. And always bring enough water. And snacks. And dress with sun protection in mind.

For those of us who are snowbirds, we are already reacquainting ourselves with trails in our northern locations. Some who live in Colorado are rediscovering their favorite mountain trails. Those by the ocean are taking in the views in those locations. In Stillwater, Minn., a river town where I live during the summer, there are waterfall trails and trails with multiple staircases to climb with as many as 157 steps that can easily give you 1,000 AEG during a morning workout. Not quite the same as mountain view hikes, but they still delight.

And our hiking club members who are year-round residents tell me about trips they take all over the continental United States and abroad, to visit friends and family and hike some pretty amazing trails.

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 from 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!