Sun Lakes Hiking Club steps into a new season

Al and Ginny Metz kept cool this summer by hiking in Canada!

Al and Ginny Metz kept cool this summer by hiking in Canada!

Roberta Arpan

SLHC hike leaders have been busy this summer planning another season of fun filled, challenging outdoor activities. To start the 2016-2017 season, plan to attend the November 4 welcome back picnic and first club meeting to be held at Oasis Park in Sun Lakes Country Club at noon. Chicken, water/iced tea, plates and silverware are provided by the club; attendees are asked to bring a dish to share and, if convenient, a folding lawn chair. Members, their guests and interested persons are invited to attend.

The number of hikes offered by the SLHC has increased over the past several years from two to four or more each week. To help ensure that hikers choose a hike that is suitable for their level of fitness and expectations, hikes will now be classified into three general categories. Hikes with the designation of “Motivated” have an intermediate to moderately difficult terrain, are seven miles or more in length and/or greater than 1,000 feet in elevation gain. On a “Moderate” hike, one can expect somewhat easy terrain, less than seven miles in length and/or less than 1,000 feet elevation gain. “Mellow” hikes have an easy terrain, are under five miles and less than 500 feet in elevation gain. Please note, however, that these are not absolute numerical standards and hike leaders are allowed some latitude in rating their hikes based on their experience and knowledge of the particular trail. When appropriate, the hike leader might also designate the pace of the hike. Hikers new to the SLHC are required to complete two mellow hikes before choosing a more challenging moderate or motivated hike. It is mandatory that new hikers contact the hike leader before the day of the hike.

The 16 scheduled hikes for November are listed below. For a more complete and up-to-date description, visit the club’s website at Unless otherwise noted, carpools meet at the Cottonwood parking lot east of the tennis courts at 7:45 a.m. for an 8:00 a.m. departure.

Monday hikes:

November 7 (Mellow) – K-Mine Trail in the Black Canyon National Recreation Area. Leaders Ginny Metz, 895-1868 and Stu Frost.

November 7 (Moderate) – Massacre Grounds in the Superstition Mountains. Leader Greg Jewell, 282-0061.

November 7 (Motivated) – Barnhardt Trail No. 43 in the Mazatzal Mountains. Leader Marilyn Harkins, 883-7173. (NOTE EARLY START TIME 6:45 a.m.).

November 14 (Mellow) – Circumference Trail in Deem Hills Recreation Area in the northwest corner of Phoenix. Ginny Metz, 895-1868 and Mike Josephson.

November 14 (Moderate) – Highline Trail No. 31 on the Mogollon Rim. Leader Stu Frost, 602-332-5676.

November 14 (Motivated) – Three trails in the Casa Grande Mountains. Leader Trudy Alexander, 895-8418. (NOTE EARLY START TIME 6:45 a.m.).

November 21 (Mellow) – National Trail to Mormon Loop at South Mountain Park, Leader Judy Mical, 883-8686.

November 21 (Moderate) – Hackberry Springs in the Superstition Mountains. Leader Mike Josephson; 248-496-5369.

November 21 (Motivated) – Romero Canyon in the Catalina Mountains. Leader Dick Giachino, 895-5509. (NOTE EARLY START TIME 6:45 a.m.).

November 28 (Mellow) – Christensen Trail in North Mountain Preserve. Leader Stu Frost, 602-332-5676.

November 28 (Moderate) – Arizona Trail south of Picketpost Mountain. Leader Judy Mical, 883-8686.

November 28 (Motivated) – Wasson Peak in Saguaro National Park. Leader Doug Chirhart, 883-2834.

Wednesday hikes (all Moderate):

November 2 – Granite Mountain Loop in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Leader Greg Jewell, 282-0061.

November 9 – Deer Creek Trail in the Mazatzal wilderness. Leader Vicki Deken, 688-1771.

November 16 – Dutchman’s Trail to Parker Pass in the Superstition Mountains. Leader Rex Bunkley, 602-320-2698.

November 23 – Dutchman’s Trail No. 104 to Coffee Flats in the Superstition Mountains. Leader Greg Jewell, 282-0061.

A hike leaders meeting is scheduled for November 17 at 2:00 p.m. in the Phoenix Room at Cottonwood. Please plan to attend this meeting if you are leading a hike this season.

Treasurer Mike Foerster would like to remind club members that dues for the 2017 calendar year will be $10 per member, as approved at the April 1, 2016 meeting. Dues for 2017 will be collected by the Treasurer beginning at the November 4 meeting and they must be paid to the Treasurer not later than February 28, 2017. Dues can be paid at monthly club meetings or at club social events.

For more information about the SLHC, visit the club’s website listed above or contact club President Cheryl Verlander at 480-883-2766.