The Appeal of Hiking

Mellow hikers enjoying a moment of mediation and prayer at Cathedral Rock during a recent hike in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve (photo by Jim Savage)

Warren Wasescha, Sun Lakes Hiking Club

It’s not always easy to describe why so many people like to hike. It’s exercise, certainly. You see great scenery, of course. The views from the top can be exhilarating, for sure. But you can drive up to the top of places like South Mountain to enjoy the scenery and get those same great views. So, what is it about hiking that appeals to the many hikers in our club here in Sun Lakes?

For one, hiking gives you space and time to think, something we don’t always get. Usually, life is full of various kinds of distractions that keep you busy, making it hard to find time to reflect and sort through your thoughts. A long hike is the perfect place to find balance between mental engagement and freedom. Climbing up a steep, uneven trail requires focus, but not so much that you can’t ponder everything that’s going on in your life. That leaves you with just enough mental space to think things through and find answers to things on your mind.

Hiking also gives you a strong sense of accomplishment. There’s nothing quite like using your own lungs and leg muscles to reach the top of a mountain pass to make you feel accomplished. It’s about reaching a destination. No matter how slow you travel or how many snack breaks you take along the way, at your destination you get to experience a sense of achievement. It gives you the opportunity to marvel over what your body is capable of, along with that sense of joy and excitement.

Hiking also connects you with people—kindred spirits who share a bond in discovering the inner beauty of the many special places we find while hiking, including the variety of different vistas and vantage points. There is nothing finer than coming upon an incredible view and then sharing your sense of awe with others on a hike with you.

Like the idea of hiking socially? Join our club and enjoy all that we have to offer. We are a friendly, inclusive group of hikers who welcome all able-bodied hikers. Our goal is to make group hiking fun, challenging, social, and safe. We hike formally November through April and informally May through October. Our club is open to anyone living in Sun Lakes and SunBird.

For more information about our club, please type “Sun Lakes Hiking Club” into your web browser and look for our Meetup page. You’ll find information about our club, along with photos and descriptions of past and future hikes. If you have questions about the club not answered on our website, please contact our president Ted Maresh at [email protected] and he can help you.

Hiking is one of the many rewarding activities you can do in our community. We look forward to hiking with you!