An Active Adult Community


A Brief History of the Sun Lakes Hiking Club

The Sun Lakes Hiking Club started with a “voice crying in the wilderness.”  That voice, Sun Lakes resident Paul Seibert, chose to share his hiking passion by writing alluring articles in the Sun Lakes Splash and Chandler papers describing the beauty and mysterious intrigue of the many Arizona hiking trails.  Interested readers were invited to join him Monday mornings at 6:15 A.M. for a hearty day of hiking in the desert (these were not “wimpy walks in the park”).  A handful of mostly male hikers evolved led by an experienced and structured task master, Paul Seibert.

In 1987, this informal pack of hikers incorporated into the Sun Lakes Hiking Club.  The Club co-founders were Paul Seibert and Leo Fontaine, one of the early participants.  Leo Fontaine’s laid back personality offered contrast and balance to the Club’s new leadership. 

As an organized entity, the Club attracted more interested individuals, both experienced and inexperienced hikers, singles and couples.  Membership grew to 50 and a more diversified and energized group created new traditions:  social gatherings, an annual picnic, organized overnight excursions and recognition awards.  Recognition awards include:

  1. The Boot Award: to recognize dedicated service (although originally created by Paul Seibert to “needle” or “boot” a selected member for a behavioral issue, a crafty recipient successfully redefined its purpose).

  2. The “Whiner” award: no description needed?

  3. The “Purple Heart” award:  to acknowledge the victim of a rough and tough tumble.

  4. Other awards as notable events occur:  First rattlesnake sighting, Lost Sweep, etc.


Presently the Sun Lakes Hiking Club has 150 members including couples and singles and offers hikes for all ability levels.  Hikes are scheduled on Mondays (more challenging hikes) and Wednesdays (less rigorous than Monday hikes).  Additionally, the Retreads which include some of the Club’s early members, schedule hikes at “your own pace and distance.”  The official hiking season starts in November with a “Welcome Back” picnic and concludes in April with a “Spring/Recognition Awards” picnic. During the off-season, a small group of members informally meet at the Cottonwood Country Club parking lot by the flagpole and select an “on the spot” local hike.

For additional information and details, please read the Club’s monthly article in the Sun Lakes Splash or visit the Club’s website http//  



*Cottonwood Palo Verde at Sun Lakes is an age 55 and older housing community in accordance with the Arizona and Federal Fair Housing Acts.