Southern Arizona Hiking Club

Hiking the Mountains, Canyons & Trails of Southern Arizona for Over 50 Years

Classifications of Hikes

Four factors determine the difficultly of a hike:

  • mileage
  • terrain
  • elevation
  • pace

Terrain ranges from good trails to rock scrambling.

A short hike is not necessarily an easy hike. 

Hikes are graded in the following manner.

ClassMaximum milesMaximum climb
ANo limitNo Limit
B163000
C81500
D3500

Adding a plus (+) sign qualifies the degree of difficultly.

An explanation of the reason for the plus or minus sign should be included in the write up.

In addition, a rating has been established to distinguish "canyon hikes" from trail hikes.  

ClassDifficultyCriteria
1EasyHands used for balance only
2DifficultHands used for climbing
3ModerateExposure, rock scrambling
4StrenuusExposure, large boulders to negotiate

These ratings are to be used in conjunction with our existing distance and elevation ratings, for example, a canyon hike would be rated  B/3.
There are 95 canyons on the list. A hiker is eligible for an award upon completion of 22 indicated hikes, all of which must be officially scheduled SAHC trips.  Additional patches will be awarded upon the completion of 44 and 88 canyon hikes, 29 for the 44 Award and 58 for the 88 Award must be scheduled SAHC trips.