The Uniqueness of Each Hike

Moderate hikers on Pinnacle Peak: Front row (left to right): Kathy Ivesdal and JD Sturdivant; back row (left to right): Diane Alessi, Ellyn Eisner, Gene Jencsok, Scott Downey, Marge M., and David Patterson (photo by Warren Wasescha)

Warren Wasescha, Sun Lakes Hiking Club

It struck me the other day how uniquely different hikes can be in the Valley. On Monday we were in the Superstition Mountains hiking on remote trails that have been in existence for hundreds of years—trails that once were walked on by hunters and gatherers of old, and perhaps even the Lost Dutchman himself! Rustic, rock-strewn paths with water crossings and no cell phone coverage and no one else around except for an occasional pair of hikers every hour or so. Just two days later, we were at Scottsdale’s Pinnacle Peak hiking trails with a slew of hikers, all in fancy jogging outfits, on trails created by a subdivision developer just 20 years ago in exchange for 35 acres where multi-million-dollar homes now exist. One hike was a tranquil, meditative hike in nature with no sign of civilization around. Another was a suburban hike in an upper-crust neighborhood, with a little lending library greeting you at the trailhead, poetry readings on signs along the way, and trails so manicured they look more like something you’d find at a Disney park. Both were beautiful in their own ways. Both were striking. And both so very different. It’s what makes hiking with the club so enjoyable. You see so many different slices of nature, each with its own unique beauty.

The club is well into full swing this season with a docket full of hikes posted on Meetup. From what I hear, everyone is having a good time on the hikes, and it’s good to see so many new hikers now hiking with our club.

New to Sun Lakes and wondering if the Sun Lakes Hiking Club might be right for you? Club hikes are on Monday mornings of each week at three different intensity levels, now through April. Mellow hikes are the easiest pace, led at a leisurely speed, usually up to five miles and 500 elevation gain. Moderate hikes are a bit more strenuous and are in the five- to seven-mile range and up to 1,000 elevation gain. Motivated hikes are more rigorous and are usually seven to ten miles in length with 1,000 to 2,000-plus elevation gain.

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!