There are two season’s for Sportsman’s Club hiking: Snowbird Season from October 1st to April 30 and Firebird Season from May 1 to September 30.
During Snowbird Season there is a C hike every other Thursday alternating with a B hike every other Thursday. When there is a B hike on Thursday, there is a C hike some other day that week, usually Monday or Friday, but occasionally Wednesday.
During Firebird Season there is a hike every Thursday with departs from Sun City West at 6 AM to try to beat the heat.
Hikes are classified according to the degree of difficulty, and each individual must gauge his/her ability and stamina for each event. Numerous hikes are scheduled each month for all levels of ability.
To allow you to determine which hikes are within your ability, the following general descriptions of hikes will be used:
C-Hike – Easy to moderate (some inclines), 3 to 5 miles.
B-Hike – Moderate (some steep/challenging terrain), 5 to 8 miles.
Hikers meet in the R.H. Johnson parking lot off either R.H. Johnson Boulevard or Meeker Boulevard between the Library and the Bowling Alley (parking area aisle No. 14), 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time. Bring your Rec Card number and an emergency contact phone number for sign in.
Obligations of Sportsman’s Club of SCW Hikers
These items are designed to make your hiking experience not only enjoyable, but also safe.
- Each hiker is ultimately accountable to himself or herself.
- The hike leaders will help get you from Sun City West to the trailhead, will guide you through the hike, will monitor the pace and general demeanor of the hike for comfort and safety, and get you back to your vehicle at the trailhead at the end of the hike. After that, hikers may go to seek food and drink, or return to Sun City West-each car load will make that decision.
- Each hiker must know his/her capabilities for hiking: how far one can hike, how much elevation change one can endure, how fast one can hike, how well one can handle the trail ( sand, rocks, slippery surfaces, watery trails, etc.).
- Starting with “C” hikes is a good way to assess one hiking capability. Then, if desired, moving to the “B” hikes for more distance and elevation changes may be reasonable. Ask the leaders if one has questions about this.
- Building stamina by walking often is a good idea. The Lizard Acres Urban Walking Guide brochure is available at the Recreation centers and the Library. These walks within Sun City West can be easily accessed for training and stamina building. Hikers who also play golf can walk the golf course while playing to help build stamina-start with walking nine holes and then build up to the full eighteen.
- Wear durable hiking boots (ideally over the ankle) with strong cleated soles. Use socks designed to wick moisture away from the skin and to provide cushioning.
- Carry enough water to maintain personal hydration for the length of the hike. Drinking water instead of coffee the morning of a hike will help maintain adequate hydration also. Most of the hikes will have restroom facilities at the trailhead, but not always. The warmer the weather and the longer the hike, the more water one must have; One to three liters depending on weather.
- Bring a snack for use during the rest breaks to help avoid fatigue and weakness. The hike will be more enjoyable for everyone if all are safe and healthy.
- Dress appropriately for the predicted temperature and weather conditions. Learn to check forecasts and to be prepared to dress in layers if needed. Do not forget gloves when the temperatures drop through the winter months.
- A wide-brimmed hat is recommended to protect the head and neck. Remember that we do get some wind at times in Arizona, so a chin strap is wise also.
- Hiking staffs/trekking poles are highly recommended for stability, especially on steep and/or rocky terrain. It is embarrassing to sustain an injury fall while carrying, rather than using, one’s poles.
- Other hiking gear includes sun block, a compass, a whistle, a knife, and a comb or other device to remove cactus stickers. Remember, everything in the desert can hurt you!
- Listen for trail whistles: One blast = stop, two blasts = resume, and three blasts = emergency.
- Carry identification information including emergency contact numbers and any medical information needed, such as “I have diabetes and use insulin”, etc.
- Cell phones use is limited to GPS, Pedometer, photography and emergency calls. No casual personal or business calls are allowed during the hike-this is for safety…
- Hikers must stay behind the hike leader and in front of the rear sweep at all times.
Hiking is great exercise. Join us! Remember to always think of hiking safety; boots, poles and plenty of water. For “B” hikes contact Hugh at email@example.com or call 623-208-0675.
Upcoming C hikes: Notice- Hike details are subject to change due to weather and other unforeseen situations. The C hike leader will notify those hikers on the C Hike email list of such changes, when necessary. Also, more details about the hike will be sent to the C Hike email list a few days before each hike.
If anyone wants to be on the “C” Hiker email list, send an email to Hugh at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 623-208-0675.
For other local hiking information, go to www.maricopacountyparks.net.
B Hikes for October 2019
B Hike Leaves at 6:30 AM Thursday October 10, 2019 Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, Southern section Desert Vista Trailhead. Hike leader Hugh Leedy
The hike route starts at Hawks Nest to Desert Tortoise to right turn on Valle Verde, headed South, to a left turn clockwise at Great Horned Owl loop trail with Union Peak spur trail to the summit Continue clockwise around Great horned Owl . Return same route back to trail head. All trails are rated moderate for slope with some uneveness, rocks and ruts, long rocky segments with drops and exposure, dirt and loose rocks larger than 12 inches with continual uneveness and a steep slope. Hike is 8.1 miles. Elevation change is 700 feet accumulated gain is 1740 feet. No park entry fee $4.00 to driver for gas, restrooms at the trail head. Directions 303 to I – 17. Go under I – 17 and turn right onto North Valley Parkway. Follow Parkway to left on Copperhead Trail, then left onto Melvern Trail then Right onto Desert Vista Trail and enter parking area. (There is a sign on North Valley Parkway That says ” Desert Vista Trailhead ” pointing to a left turn. Follow the 2 remaining signs to get there). Hike takes about 3.5 hours.
B hike leave at 6:30 AM Thursday October 24, 2019 Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park Hike leader Hugh Leedy
The one way trail leads to a memorial for 19 Hotshots who died fighting a wildfire threatening Yarnell and Peoples Valley 6-30-2013. 19 Granite plaques are set into rocks along the 2.8 mile trail to the observation deck. The 0.75 mile Journey trail follows the last steps of the Hotshots 400 feet down to the fatality site. 19 steel markers show the position of where each Hotshot was found. 6.7 mile hike 1,245′ elevation change 2,305′ accumulated gain. No entry fee 2 portapotties in parking lot. 60 miles from Sun City West, not including shuttle, $9 to drivers for gas. We need to keep the vehicles to a minimum this trip due to limited parking. Hike takes 4+ hours plus at least 2 hours round trip driving time. Directions US 60 toward Wickenburg go through roundabout to 93 and 89 toward Yarnell. Follow signs posted on the road side to get to the Hotshots Memorial State Park. 89 north to crossover to 89 South to park entrance.
C Hikes for October 2019
7 AM Thursday, October 3, 2019. Leave SCW for White Tank Mountain Regional Park
This hike will start on Black Rock Trail Short Loop to then Black Rock Trail Long Loop to Waterfall Trail to the Waterfall, then back to the rest of Black Rock Trail Long Loop. It will be 3.1 miles with 300 feet of elevation change and 555 feet of gain.
7 AM Friday, October 11, 2019. Leave SCW for White Tank Mountain Regional Park
This is a repeat of the Oct. 3, 2019, hike.
7 AM Thursday, October 17, 2019 McDowell Sonoran Preserve-Central Area –Marcus Landslide Trail
This hike from Tom’s thumb Trailhead is 4.1 miles with 290 feet of elevation change and 910 feet of gain. The trail has interpretative signs and is very informative, not only for the landslide, but also for the geology of Arizona in general.
7 AM Friday, October 25, 2019 McDowell Sonoran Preserve-Central Area –Marcus Landslide Trail
This is a repeat of the October 17, 2019 hike.
7 AM Thursday, October 31, 2019 Leave SCW for Lake Pleasant Regional Park to hike Yavapai Point Trail
This hike will be on a nice trail that eventually climbs to Yavapai Point overlooking Lake Pleasant which will be at its lowest level of the year. It will be about 3 miles long with 400 feet of elevation change and 600 feet of gain. The pace will be slow enough to accommodate those not yet back to winter hiking form.
B Hikers at Arrowhead Point
C Hikers on Walkin’ Jim Trail
C Hikers crossing the Agua Fria
Hikers on the Agua Fria
C Hikers on Dixie Mountain
C Hikers at Balanced Rock
B Hikers at Phoenix Sonoran Preserve
Hikers at Lake Pleasant
B Hikers at Spur Cross Ranch
Hikers on Walkin’ Jim Tail
Hikers at Lake Pleasant
Sportsman’s Club hikers at White Tank Mountains 2018.
B Hikers near the top of Flatiron. Superstition Mountains Lost Dutchman area to Flatiron via Syphon Draw. Flatiron is 3,000 feet above the trailhead.
Sportsman’s Club Hikers on Maricopa Trail.
B Hike taken two hours into a seven hour hike.
First hike of 2018. Sportsman’s Club hikers on Black Canyon Trail.
Sportsman’s Hikers on the Maricopa Trail Feb. 16, 2018.
First hike of 2018. Sportsman’s Club hikers cross the Agua Fria River.