for food, medicine, tools, weapons, shelter
“Attendees can come back year after
year and have a totally different experience, as each guide has a specialty,” said
Kelley Howard, director of sales for ACCESSS Destination Services, which often
incorporates the desert tours into meeting
programs. “We’ll take up to 100 participants through twisting canyons through
the fault and to a replica Cahuilla village
on a historic Indian site.”
While known for its proximity to Lake
Tahoe and alpine forests, Reno is also a
place where wide-open stretches of high
desert provide intriguing possibilities for
events. At Animal Ark, a 38-acre sanctuary
for injured and orphaned wildlife, groups
can tour the preserve, learn about native
black bears and other wildlife, and engage
in volunteer activities.
Located at Animal Ark, Raptor Adven-
tures offers falconry demonstrations,
where attendees can witness falcons, owls
and hawks taking flight over the desert and
get the chance to launch and land a raptor.
“It’s a visually stunning experience
where you see the birds flying in at 100
miles an hour,” said Jim Tigan, company
founder and a licensed master falconer.
“For large groups, we can do a cocktail
hour where we bring in the birds and talk
about the ancient sport of falconry. Smaller
groups can really engage with the birds,
which is an exciting, hands-on activity.”
Groups meeting in the midst of Arizona’s
largest metro hub need not stray far to
enjoy the wonders of the Sonora Desert.
Just north of Phoenix and Scottsdale,
the 3 million-acre Tonto National Forest
offers abundant opportunity for float
trips, paddle-boarding, hiking and
teambuilding activities in a wilderness area
that encompasses ponderosa pine forests,
saguaros and other cacti, the Salt River and
“We’ll take groups out in Hummer
vehicles to Saguaro Lake for a four-hour
experience where they can take pictures
and learn about the desert flora and fauna
and how the Native Americans lived off the
land,” said Lori James, president and owner
of AZA Events. “You can mix it in with a
scavenger hunt or geocaching activity
through the desert.”
Another great way to experience the
region is via desert orienteering, in which
teams are given a map, clues and a com-
pass as they make their way through a pre-
determined course on foot, mountain bike
or horseback, according to Loren Abbi,
owner of Phoenix-based Circa DMC.
Give breakout sessions
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702.822.8779 | springspreserve.org
EURASIAN EAGLE OWL