About 90 percent of hikers are from America. Tours average eight to 10 people and include a variety of people in their 40s to 60s who don’t know each other but share a love of hiking.
A typical day may include breakfast, six to seven hours of hiking and a couple of hours free in the afternoon, followed by a delicious dinner in the hotel or a nearby restaurant.
“The best thing about the hiking tours is the Alps themselves. Before seeing them, people don’t realize how huge and dramatic they are. The beauty of Switzerland’s Alps is unmatched, with huge glaciers, waterfalls, miles of flowers and great trails,” said Haines. “To enjoy this scenery with a comfortable hotel and a great meal waiting at the end of the day is a perfect combination.”
Back in America, the Arizona Outdoor and Travel Club is always planning another hiking adventure. With 300 members, it’s one of the most active outdoor clubs in Arizona.
“We hike here, primarily, but take trips to New Zealand, Holland, Mexico and South America,” said Dan Rothman, club president. “We hike every month, with one to two dozen hikes; take weekend trips into Utah; or [take trips] to Yosemite in California that may last up to a week,” Rothman said.
The people interested in hiking are hardy souls who treasure outside activities. Rothman grades the activities “A through C” in difficulty. “We’ll have strong hikers who easily do 25 miles across the Grand Canyon to people more into three- or five-mile hikes.”
Club members help with a program called the Arizona Trail Project, which is developing 800 miles of hiking trails across Arizona broken down into 35 segments or passages, creating numerous new hiking options.
Rothman’s personal favorite hiking spot is the Grand Canyon. Next May, he’ll lead a three-day trip to the South Rim and the North Rim. “You cannot take a bad hike in the Grand Canyon,” he said, gushing. “They’re all great.”