PHOENIX — Editor's note: The above video aired during a previous broadcast.
It’s National Take A Hike Day, and the weather is perfect this time of year to enjoy Arizona’s great outdoors.
Apex 48 Club is a new outdoor group on Facebook with more than 600 members. Jesse Munoz and Shawnnessey Peterson are the creators of the Apex 48 Club. They named the group after a summit or apex, related to hiking, and then added 48 because Arizona is state 48.
The pair listed their favorite hikes for different kinds of goals, including:
- Chiricahua Pass in Carefree and Soldier's Pass in the Coconino National Forest are great trails to see wildlife
- The Wilson Mountain Trail in the Coconino National Forest and Edge of the World near Flagstaff have the best views
- Skull Mesa Ruins near Cave Creek and Ventana Canyon outside of Tucson are the best hiking workouts
- The group recommended Hieroglyphic Trail in the Superstition Mountains for families to hike
- Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona and Box Canyon near Christopher Creek are the best hikes that have water
The Facebook group takes members off the beaten path and opens their eyes to new scenic journeys across our state. Members of the group can see pictures, videos and Arizona insights for some hikes they may not have heard otherwise.
“It’s fun to go hiking with Jesse because he’s been doing it so long," Shawnnessey said. "He can explain to you certain things about the area you’re in.”
For Jesse, the hiking is even healing. He's a veteran and plans to take more veterans on trails with him in Arizona.
“I would like to get some veterans out and do some really good hikes I think they would really enjoy, so I have some in mind," he said.
Another Valley hiking expert, Arnie Fonseca Jr., is helping people stay active in a different way. Fonseca is a fitness expert and encourages anyone to start with what their comfortable with outside, whether that's hiking more novice trails or taking a simple walk around the neighborhood.
Fonseca also recently accomplished a big goal for himself. He said he finished an R2R2R2R2R (R5) at the Grand Canyon. That's about 85 miles of hiking and 22,000 feet of climbing in total, all unsupported at 62-years-old.
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