Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Hike Ratings
Arizona Sierra Club and Trailblazers Hiking Club outings are rated for degree of difficulty and risk by the leader. As a guideline, outings are classified as follows:
"A" More than 16 miles or more than 3,000 feet elevation change.
"B" 8 to 16 miles, 1,500 to 3,000 feet elevation change
"C" 3 to 8 miles, 500 to 1,500 feet.
"D" Less than 3 miles and 500 feet.
The ABCD system is concise and easy to use, but it doesn’t distinguish between hiking on trail vs. off trail, or between climbing vs. going downhill. The calorie system solves some of these problems by computing the energy needed on a day hike:
E = 100 (10 + R + 2C + 4H)
E = energy expenditure in calories (calories)
R = distance traveled on roads or trails (miles)
C = distance traveled cross-country (miles)
H = altitude gain (thousands of feet)
Thus for an "A" hike on trail,
E = 100 (10 + 16 + 2*0 + 4*3) = 3800 calories
But it also takes energy to go downhill, especially on a steep slope. And the off-trail route from hill 2290 to the pass east of Pass Mountain is easier than the trail through Gateway Canyon south of the Salt River.
This club uses the ABCD system, with adjustments for hikes whose calorie count would imply a different rating.
Examples of "C" hikes:
  Superstitions: Peralta Trail to and from Fremont Saddle
  Sedona: One way from Bell Rock to Morgan Road
  Goldfields: Bulldog Canyon Loop
Examples of "B" hikes:
  Superstitions: One way from First Water Trailhead to Peralta Trailhead
  Chirichauas: Chirichaua Peak and Centella Point from Rustler Park
  Goldfields: Camouflage Tanks
Examples of "A" hikes:
  Superstitions: Superstition Ridgeline from Carney Springs to Lost Dutchman
  Grand Canyon: Round trip from South Rim to Phantom Ranch ("A+")
  Goldfields: Golden Dome Life March

Calendar of Events Plan a Hike Arizona Trailblazers

updated May 9, 2023