Rio Salado
Beginner's Clinic, Sprints, and Motala

Saturday, November 25, 2023

[image:O flag] Pre-Registration (Deadline Thu, Nov 23, 11:59 PM)
[image:O flag] Directions

Time Event(s) Location Directions Google Maps
Sat, Nov 25
8:00 AM -
9:30 PM
Beginner's Clinic (Beginner's Clinic Description) Rio Salado/7th Ave. Directions Placemark
Sat, May 13
8:00 AM -
12:00 PM
Sprints (Sprints Description) and
Mini-Motala (Motala Description)
Rio Salado/7th Avenue Trailhead Directions Placemark

Rio Salado


We hope you'll join us as we once again offer some orienteering fun in the center of the Phoenix metro area. On Saturday, Nov 25, we'll present a beginner's clinic along with 3 sprints (shorter courses) and a Motala (combine all courses) at the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area just south of downtown Phoenix. The 3 shorter courses allow participants to practice their map reading skills at a spot closer to their homes in Phoenix. The courses are also beginner-friendly. Navigating in a river channel is easier than navigating in the open desert terrain of many of our other event sites.

The terrain at Rio Salado is flat. The park is built around the channel of the Salt River just south of downtown Phoenix. If you've never been to the park before, you'll be impressed to find a beautiful riparian area in the middle of Phoenix. Because of the water supplied by the Salt River, the area is lush with vegetation. The concentration of trees is probably greater in the Rio Salado area than in any other area in Phoenix.

Please note that recent efforts to remove encampments of unhoused individuals near the state capital have had some effect on the Rio Salado area. Park rangers actively monitor the area to ensure that encampments do not sprout up inside the habitat area itself. There is an increase in foot traffic in the area, but rangers try to keep the area clear so visitors can enjoy the park.

Beginner's Clinic
Starting at 8:00, we'll conduct a beginner's clinic starting near the restroom building at the 7th Avenue trailhead. Those who participate in the clinic will get an introduction to reading topographic maps and will learn how to determine distance and bearing between two points using only the map, a compass, and a pace count.

Classic Courses
At the same time, we'll present three shorter point-to-point (Classic) courses. Participants in the Classic courses can do one, two, or all three courses with breaks in-between each course. For those looking for a larger endurance challenge, you can string all three courses together, without breaks, into a "Motala". (Click here for more information about the Motala.)


NOTE: Pre-registration/Pre-payment is required. The City of Phoenix does not allow us to conduct on-site registration. By pre-registering, you allow us to print the correct number of maps and beginner's guides for the event.

Click [image:O flag] here to pre-register. Deadline: Thu, Nov 23 at 11:59 PM.


The cost for the day is $10 per person. This includes any combination of beginner's clinic, sprint 1, sprint 2, and sprint 3. Club members get a $5 discount.

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.


07:30 AM Check-in Location: [image:O flag] 7th Avenue Trailhead
08:00 AM Beginner's Clinic Begins
Sprint Courses Open
9:30 AM Beginner's Clinic Ends
11:00 AM Last time to start a Sprint course.
12:00 PM Sprint Courses Close. Participants must complete any of the sprint courses by this time. We will start picking up bags at this time.


Sprints and Motala

Details for our Beginner's Clinics are found here.

Details of our Sprint events are found here.

Details of our Motala are found here.


It is best if participants can provide their own compass. Suggested models include the Suunto A-30 and the Silva 360 Explorer. Other models are acceptable as long as they have a flat baseplate. We will provide compasses for those who do not have their own.

What to bring:

Whistle Participants at orienteering events are required to carry a whistle. Since orienteering involves navigating off-trail, participants can sometimes travel to areas that are rarely visited by other users of the area. The whistle is a safety precaution which allows orienteering participants to signal their presence to others in case of an emergency.
Compass We prefer participants to bring their own compass. This will allow them to learn techniques during the training, then practice the techniques further at home. We will provide compasses to those who are not able to bring their own.
Sun screen. In early January, the sun at 10:00 AM is already high enough to be an issue. Even though we are starting fairly early in the morning, we suggest you apply sunscreen to avoid burning.
Water There will be water at the start/finish . You may also want to bring your own water bottles or a camelback.
Sturdy hiking shoes and
Long pants
The sprint courses involve hiking off trail, sometimes in areas with thick brush.