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
- March Monthly Meeting - SLHCCottonwood Country Club off Riggs Road, Sun Lakes, AZ
This Month's Speaker:
This month our featured speaker is Jim Savage who will share information on skin care for hikers and anyone who spends time in the sun.
Location: Cottonwood's Phoenix Room
Enter the facility from any direction and find your way to the outdoor breezeway. Look for the "Sun Lakes Hiking Club" signs on the pillar in the breezeway across from the tennis courts. Turn there and you can also follow the "Computer Learning Center" signage. Once inside the building veer to the right and go to the end of the hall. You've made it!
New hikers and attendees are always welcome.
- MOTIVATED: Young Man/Old Man Loop at South MountainCottonwood - East of Tennis Courts, Sun Lakes, AZ
Motivated Hike: Young Man/Old Man Loop at South Mountain
Trailhead: San Gabriel parking area: (limited parking, no services)
S. San Gabriel Ave. & S 40th Pl, Phoenix AZ 85044
Distance: 8.2 miles
TH - 1250', AEG - 1483'
Mileage: 30 R/T = $3 driver's fee
Leader: Dena Brinkman, 480 206-7427
Description: This will be another variation of some of our favorite trails. Beginning with the uphill trek up Young Man Trail we are off on another South Mountain adventure. We will make our first downhill on a lesser used route off of the Midlife Crisis trail to the Hidden Valley. We will then circumnavigate the Fatman's Pass and head out toward Buena Vista on the National Trail. We will make a left turn off the National and head up to the high point of the Old Man trail and then very carefully make our second downhill to the Desert Classic. (This takes a little vigilance and good tread on the boots!) The DC takes us back to our starting point - staying alert for mountain bikers as we roll along in and out of several deep washes.
- MELLOW: Scorpion PointCottonwood - East of Tennis Courts, Sun Lakes, AZ
Scorpion Point in the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve North
Co-leaders Judy Kuse (608-697-4375) and Ellyn Eisner (708-212-7153)
Trailhead: Browns Ranch
This in-and-out hike starts with a short climb up to the trail and then gently slopes down to the Dare a Sarah rock formation area. In that area we wind around many interesting rock formations, ending at Scorpion Rock. After a brief stop we’ll turn around and head back. This is also a mountain bike area so we will need to be on the lookout for riders. The trail is mostly gravel but poles are always suggested.
Hike distance: 5.2 miles
Elevation gain: 360 feet
Driving distance: 44 miles
Driver’s fee: $7
Indoor bathrooms at the trailhead
Optional lunch at the Pinnacle Peak General Store
- MODERATE: Tonto/Hawes SW TrailsCottonwood Country Club off Riggs Road, Sun Lakes, AZ
Moderate - Tonto/Hawes Southwest Trails
This hike is a loop hike and links the Saguaro, Granite, Ridge, Upper Ridge, Secret, Saddle and Mine Trails. These trails provide good views of Red Mountain and the Salt River from an 1825 ft. elevation. Trail surface is mostly crushed rock/sand with a steep decent at the end. The hike starts out with a steady climb; then several steeper sections as we climb to an abandoned cave entrance to a former mine. This hike provides a fair workout.
Driving Directions to Trailhead:
East on Riggs to McQueen, north on McQueen to the 202E. Stay on the 202 to Exit #23B (East McDowell Rd.), turn left on McDowell Rd. to Power Rd. (This will be the first street you come to after you turn onto McDowell. Turn right on Power Rd. (eventually becomes Bush Hwy.) After about 3.0 miles from the McDowell/ Power intersection the trailhead parking will be on your left. NOTE: Just before the parking lot you will see a large gun range sign on the right side of the road. We will meet in the parking lot before crossing Bush Hwy. to the trailhead.
NOTE: There are no facilities at the trailhead. After you exit the 202 there are gas stations at both the SE and SW corners of McDowell and Powers.
Hike Distance: 5.9 miles 820 ft. AEG
Drivers Fee $6 Driving distance: 70 Miles roundtrip
Hike leader: Tim Donovan 248-393-1297
Note: Expect to get back to Cottonwood about 2:00 pm.