A Hiking Group for Everyone

October 06, 2017

By BradleyBell


The Sedona Westerners start the hiking season in September and encourage community members to join them.  Five hiking groups venture out each week with various hike ratings, ranging from easy to difficult. An additional special interest group goes out monthly to learn about the special aspects of the area.  Each group offers hikes that provide a beautiful view of the area, the opportunity to meet new friends, and a chance to get some good exercise.  If you are interested in joining them on any hikes, below is a list of the hiking groups, their types of hikes, and the day of the week they venture out. 


The Amblers hiking group meets every Thursday and does the easiest of all the Sedona Westerners’ hikes.  Amblers’ hiking distances range between 2 to 5 miles with a mild elevation change. A variety of Amblers hikes are offered and rated easy to moderate. The Amblers group is a great place to start or restart hiking with a friendly bunch of people.


The Dogies hiking group meets every Tuesday and its hikes cover about 5 to 8 miles, last 5 or 6 hours, and are rated as moderate to difficult. Their hikes often require steep climbs with rock-scrambling and occasionally follow exposed ledges.  Periodic stops for rest and scenic viewing provide an opportunity to make new friends.  It is a good group to build skills for the more difficult Mustang hiking group, or for Amblers hikers to try some moderately rated hikes.


The Mustangs hiking group meets every Thursday and is for the more skilled hiker. The Mustangs offer more challenging hikes, with the majority of hikes ranging from 7 to 9 miles and with elevation changes of 1000 to 2000 feet.  Pace is moderate to slightly above moderate pace.  If you enjoy Drovers and Dogies hikes, but feel you could “up your game” a bit, please join the Mustangs.  


The Rough Riders hiking group meets every Saturday and is the most difficult and challenging.  The hike distances range from 8 to 10 miles and the pace is generally faster. Significant elevation changes, up to as much as 3000 feet, with rock scrambling and ledge walking, are a part of the commitment. These hikes are led by our most experienced hikers who provide a great sense of security to participants.  We recommend that hikers wait until they are comfortable with the Mustangs level hikes before participating in the Rough Riders hikes.


On Sunday afternoon, the Drovers hiking group meet weekly at 1:00 p.m., except for September, April, and May, when the hikes begin at 8:00 a.m. to avoid the afternoon heat.  The Drovers hikes are typically 3 to 4 miles long and last 3 to 4 hours, depending on the pace, which is adjusted to fit the group.  While most of the Sunday hikes are generally rated as easy or moderate, there are a few difficult hikes scheduled with steep climbs, rock scrambling, and ledge crossings.


The Rustlers hikes, are usually 3 to 6 miles long, last 3 to 4 hours, and are generally rated easy to moderate, although they could include steep climbs, rock scrambling and ledges.  They are very similar to the Drovers hiking group described above, only they meet on Saturday morning.                                                             


The Trackers hiking group began with the Sedona Westerners as "Science Field Trips" in 2005.  Tracker hikes are offered on selected Wednesdays, sponsoring outings and hikes, usually educational in nature.  Subjects covered on the hike may include archeology, geology, birding, botany, photography, and history of the local area.  The Trackers hikes are a great way to learn more about the greater Sedona area, its ancient peoples, its geology, and the culture of its first settlers.  For the 2017-2018 season, the Trackers are introducing new hikes that will be both fun and educational.


If you are interested in joining the club, visit the Sedona Westerners online at www.sedonawesterners.org/membership.  You are invited to our next monthly meeting on Thursday, November 9, at 7 p.m. at the Sedona United Methodist Church, 110 Indian Cliffs Road.  Sedona Westerners, written this week by Brad Bell, appears every Friday in the Sedona Red Rock news.



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