Needle Rock
Classics and Motala
Red, Orange, Yellow

Sunday, February 11, 2018

[image:O flag] Needle Rock Directions
[image:O flag] Pre-Register (deadline Friday, February 9 at 11:59 PM)
[image:O flag] Description of Classic Orienteering Events


  • Tonto Pass Required: A $8 Tonto Pass is Required to access the National Forest for this event. Click here for a list of Tonto Pass Vendors
  • Get our special early registration prices by pre-registering here. You are not obligated to attend if you pre-register, but pre-registration allows us to plan to print a sufficient number of maps. We may have extra maps, but we cannot guarantee you a map if you don't pre-register.
  • Parental Consent Now Required. Click here for more information.


The Greater Phoenix Orienteering Club is excited to offer orienteering events at another new site in the Phoenix area. On Sunday, February 11, we are presenting classic orienteering courses (point-to-point, Classics) at Needle Rock in the Tonto National Forest just north-east of the Phoenix metropolitan area. If you're looking for an opportunity to practice your navigation skills while exploring a new area, we hope you'll join us for a day of orienteering fun.

Needle Rock is a scenic area located on the banks of the Verde River north of Fountain Hills, AZ. The area includes high cliffs, deep ravines, and a variety of desert vegetation that will challenge your navigation skills. With plenty of water in the river, the area includes a thick forest that is home to deer, javalina, and other desert animals. Away from the river, the desert vegetation is often challenging, including areas thick with teddy bear cholla. While the cholla is quite pretty, you'll want to stay clear of this and the many other cactus species.

Our Needle Rock classic events will include three courses: red, orange, and yellow. The red course is the longest (6.53 km/264 m) and is designed for experienced orienteers looking for a longer endurance event. The orange course (4.16 km/174 m) includes slightly less navigation difficulties and a less challenging distance. Finally, our yellow course (3.08 km/126 m) has even easier control locations and a shorter distance.

Motala: For those of you looking for a full day of endurance fun, the Motala is a three-stage event that includes all three of our classic courses. Participants in the Motala navigate through the three courses in any order. Because of the distances involved, we recommend that participants start the first stage by 9:15 am. The latest time to start the last stage is 11:30 am (red loop), 11:45 am (orange loop), or 12:00 pm (yellow loop). Pricing for the Motala: $10/$15 for individuals/teams if pre-registered, $20 for day-of-event registration.


In order to promote pre-registration for our events, the Club has implemented a new pricing structure. Participants who pre-register for the event will benefit from our priority pricing. While on-site registration is still available, pricing for on-site registration is more expensive. In addition, we'll print some extra maps for each of our events, but we cannot guarantee a map for those who do not pre-register.

Pre-Registration is open until Friday, February 9 at 11:59 PM. After the pre-registration closes, you can still try your luck and register on-site. We will have pre-printed maps for everyone who pre-registers. We cannot guarantee a map for those who register on-site.

Click [image:O flag] here to pre-register.

Parental Consent:

Parental Consent Now Required (Click here for more information)
All participants under age 18 are now required to have a signed parental consent form on file with the club. You can complete the form before the event and either scan it and send it to us by e-mail or bring it with you to the event.


Registration Begins 08:30
Courses Open 09:00
Last time to start the courses Red: 11:30
Orange: 11:45
Yellow: 12:00
Courses Close 13:00 (1:00 PM)

What to bring:

Whistle Mandatory for all.
Available for purchase for $1.00.
Compass Available for rent for $1.00.
Water bottles. There will be some water on the course. However, you are strongly encouraged to bring your own water bottles or a camelback.
Sunscreen There will be little or no shade on the course.
Sturdy hiking shoes and long pants Recommended. You may encounter cactus, cat claw, and loose terrain. The area is also filled with teddy bear cholla.
A comb and a pair of pliers If you do have the misfortune of contacting a teddy bear cholla, a comb is a handy tool to extract the cholla pod from your clothing and/or skin. Pliers are useful to pull cactus spines out of your skin too. You'll want to pay special attention to avoid the many varieties of cactus in the area.


Follow this link for directions to the Needle Rock Event Site.
[image:O flag] Needle Rock Safety Plan