What we're about

The Sun Lakes Hiking Club is open to individuals who either 1) reside, rent or lease in Sun Lakes or Sunbird or 2) are former residents who maintain their annual membership in The Club. 
The Sun Lakes Hiking Club began in 1985. By 1987 the group was official with by-laws, prescheduled weekly hikes, designated hike leaders, and rules designed to make group hiking fun, challenging, and safe.
Group hikes are scheduled from November through April. Hikers meetup at Cottonwood Country Club parking lot, WEARING A MASK (optional for smaller motivated and moderate meet-up groups; required for large mellow group), at 7:45 am from November through February. In March and April, hikers assemble at 6:45 am. Members may or may not carpool to the hikes and share expenses based on distance to the trailhead. Detailed descriptions of hikes are on this website.
Motivated hikes are more rigorous, faster paced and stop less frequently; Moderate Monday hikes are less strenuous and more "social" (NO Moderate hikes on Wednesday for 2021 hiking season); Mellow Monday hikes are the easiest basic hikes or walks. REMEMBER TO KEEP 6' APART ON THE TRAILS.
*1st TIME HIKERS TO THE CLUB MUST CALL THE HIKE LEADER BY SATURDAY BEFORE THE HIKE. New hikers must sign a "Release from Liability" Form at your first hike. You must successfully complete two hikes and have the hike leader sign-off. You are then eligible to complete a Membership Application, and pay a one-time $6 initiation and the $5 annual club dues. Signing in on the Club website does not make you a Sun Lakes Hiking Club member.
Equipment recommended for hiking includes 1) good hiking boots and socks, 2) a sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses, 3) a backpack or fanny pack capable of carrying adequate water for the hike, 4) a snack or lunch, and 5) basic first aid supplies. Other useful items include one or two hiking sticks, a comb or tweezers for removing cacti stickers, and a jacket. 
HIKE RATING CODES used by the Sun Lakes Hiking Club are:
Motivated Hikes = Intermediate - Moderately Difficult: 7 - 10 miles and/or 1000 to 2000+ feet elevation gain
Moderate Hikes = Somewhat Easy: Less than 7 miles and less than 1000 feet elevation gain
• Mellow Hikes = Leisurely pace: Less than 5 miles and less than 500 feet elevation change \

• Hike leaders determine variables affecting the hike and may add (+) or (-) to the rating.
President: DeEtte Faith (df4faiths@yahoo.com)
Vice President: Ted Maresh
Secretary: Ron Deraas and Joan Carlisle
Treasurers: Al and Dick Metz
Communications Director: Warren Wasescha
Web Coordinator: Barb Smith, Organizer
Hike Coordinators: Tracy Nilsen
- Mellow Hikes: Ginny Metz
- Moderate Hikes: David Coffman & Scott Downey
- Motivated Hikes: Warren Wasescha
If you have questions or need information about the club please email the president. If you have comments about or corrections to the information about current hikes on this site please email the hike coordinators. If you have questions or comments about this website please email the web coordinator.

Upcoming events (4+)

MOTIVATED: Bluff Springs Loop from Peralta Trailhead. Early start!

Cottonwood - East of Tennis Courts

Monday January 24th, Superstition Mountains, Peralta Trailhead.

Note early start at 7:15 from Cottonwood.

Hike: Peralta Canyon Trailhead to Lost Dutchman Trail, up and back down Miners Needle, to Bluff Springs Trail, back to parking area.

Hike will be approximately 9.5 miles and 1821 elevation gain.
Trailhead elevation: 2,425’
Driving distance: 96 R/T
Driver’s fee: $6 plus $2 dirt road fee

Hike Leader: Robert Faulkner. [masked]

MODERATE PLUS! Tom's Thumb & The Lookout from Tom's Thumb Trailhead

Cottonwood - East of Tennis Courts

Don't be fooled by the distance and elevation gain of this hike! It is Moderate Plus! because it is more strenuous than our usual Moderate hikes. Our pace will be a 4 on the Desert Tortoise (1) to Jackrabbit (10) Speed Scale. CHECK YOUR BOOT BOTTOMS! Good tread is a requirement to negotiate the steep switchbacks - both ascending and descending. Please read the whole description below.

Distance: 5.6 miles TH elevation - 2813' AEG - 1700'

110 miles R/T = $7

Leaders: Dennis Harkins[masked] Marilyn Harkins[masked]

Tom's Thumb is the landmark rocky monolith at the north end of McDowell Sonoran Preserve South. Starting at the Tom's Thumb Trailhead we will make a steep ascent toward Tom's Thumb. Once on top we will take the short side trip to the base of the monolith for a close-up view and to ponder how? and why? people climb to the top! Then we will traverse to The Lookout for a rest/lunch stop and to take in great views of the surrounding area. We will return the same way we came . . . therefore, a steep descent!

MELLOW: Dynamite Trail at the San Tan Mountain Regional Park

Cottonwood - East of Tennis Courts

Date: January[masked]

Hike Leaders: Bob & Karen MacFarlane[masked] (Cell)

Mellow Hike

Hike: Dynamite Trail out and back from the Goldmine Trailhead at San Tan Mountain Regional Park has a trail length of 5 miles and an AEG of 576 feet.
Highlights are the views of the southeast valley and the Sonoran Desert landscape. Driving distance is R/T 35 miles. Goldmine Trailhead has a new expanded parking area and port-a-potties are located at the entrance to the trail. Note, there is no water at trailhead. Walking conditions are loose rock and this trail is popular with both hikers and mountain bikers. There are periodic view points, some with benches.

The park entrance fee is $7 per car and envelopes are available at the entrance to the trail. The driver’s fee is $2 plus a share of the $7 park entrance fee. Poles are recommended for hiking. An optional lunch will be at San Tan Flats Bar & Grill (6185 W. Hunt Highway,[masked]).

Motivated Hike: Weaver's Needle Circumferenc Loop... NOTE: Early Start

Cottonwood - East of Tennis Courts

Weaver's Needle Loop Hike

Note: NEW EARLY START - Meet at 7:00 AM

Distance: 12.5 miles

Trailhead elevation: 2400' AEG: 3500'

Driving Distance: 80 miles R/T (Peralta Trailhead, Superstitions)

Driver's Fee: $6 + $2 dirt road fee

Leader: Marilyn Harkins[masked]

We will circumnavigate Weaver's Needle for 360 degree views of this awesome landmark. Several trails make up this challenging loop hike: Bluff Springs, Terrapin, Lost Dutchman and Peralta. Expect some thorny vegetation and water in several places if it's been raining. Long sleeves and pants are recommended. Make sure you have tread on the bottom of your boots for safe passage on the rocky trails!

Dress in layers and carry plenty of water and nutrition.

Past events (1,112)

CANCELLED - MODERATE: Brown's Mountain & Cone Mountain

Cottonwood - East of Tennis Courts

Photos (6,813)

Related topics