What we’re about
The Sun Lakes Hiking Club is a fun and social oriented group that 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 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 and Wednesday hikes are less strenuous and more "social"; 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.
The hiking club recommends being protected with the most current Covid and Flu Vaccines annually to protect yourself and fellow hikers when participating in club events.
All hikers should ask themselves the following three questions the day before hiking:
1. Have you been exposed to a person with COVID in the last 5 days?
2. Have you been exposed to a person with the flu in the last 4 days?
3. Have you experienced any of the following 8 virus symptoms in the last 24-hours? (Muscle and body aches; Cough; Diarrhea; Fatigue; Fever; Loss of taste or smell; Short of breath or difficulty breathing; Runny or stuffy nose, or allergy like symptoms) If you answered YES to any of these questions, the hiker should plan on not attending the hike.
Carpool drivers may require masks be worn when driving to and from hiking trails.
President: Ted Maresh (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Vice President: Paul Feeney
Secretary: Ron Deraas & Joan Carlisle
Treasurers: Dick Metz & Al Metz
Communications: Warren Wasescha
Web Coordinator: Barb Smith
Hike Coordinators: Tracy Nilsen
Social Coordinator: DeEtte Faith
- Mellow Hikes: Ginny & Al Metz
- Moderate Hikes: Scott Downey
- Motivated Hikes: Marilyn Harkins
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+)See all
- Moderate: Dutchman Trail to Coffee FlatsCottonwood - East of Tennis Courts, Sun Lakes, AZ
This hike leaves Peralta TH on the Dutchman trail and climbs a small rise before dropping down into Barkley Basin. This part of the Dutchman is rocky but not steep, with nice views as it winds along to the junction of the Coffee Flat Trail, just south of Miners Needle, at about the 3 mile point. From here we will venture down Coffee Flat a short distance to a nice spot to enjoy a snack before retracing our steps back to the Dutchman Trail and the Peralta TH. Due to the rocky terrain, hiking poles are recommended.
NOTE: Peralta Road, from the end of pavement at Peralta Trail Elementary School to the Trailhead has been graded in 2023 and is in better condition than prior years.
Distance - 6 miles TH elevation 2400'
AEG - 600'
88 miles R/T = $6 + $2 dirt road fee
Leaders: Diane Alessi and Henry Silberblatt 480-895-1133
- MOTIVATED: Telegraph Pass + 3 Look Outs: Dobbins, Buena Vista & top of Old ManCottonwood - East of Tennis Courts, Sun Lakes, AZ
A good exercise hike with some of the finest views from South Mountain. Starting from the Telegraph trailhead, a nice warm up climb to the top of the Telegraph Pass. After a smooth steady climb along the National trail, we will take Holbert trail to the Dobbins Lookout. Coming back, we will continue on the National trail to Buena Vista Lookout. Then a final ascend to the top of Old Man trail.
Leaders: Brian and Mei Mei Hill
Distance: 10.5 miles
AEG: 2400 ft
Driver’s Fee: $3
- MELLOW - Dynamite Trail in the San Tan Mountain Regional ParkCottonwood - East of Tennis Courts, Sun Lakes, AZ
Hike Leaders: Don Lewis - 303-888-7990
Dynamite Trail out and back from the Goldmine Trailhead at San Tan Mountain Regional Park has a trail length of 5 miles and an accumulated elevation gain of 576 feet. The hike will give participants a good cross-section of the Sonoran Desert ecosystem with excellent views of the southeast valley. Goldmine Trailhead has a parking area, and port-a-potties are located at the entrance to the trail.
Note, there is no water at the 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 $3 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, 480-882-2995).
- MODERATE PLUS: Geronimo Trail/Mormon Loop + side trip to PetroglyphsCottonwood - East of Tennis Courts, Sun Lakes, AZ
Location: South Mountain
We start at the Mormon Trail parking lot on 24th Street. We’ll walk 3 blocks until we come to the start of the Geronimo Trail. About half way up, a detour off the trail can be taken to view petroglyphs. Upon reaching the summit, we will head east on the National Trail. When we reach Fat Man’s Pass, a decision will be made whether to detour through Hidden Valley or continue on the National Trail until we reach Mormon Trail, and then descend down to the parking lot.
Distance - 7.3 with no detours, closer to 8 miles with the two side trips.
TH elevation - 1840'
AEG - 1340 feet
Driver's Fee: $4
Leader: Tracy Nilsen 918-944-9261
There are no facilities at the trailhead.