Sun Lakes Hiking Club Highlights

Club hikers giving a "Thumbs Up" at the top of Tom's Thumb. Pictured (left to right) are Brian Hill, Tim Allen, Mei-Mei Ahlskog, Dena Brinkman, Diane Alessi, Jeannette Chenier, DeEtte Faith, and Marilyn Harkins. (Photo by Warren Wasescha)

Club hikers giving a “Thumbs Up” at the top of Tom’s Thumb. Pictured (left to right) are Brian Hill, Tim Allen, Mei-Mei Ahlskog, Dena Brinkman, Diane Alessi, Jeannette Chenier, DeEtte Faith, and Marilyn Harkins. (Photo by Warren Wasescha)

Warren Wasescha

December kicked off with a 4.5-mile hike by the Mellows led by Bob and Karen MacFarlane on five trails at South Mountain, while the Motivateds, led by DeEtte Faith, hiked 11 miles via the Gateway Trail to reach Tom’s Thumb to give a “thumbs up” to this majestic peak in the McDowell Mountains. As of this writing, the sights of Granite Mountain, Shaw Butte, San Tan, and Boulder Canyon were also enjoyed by our hiking club, and while welcomed, rain did cancel out two of our hikes.

With the rains came an amazing transformation of our desert mountains from parched brown to lush green. Boulder Canyon was especially green. How quickly mother nature responds after the much-needed rains arrived. Makes us hopeful for another good show of spring wildflowers.

Our new members have been a welcome addition on hikes, and it’s been great to get to know them as we hike the trails and enjoy the scenery. Thanks for joining our club!

Confirmed events as of this writing for January are as follows:

Jan. 3 New Hike Leader Training happens at 2 p.m., followed by our monthly meeting at 3:30 p.m. in the Phoenix Room at Cottonwood. Come join us for hike leader training, even if you’re just curious about the role and want to learn more.

Jan. 6 the Mellows hike Parker Pass in the Superstitions, the Moderates explore Dixie Mine Trail in the McDowell Mountains, and the Motivateds will hike Ford Canyon Loop in the White Tank Mountains.

Jan. 13 the Mellow Hikers hike Beverly Canyon and Javelina Trail Loop at South Mountain, the Moderates hike to the Arches in the Goldfield Mountains, and the Motivateds hike Weaver’s Needle Loop from the Peralta Trailhead in the Superstitions.

Jan. 15 the Moderates hike the Skyline Regional Park Loop in the White Tank Mountains.

Jan. 20 the Moderates hike Multiple Trails at South Mountain, and the Motivateds hit the Alta Trail to Alta Peak on South Mountain.

Jan. 25 is our Winter Potluck Social at Oakwood Poolside, 5:30 p.m. Bring a dish to share.

Jan. 27 the Mellows hike Wild Burrow & Pipeline Trails at Lake Pleasant Regional Park, the Moderates hike Tom’s Thumb & the Lookout, and the Motivateds’ hike is still being finalized as of this writing.

If you want a great way to enjoy nature with others while seeing parts of the Valley and beyond that you might not get to see otherwise, come join our club. We are a friendly, inclusive group that welcomes all able-bodied hiking enthusiasts!

Check out our website at meetup.com/sun-lakes-hiking-club to view latest descriptions and times of our hikes. We hike Mondays and Wednesdays of each week from November through April.

Interested in getting more information about our club? Please contact our club president Stu Frost at [email protected]