The Elements of a Great Hike

Pictured (left to right) are Moderate hikers at the Lookout near Tom’s Thumb in the McDowell Mountains: Front row: Henry Silverblatt, Kathy Ivesdahl, Diane Alessi, Tracy Nilsen, Kitch Trost, and Dawn Bjustrom; back row: Warren Wasescha, Ed Molieri, and Jim Bauer. (Photo by Tim Donovan)

Warren Wasescha, Sun Lakes Hiking Club

Read a good mystery novel and you hope for a good setting, a bit of suspense, and certainly a satisfying conclusion. With a good club hike, you expect much of the same, and more.

On recent hikes, the Mellows discovered the unexpected of multiple water crossings over babbling streams with striking views of many parts of the Superstition Mountains. The Moderates made the twists and turns up slow, deliberate inclines that got them up close to Tom’s Thumb and atop Sunrise Peak in the McDowell Mountains to catch awesome views of the valley floor and points beyond. The Motivateds trekked 11 miles through the Superstitions to see the tucked-away gem of La Barge Box Canyon with its rushing creek and calm water pools that reflected the steep canyon walls that towered above. A good hike is all about a good setting, unexpected sights along the way, and the suspense of a satisfying “wow” at the end of the trail that makes for a worthy photo to share with friends and family later, or simply the memory of seeing a beautiful piece of nature hidden away from ordinary daily life.

There are obvious other things to a great hike, of course, like distance and how high you want to climb, which is why we hike at three different intensity levels. And, of course, a good hike also involves sharing the experience with others and another reason our club members have so much fun on hikes.

This month there will be a lot of the unexpected, as many of our club members will be taking part in our annual Special Hike, this year in Palm Springs in March. A lot of work and planning has been done by a group of our members to find some great hikes and venues to socialize in between. More on that in next month’s Splash article.

Like hiking? All upcoming and 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. Questions not found on our Meetup site? Please reach out to our president Stu Frost at [email protected].

If you like hiking, we’d love to have you join us. We are a friendly, inclusive group of hikers who welcome all able-bodied hikers. Our goal is to make group hiking fun, challenging, social, and safe.

We look forward to hiking with you!