Tonto Recreation Alliance



Volunteers Advancing

Responsible OHV



Welcome to the Tonto Recreation Alliance Website

The Tonto Recreation Alliance is an Arizona Non-profit corporation comprised of volunteer off-highway vehicle enthusiasts. Our mission is to provide educational and volunteer support to the Tonto National Forest. Our current focus is on the Mesa Ranger District and the Cave Creek Ranger District.

For more, see About Us.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 7-9PM

Next New Volunteer Orientation May 14, 2014 8-9PM

Click for Meeting Location 

Next Event: Route signing - 4/19/14 See event registration

For information about TRĀL programs see this page: What we do

There is also a TRAL forum for discussing topics related to OHV volunteering Click Here

Hewitt Station Signing (again) - 3/29/14

Good thing this is a beautiful area because we were back again.  More nice routes, more signs, more route monitoring.  Very nice day and good work completed.

Cave Creek Signing - 3/22/14

Switching things up, we went on a monitoring and signing trip in the Cave Creek district.  Lots of fun and a couple of interesting routes in the Seven Springs area.



Sycamore Field Trip Tonto Staff - 3/21/14

A group of TRAL voluinteers took a group of Mesa and Tonto Supervisor's Office personnel out on a trip to the Sycamore Creek OHV area.  A combination of a fun, social event and discussions about route management.


Hewitt Station Signing #2 - 3/8/14

A second trip to the Hewitt Station area to monitor and sign.  Good accomplishments, great views, and great company.


Hewitt Station Signing - 2/22/14

With Travel Management delayed we worked with the Tonto on a list and map of the existing system routes that need to be monitored, signed, brushed.  There are about 400 miles of these routes in the Mesa and Cave Creek districts and of course, more across the forest.   This run got us started in to monitoring these routes.



GWT Signing - 1/25/14

RockArt who makes and/or sells most of the signing materials to the Tonto donated some signage for the Great Western Trail. TRAL volunteers installed plaques and GWT stickers through the Rolls OHV area and on the 11 road. We had a big turnout with about 24 volunteers so we split up into four separate teams with different tasks. It went very well!

Bush Entrance Kiosk 1/23/14

Amother informational kiosk installed by the weekday crew at the Bush Entrance to Sycamore Creek OHV area.


Mesquite Wash Kiosk Installation - 1/16/14

The old kiosk at Mesquite is being replaced with a new one. Our weekday crew was there to get the job done.


Sycamore Creek Signing/Data Collection Test - 12/27/13

The GIS department at the Tonto has been working on an improved method of data collection that will be easier for volunteers to use. They wanted to do a field test of the setup so we combined the testing with a signing run at Sycamore Creek.

... and our You Are Here sign which was installed at a confusing intersection in Sycamore Creek to help people find the best way out.


Log Corral Wash Signing - 12/26/13

Every year a group of 4WD folks do a bunch of consecutive day outings during the holidays. This year, being TRAL volunteers, they decided to use one of the runs to do some route work on Log Corral doing signing and brushing.


Bulldog Workday - 12/14/13

This was a combination cleanup signing run in the Bulldog OHV area. The crew found and put out a smoldering camp fire almost immediately. In addition to other trash they picked up 2 buckets of nails from pallet fires. After the Bulldog run, the volunteers attended a fire training class that included some classroom time and practice using a fire extinguisher.


Mesquite Wash Workday - 12/7/13

This event started with a cleanup of the Mesquite Wash parking area. Then the group split up with half running the first part of the 160 road doing signing and brushing and the other half doing the same on the 11 road.



Thanksgiving Weekend FR160 - 11/29/13

A group from Copper State Cruisers conducted a trail run of FR160 doing sign repair and installation, route monitoring and lots of brushing.

Sycamore Adopt-a-trail development / work run - 11/16/13

We asked for some help with an Adopt-a-trail run to further flesh out the content of the training materials while we actually did some work on a route. Boy did we get what we asked for. A dozen volunteers showed up, we spent about an hour in the parking lot over breakfast working through the materials and then went out on a practice run. We ended up with a ton of useful comments and suggestions in addition to working on signing and brushing of a couple of Sycamore Creek trails. Thanks to all those who came out!





Cottonwood Camp/Rolls Signing - 10/26/13

Another good event with 12 TRAL volunteers participating. We decended on Cottonwood Camp in the Rolls OHV area and had it cleaned up in about 2 hours then we went on a route sign checking run. Thanks to all of those who helped out!



Rolls/Butcher Jones Workday - 9/21/13

Good kickoff to the TRAL season with a project at the Butcher Jones entrance to the Rolls OHV area. The Forest needed some help removing a section of pipe fence that had been damaged by recent flooding and was also no longer needed. With Allen running the torch, volunteers used a combination of muscle power and 4WD power to get the posts out of the ground. Great job by the 12 volunteers who came out.



After the pipe fence was out and all cleaned up, we took a drive over to cove 2 and picked up about 20 bags of trash.


... and then of course, we cooked burgers!

Hewitt Station Route Signing - 5/11/13

Another successful signing trip with 7 new signs installed and a few repaired by a team of 4 volunteers.


Pleasant Valley Inventory trip 2 - 5/4/13

Another trip to the Young, AZ area Pleasant Valley Ranger District to help with range inventory. Eight volunteers went up, took GIS fenceline data and enjoyed the cooler weather.



TRAL supports Eagle Project 4/20/13

A long time TRAL volunteer's son had an Eagle Scout project scheduled for the same day as a TRAL event so we decided to combine the two. The project was a revegitation of some areas in Lower Sycamore.




Mesquite Wash Trail Repair and Cleanup 4/4/13

There was an ATV route that had been blocked by a fallen tree last season and this was causing some new route formation to get around the tree. Allen used his trusty chainsaw to cut the tree up and our volunteers moved it out of the way using the limbs to block off the alternate route. After the tree removal, we did some cleanup in the wash.



Pleasant Valley Range Inventory - 3/21/13 - 3/23/13

A brand new program for TRAL - helping the Tonto with inventory work. Our pilot project is with the Pleasant Valley Ranger District where we are collecting range inventory data. This gives TRAL volunteers the opportunity to see other parts of the Tonto while helping collect valuable information.

And it doesn't hurt that there is some beautiful scenery around Young and on the drives up and back.



Sycamore Creek OHV Area Signing - 3/17/13

Installing and maintaining route signing in the Sycamore Creek area is always a fun work day for TRAL volunteers since its one of our favorite areas. We had a big turnout for this event, installed some new markers, replaced some, helped get some stuck folks out of the creek and passed out area info to others.



Fun Field Classes

Another big thanks to the Tonto for providing a couple of fun and interesting general interest classes for its volunteers. Plants of the Sonoran Desert held on 3/9 and Geology of the Superstitions on 3/16 were both hits with TRAL volunteers.

Cave Creek Work Day - 3/1/13

A group of TRAL volunteers met at the Cave Creek Ranger District to help with some trail repair work and brushing. Nice to be working with Cave Creek!

Bulldog Route Signing - 2/23/13

The 12 road, an out and back route in the Bulldog Canyon area, had never been signed so TRAL volunteers in 4WD vehicles took the day and installed route markers. This route is a real gem with breathtaking views.



Pobrecito Meet & Greet/Signing - 2/9/13

Chilly day with the threat of rain so only a few people out to meet and greet but 4 teams of volunteers ran trails in the Rolls checking signs. All were in good shape. We installed large Rolls area maps at Pobrecito and in the Four Peaks parking lot. There was a fair amount of trash in the parking lot so we cleaned that up also.

Cave Creek Work Day 1-18-13

This was a joint TRAL/OHV Ambassadors weekday work day. We had 10 volunteers turn out in total, fixed a section of cut fence and trimmed some brush. Then lunch of course.


Cottonwood Camp Cleanup 12-15-12

Even with overnight rain that continued into the morning, 14 hearty TRAL volunteers came out to cleanup the Cottonwood Camp area. The rain held off while we cleaned but then started up again during lunch. No problem, that's what pop-up canopies are for. There did seem to be unusual interest in helping with cooking... standing next to the nice warm grill.



Cave Creek Work Day 12-1-12

We had a work day in the Cave Creek Ranger District, our first big weekend event with Cave Creek. A good turnout of 18 volunteers pulled up a long stretch of old wire range fence that was no longer needed. Thanks volunteers for making this a successful day.



Sycamore Creek Meet & Greet 11-19-12

We had a meet and greet at the Bush Highway entrance to Sycamore Creek. TRAL volunteers handed out our Mesa District information booklet and talked to visitors about OHV opportunities in the area. The event also turned into a mini-cleanup of the entrance with several bags of garbaged removed.

Cave Creek Route Signing 11-16-12

We had our first weekday work day in Cave Creek on the 16th installing route markers on one road. Hopefully the first of many productive days with Cave Creek.


Two More Metal Removal Days on MRD

The weekday crew continued to make progress on cleaning up the Canyon Lake work site on 10-31-12 and 11-15-12. We are up to a total of approximately 7 tons of metal removed from the site.



Canyon Lake Metal Scrap 10-18-12

We started the first of several work days helping the Mesa District clean up a bunch of scrap metal at the Canyon Lake work site on October 18th. Very good turnout for a weekday. Big thanks to the TRAL volunteers who came out!



Sunflower Sandbagging Update

TRAL volunteers along with many other volunteers from different groups placed sandbags around the historical structures at the Tonto National Forest Sunflower Administrative Site to help protect the buildings from flooding due to the fire north of the site. Recent rains have brought some flooding to the site and the sandbags are helping. Below is a picture from a year ago and a recent one showing mud and debris from flooding.

Sunflower End-of-Season Camp & Ride 5/18-5/20 Cancelled

Due to the Sunflower fire, we are cancelling the Sunflower event. We'll try again in the fall with a season opening event.

Hewitt Station Kiosk 3-24-12

TRAL volunteers installed an educational kiosk on the Hewitt Station Road near Queen Valley and then did some trail signing work in the area.



Cottonwood Camp Work Day 1-14-12

The Cottonwood Camp site in The Rolls OHV area is in regular need of attention. We did a cleanup, fixed some wire fencing, put up signs and closed off a dangerous area near the road.




Sugarloaf Kiosk Installation 12-27-11

Our December main event included the installation of the posts for a three panel informational kiosk at the Sugarloaf entrance to Sycamore Creek OHV area. Since we had a good turnout, a bunch of volunteers cleaned up the entrance area and one of the many shooting areas on the Sugarloaf road.


Archeology Class 12-4-11

Once again Scott Wood held an informal class on human habitation history of the Phoenix valley. Thanks for doing this again Scott!

Sycamore Creek Route Signing 12-3-11

A small group went out with Mesa District folks on Friday 12/2 to flag a couple of routes to be signed and then a larger group went out on the 3rd to install the route markers. More than 60 signs were installed, GPS located and photographed. All signs installed included route numbers for open routes.



Four Peaks Kiosk Installation 11-12-11

We got started on the installation of an informational kiosk at the new parking lot on the Four Peaks road. The post were set in place ready for the next phase, installing the sign panels.



And here's the final product:

Pobrecito Pipe Fence 11-2-11

A group of volunteers helped the Mesa District with the ongoing project of installing pipe rail fencing at the Pobrecito parking area at The Rolls OHV area.

Fence Repair Training 10-29-11

The first group of volunteers received fence repair training to be able to go out and independently fix wire fencing.

TRĀL 2011-2012 Season Kickoff Event

About 25 volunteer and Forest Service attendees enjoyed the Season Kickoff Event held on October 21-23rd. A big thanks to the Mesa Ranger District for letting us use the Sunflower Administrative site again. We ran some routes in Bushnell Tanks, visited a lot and ate more than we probably should have. Now it's time to get to work on a season loaded with projects and events.



For more pictures from the event click here.

Wolverine Pipe Fence, April 27, 2011

The weekday crew strikes again! We installed 16 pipe fence posts at the Wolverine entrance to Bulldog Canyon OHV area for about 250 feet of fence. Thanks guys!



Rolls Work Day, April 16th, 2011

We added about 600 feet of wire fencing along the 1804 road at the Rolls south of the Pobrecito parking area and then fixed some fences at Butcher Jones. Thanks to all those who came out to help!



Desert Storm Hummer Tours -

Corporate Sponsorship

A big thanks to Desert Storm for becoming a TRĀL corporate sponsor.

Trailer Rebuild, March 29th

To support the upcoming pipe fence project at Bulldog Canyon, TRĀL volunteers helped rebuild the floor of the trailer used to haul the Bobcat. Thanks guys!



Rolls Inventory, March 6th

We continued with the Rolls OHV area trail inventory adding approximately 40 more miles to the map. Thanks to all who came out to help.

1st TRĀL OHV Host Academy, January 30th

The OHV Host program is our volunteer educational patrol program and the OHV Host Academy is the all day training session required for volunteers to participate. The Mesa District let us use their Sunflower Administrative site for the training, a very nice location. We have 16 OHV Hosts who completed the academy. Thanks to Mesa District staff who played a key role in completion of the training.



Rolls Signing Work Day, January 22nd

We had a good group show up for our Rolls Signing event with 9 TRĀL Volunteers present and more than 15 new Carsonite route signs installed. We also pulled out about 15 shot up and broken signs and put in about a dozen route closure signs on unauthorized trails. Thanks to all who came out!



Cottonwood Camp Work Day, January 8th

The work day on January 8th was very successful! We had 8 TRĀL volunteers plus a big group from the Copper State Cruisers club show up. There was a full contingent from the Mesa District as well. We repaired a long stretch of fencing, picked up a big mound of trash, magnetically raked up a five gallon bucket of nails and installed some signs. A big thanks to all who participated. See the Accomplishments section for more photos.


We asked for them and the Forest Service delivered. We had two general interest classes for volunteers in Nov & Dec. The first was a plants and wildlife class taught by Mark Taylor and the second was Cultural Sites and Archaeological Resources taught by Scott Wood. Both were very informative and fun. Below are pictures from the Archaeology class.


The award reads: Presented to TRĀL-Friends of Sycamore

Instrumental partner in all aspects of Tonto National Forest travel planning and management. Your involvement in OHV groups working with Federal agencies is establishing a standard of cooperation that could be used across the nation. Tonto National Forest 2010