Hike level definition

Hike Levels

The surest way to a disastrous first experience with a hiking club is to sign up for a hike beyond your capabilities. It cannot be emphasized enough – start small and work your way up to the longer and more difficult hikes. Remember, many hikes in this area have significant elevation gain. So if you are not accustomed to hiking in mountainous terrain, start with the easy hikes with little elevation gain. With regular hiking you will soon find yourself on the more difficult trails.

If hiking is a social activity for you, sign up for the leisurely paced trips. These are normally led at a pace which fosters socializing among the participants with ample time for photography. If hiking is your way of getting a workout, try the faster paced hikes. But remember, these hikes do not normally slow down on steep trails. Be prepared and do not overestimate your ability or underestimate the terrain.

Levels defined:

Five factors determine the difficulty of a hike

  • Mileage
  • Terrain
    • Terrain ranges from good trails, to bush whacking (crossing country with no trail), to rock scrambling. A short hike is not necessarily an easy hike. We refer to HikeArizona.com for trail ratings.
  • Elevation
  • Pace
  • Weather

Ratings for Club hikes

When you find information on a Club hike, you’ll notice the hike will have a hike level assigned to it.  This level will help you to determine which hikes are appropriate for your hiking skill level & physical abilities.

Short Hike:    2 – 4 miles, on trail, less than 500’ elevation gain, rated 1 by Hike Arizona.

Casual Intermediate Hike:    This is an Intermediate hike, offered at a more leisurely pace.

Intermediate Hike:    4 – 8 miles, on trail, less than 1,200’ elevation gain, rated 1-2 by Hike Arizona.

Upper Intermediate Hike:    6 – 12 miles, mostly on trail, less than 2,000’ elevation gain, rated 1-3 by Hike Arizona.

Advanced Hike:    6 – 14 miles, on and off trail, with possible bushwhacking, 2,500’ or less elevation gain, rated 2-3 by Hike Arizona.