Members of the Sun Lakes Hiking Club are ushering in the New Year with 12 scheduled hikes in the month of January. Two groups of hikers meet each Monday morning to participate in either the regular hike or the retread hike that is shorter, has less elevation gain and moves at a slower pace. A third option is offered on Wednesday mornings and is a compromise between the two Monday hikes. A brief description of each hike follows. For more up-to-date information visit the club’s website at www.meetup.com/Sun-Lakes-Hiking-Club. Carpools form in the Cottonwood Country Club parking lot east of the tennis courts at 7:45 a.m. for an 8:00 a.m. departure. New hikers are reminded to contact the hike leader before the hike date.
01/05 – Retreads: Apache Vista Trail to Ridgeback Overlook, Phoenix Mountain Preserve, rated C, 2–5.6 miles, AEG 650’, driving distance 100 r/t; carpool contribution $6. Leaders Jack and Helen Schultz 802-0431.
01/05 – Mormon, National and Hidden Valley Trails, South Mountain Park, rated C plus, 6.3 miles, trailhead elevation 1280’, AEG 1350’, driving distance 40 miles r/t; carpool contribution $3. Leaders Michael Kenny 802-5886 and Jim Cantoni 883-8294.
01/12. – Retreads: Pipeline Canyon Trail, Lake Pleasant Regional Park, rated C, 3.6 miles, AEG 300’, driving distance 140 miles r/t; carpool contribution $9 plus share of park entrance fee. Optional lunch after hike. Leader Bonnie Tasch 802-2836.
01/12. – Tom Thumb from Gateway, McDowell Sonoran Preserve, rated B plus, 11.3 miles, trailhead elevation 1720’, AEG 3000’, driving distance 96 miles r/t; carpool contribution $6. Leader Doug Chirhart 883-2834.
01/19 – Retreads: Overton Trail Loop, Cave Creek Regional Park, rated C, 3.3–5 miles, trailhead elevation 2100’, AEG 500’, driving distance 100 r/t; carpool contribution $7 plus share of park entrance fee. Leaders Al and Ginny Metz 895-1868.
01/19. – Geronimo/Corona de Loma, South Mountain Park, rated B plus, 8 miles, trailhead elevation 1280’, AEG 2300’, driving distance 40 miles r/t; carpool contribution $3. Leader Mei Mei Ahiskog 883-2013.
01/26 – Retreads: Gateway Loop in McDowell Sonoran Preserve, rated C, 5 miles, trailhead elevation 1720’, AEG 500’, driving distance 80 miles r/t; carpool contribution $5. Leader Mike Josephson 248-496-5369.
01/26 – Weaver’s Needle Loop from Peralta Trailhead, Superstition Mountains, rated B plus, 12 miles, trailhead elevation 2400’, AEG 3000’, driving distance 80 miles r/t; carpool contribution $5 plus $2 dirt road fee. Leader Marilyn Harkins 883-7173.
01/07 – Butcher Jones Trail, Saguaro Lake, rated C, 5 miles, trailhead elevation 1500’, AEG 300’, driving distance 95 miles r/t; carpool contribution $6 plus share of park entrance fee. Leader Jerry Anderson 847-489-1639.
01/14. – Tortilla Flats, Superstition Wilderness, rated C, 6.4 miles, trailhead elevation 2880’, AEG 450’, driving distance 120 miles r/t; carpool contribution $8 plus $2 dirt road fee. Leaders Greg Jewell 282-0061 and Kandi Skrabala 895-7707.
01/21 – Browns Ranch Trailhead, McDowell Sonoran Preserve, rated C, 5.4–5.9 miles, trailhead elevation 2720’, AEG 250’–484’, driving distance 87 miles r/t; carpool contribution $5. Leader Bill McCoach 740-260-5671.
01/28. – Hieroglyphics Trail, Superstition Wilderness, rated C, 3 miles (with an optional extension of Gold Mine Trail), trailhead elevation 2100’, AEG 655’, driving distance 90 miles r/t; carpool contribution $6. Leaders Bonnie Tasch 802-2836 and Marilyn Harkins 883-7173.
There are three additional January events on the Sun Lakes Hiking Club calendar. On January 22, a leadership field trip will take place at Veterans Oasis Park in Chandler with carpools meeting in the Cottonwood parking lot at 7:45 a.m. Club members who have previously participated in this field trip find it very worthwhile. Contact Marilyn/Dennis Harkins 883-7173 or Tom Chase 895-7819 to RSVP. The second special event is the winter social scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on January 23 in the Navajo Room at Sun Lakes Country Club. Bring $2 per person plus a dish to share and be prepared to enjoy the camaraderie of your hiking friends off the trail. Spouses and friends of hikers are also invited. The third event is a hike leader meeting scheduled for January 29 at 3:30 p.m. in the Phoenix Room in Cottonwood. This meeting is mandatory for all hike leaders who were unable to attend the November 18 meeting.
Don’t forget the monthly SLHC meeting on January 2 at 3:45 p.m. in the Phoenix Room at Cottonwood.
Trudy Alexander offers the hiking tip for January – Pants with zip off legs are very popular among hikers. Trudy suggests that before putting your zippered pants into the laundry, you reattach the legs. This not only cuts down on the wear and tear of the zipper but will also keep all three pieces of your garment fading at the same rate.
For more information about the SLHC, contact Brian Hill at 802-1050 or e-mail BrianFHill@aol.com; or visit the club website at the address above.