1. Hike Bulletin: The bulletin is available online at suncityhikers.org. It is published two times a year and outlines the date, time, and assembly point for each hike along with hike description, driving instructions, and distance to trailhead.
2. Dues: The dues are $8/year/person and are due by November 30. The hiking season is generally October 1 through April 30.
3. SCH Name Badge: The SCH name badge, which is purchased from the membership chairperson, is to be worn on all hikes.
4. Liability: Members and guests must recognize that there are risks and responsibilities involved and that SCH shall be held harmless of any injury or incident. When members and guests sign up for a specific hike, they agree to abide by the SCH Acknowledgment of Responsibility, Express Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability that they signed when they joined the SCH. They also agree to abide by any Covid-19 Mitigation Actions that are in effect.
5. New Members: To become a member, an individual must complete an Introduction Hike. After completion of the Introduction Hike, the new member may hike either “C” or “B” hikes. Completion of a “B” hike is required before hiking an “A” hike.
6. Guests: On a space available basis, guests aged 18 and older are welcome to attend a hike with the prior consent of the leaders. A signed liability form for each guest must be brought to the hike and given to the hike leader. (See website Membership Renewal Form – Page 2 to download and print form.) Members have priority for SignUpGenius hike slots; therefore, members may not sign in guests until the day prior to a hike. A guest may attend one hike before being required to join SCH. Members are responsible for their guests and must hike with them. Members must know the hiking level/capability of their guest. For example, if you are an “A” hiker bringing a guest on an “A” hike, you must have knowledge that they are able to hike at the “A” level. If a guest must leave the hike for any reason, the member must hike out with the guest.
7. Hike Leaders: Two leaders are assigned to each hike. The leaders designate a sweep for each group. The leaders guide hikers safely on the hike, monitor the pace of the hike, and ensure that hikers get back to the trailhead at the end of the hike. At least one leader must be the last person to leave the parking area.
8. Group Size: The club uses a signup system which limits the number of hikers for each hike to twenty (20).
9. Hike Cancellation: No matter how threatening the weather, hike leaders will be at the assembly place at the scheduled time and will decide whether to cancel or proceed.
10. Leave Time: Hikes leave at the scheduled time. Hikers should plan to arrive at the assembly location at least 15 minutes ahead of departure time to check in and receive trail and driving information. Hikers may meet the group at the trailhead if this is pre-arranged with the leader at least one day in advance.
11. Transportation: Hikes begin at the trailhead. Ride sharing may be arranged by the participants and is not the responsibility of SCH.
12. Completion of Hike: You must complete the hike with the hiking group. A hiker with a time conflict should not start with the intention of leaving early.
13. Prohibited: Pets, drones, smoking and alcoholic beverages are prohibited on hikes.
14. Cell Phones: Except for emergencies, cell phone use is discouraged. Be considerate of your fellow hikers and turn off your cell phone or put it on vibrate.
1. SAFE – See below*.
2. You, the hiker, are responsible for yourself.
3. Safety is of our prime concern. Each hiker is responsible for following all directions given by the hike leader(s).
4. We hike as a group. Hikers normally remain behind their group leader and in front of their group sweep but with permission of the leader or sweep, a small number of hikers may at times be allowed ahead of the leader or behind the sweep.
5. A group will always stop and wait for all of their group to arrive before proceeding at trail intersections and at places where route finding is difficult.
6. Know the meaning of the whistle blast as follows: one blast to stop, two blasts to resume, and three blasts for emergencies.
7. If you are temporarily not using your poles, carry them with the ends pointing forward.
8. Always be aware of the hiker behind you. If you do not see the hiker behind you, stop and signal the leader.
9. It is the responsibility of all hikers to ensure that they are physically fit for the trail conditions that exist and any unexpected conditions that may occur and be able to keep up with the group. Prior to the hike, carefully read the hike description as detailed in the Bulletin to assure that you are capable of completing the hike. If you have questions, call the hike leader.
10. Hikers should carry ID, pertinent medical information, plus emergency contact information, (e.g., Vial of Life) on all hikes. It is suggested you have two copies, one in your backpack and the other in your pocket. Members/guests are responsible for their own medical requirements, to include first aid and medications. If you have a special medical need/requirement that others should be aware of, it is your responsibility to share that information with the leader before the hike. Hike leaders are not responsible for a participant’s medical needs.
Sharing the Trail
1. Move to the right side of the trail and let oncoming or overtaking hikers pass on the left, just like the rules of the road. However, in some circumstances, the leader or sweep will instruct hikers to move to the uphill side of the trail for safety purposes.
2. Ascending hikers have the right of way.
3. Always yield to equestrians. Technically, while bicyclists yield to hikers, for safety reasons our hiking groups will yield to bicyclists.
4. Travel in single file on narrow trails so as not to block the trail.
Recommended Clothing, Equipment, and Hydration
1. Wear durable hiking boots or shoes with deep tread soles designed for rocky desert terrain.
2. Dress appropriately for the predicted weather and temperatures, but always be prepared for an unexpected change in weather conditions (hotter, colder, rain, wind). Wide-brimmed hats are strongly recommended for shading your head and face.
3. Carry enough water (2+ quarts recommended) to maintain your personal hydration for the length of the hike and the ride home.
4. Bring adequate food and snacks to nourish your body.
5. Adequate breaks will occur during the hike as determined by the hike leaders or as requested.
6. Hiking poles are helpful for stability, especially on rocky and slippery terrain or water crossings.
Stewardship and Impact
1. Respect the environment.
2. Stay on designated trails when in existing trail systems and do not cut switchbacks or create new trails. Avoid wet or muddy trails.
3. Leave no trace. Carry out all litter, including orange peels, banana skins, apple cores, etc.
4. Enjoy natural things and features. Hikers must respect the regulations of the hiking area related to removing any objects from their location. Removing objects from Arizona Regional, County, State Parks or Preserves and all National Parks and Monuments is prohibited.
5. Enjoy but leave things as found in archeological or historic sites.
6. Do not contaminate any stream or water with trash or human waste. Relieve yourself away from water sources and bury solid waste (Federal guideline is 200’ from water source). Carry out all toilet paper.
The information collected and retained by SCH about individual members, and/or guests, is limited to name, address, phone number(s), and email address. This information is used to notify members of schedules, events, and other information relevant to SCH activities and is not published or released to any individuals or organizations other than SCH members.
From time to time photos may be taken by members while participating in activities and events. These photos remain the property of the person taking the photo. SCH assumes no responsibility or liability for the use and/or distribution of these photos.
*SAFE - We use the acronym SAFE to emphasize the following:
S = Safety is our priority.
A = To be safe, you need to hike according to your ability.
F = To be safe, you need to stay focused. Watch your footing.
E = If you are hiking safely, according to your ability and staying focused while you are hiking, then every hike will be enjoyable.
These policies shall be reviewed annually in the spring by a review committee chaired by the Vice President of SCH.
Revised March 19, 2022