What we're about

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 are asked to specify "masks optional" or Masks required" for passengers riding in their vehicle.
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 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.
President: Stu Frost (lgfrosty1@gmail.com)
Vice President: Ted Maresh
Secretary: Ron Deraas
Treasurers: Dick Metz
Communications Director: Warren Wasescha
Web Coordinator: Barb Smith, Organizer
Hike Coordinators: Tracy Nilsen
- Mellow Hikes: Ginny & Al Metz
- Moderate Hikes: David Coffman - Mondays
- Scott Downey - Wednesdays
- 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+)

MODERATE: Pass Mountain Loop

Cottonwood Country Club off Riggs Road

Wildflowers should still be in bloom! During stops, we will practice taking great nature photos on our smartphones and identifying the various flowers and shrubs along the route.

Hike Leaders: Henry Silberblatt & Diane Alessi
Cell Phone #[masked]
Hike Category: Moderate
Hike Title: Pass Mountain Loop
Date: March 22, 2023

Trailhead: Usery Mountain Regional Park, 3939 N. Usery Pass Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85207. Park at Trailhead Staging Area (also known as Blevins Trailhead) on E. Usery Park Rd.
Description: The trail is rugged and rocky at the beginning where it crosses a few washes. After traversing the southern edge of the park, the trail gets really rocky as we turn north to begin the ascent of Pass Mountain. The trail becomes less rugged once we reach the saddle and wind around the backside of the mountain. This trail offers views of the Mazatzal, Usery, Goldfield and McDowell mountains.

Hike Distance: 7.4 miles (loop)
Trailhead Elevation: 2,030 ft
AEG: 1,194 ft.
Driving Distance: 65 miles RT
Driver’s fee: $6. plus share of park entrance fee $7 per car
Trailhead facilities: restrooms
MEETUP: 6:45AM at Cottonwood Flagpole parking lot

MOTIVATED: Elephant Butte Loop at Spur Cross

Cottonwood - East of Tennis Courts

Hike Title: Spur Cross, Tortuga, Elephant Mountain and Dragonfly Trails
Hike Category: Motivated
Hike Leader: DeEtte Faith
Cell Phone:
Trailhead: Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
44000 N Spur Cross Rd, Cave Creek, AZ
Hike Distance: 8.5 mile loop
Trailhead Elevation: 2100’
AEG: 1450+ ft.

Description: This loop hike crosses Cave Creek (the body of water, not the town), climbs over Elephant Mountain, and offers a visit to a working water spring and an ancient ruin; some of the best scenery Arizona has to offer.

Driving Distance: 109 miles RT, 1.25 hours
Driver’s fee: $9 + $2 dirt road fee
Park entrance fee: $3 per person (unless have county park pass)
Trailhead facilities: port-a-potty
MEETUP: 6:45 AM at Cottonwood Flagpole parking lot

MODERATE: Ridgeline and various trails at South Mountain

Cottonwood - East of Tennis Courts

Ridgeline and various trails at S. Mountain
Hike leaders: Scott Downey,[masked] and David Coffman,[masked]
Date: March 27, 2023
Trailhead: Pima Canyon Parking lot which has multiple trails
Description: Loop
The first mile of the trail has gradual grades and descents with views of several trails and hills in South Mountain Park. We continue hiking to the start of the Ridgeline Trail which is a mile of ascents and descents with great views of Phoenix and Tempe. We continue hiking to a flat area with plenty of rocks to sit on and have a snack. We then continue hiking crossing the National Trail and two rock ramada structures ascending to the ridge of the Marcos de Niza Trail which we follow until we can cross the National Trail to the Beverly Canyon Trail and loop back to the parking lot.
Like all South Mountain hikes the trail consists of loose rocks and uneven surfaces so good hiking shoes and poles are recommended.
Hike Distance: 5.5 mile loop
Accumulated Elevation Gain: Approximately 1050 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 1200 feet
Driving Distance: 35 miles R/T 20 minutes one way
Drivers Fee: $3
Trailhead facilities: nice bathrooms and gathering area
Meetup: 6:45Cottonwood parking lot

Driving Directions to the Pima Canyon parking lot:
Leave the Cottonwood parking lot to Riggs Road take left (east) for 2.5 miles to I-10 and go North towards Phoenix for 9.5 miles to the Elliott Road exit and take a left
Go 1/2 mile to 48th Street and take a right go for 1.1 miles to a Y in the road take a left and go for about a block and take a left into the entrance of the Pima Canyon Parking Lot (there is a small unmanned guardhouse at the entrance)
The main parking lot is about 1/2 mile in but if the lot is full numerous parking spots are along the entrance road.
Hike leaders: Scott Downey,[masked]; David Coffman[masked]. Driver fee = $3

MELLOW: Scenic Loop Trail

Cottonwood - East of Tennis Courts

Mellow: Scenic Loop Trail in McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

4.5 miles with less than 300 feet elevation gain; driver's fee = $8 + share of $7 entry fee. Optional lunch to follow at the Saddle Bronc Grill, 11056 N Saguaro Blvd Fountain Hills, AZ 85268

Leaders: Stan and Cindy Krasucki[masked]


Past events (1,244)

MELLOW: Go John, Quartz, Slate, Flume and Jasper

Cottonwood - East of Tennis Courts

Related topics