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Golden Gate Park

California Orienteering Festival, Stage 2

Western States Orienteering Championships, Day 2

Date: (Tue.) Jul. 18, 2023
Location: San Francisco, CA
Event Director: - 510.681.6181
Course Setter: Andrew Masalkov
Type: A; All are welcome, including beginners; NRE Middle-distance event in urban park; California Orienteering Festival, Stage 2; Western States Orienteering Championships, Day 2

Please note that fees and time limits apply. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.


This webpage applies to recreational participants at the event.
Competition entrants should refer to the Cal-O-Fest website ( and Bulletin #4 (5.1MB PDF) (
The location of the event has been corrected in the (new) Location in the Park section, and the Driving Directions have been modified.
The course details have been posted. (7/16/23 9:30 PM).

This is the second event (“Stage 2”) of the California Orienteering Festival ( (Cal-O-Fest). It is also the second of three events for the Western States Orienteering Championships.

Cal-O-Fest is a 10-event Orienteering “Festival” with events in the San Francisco Bay Area and the north Lake Tahoe area. The Festival includes regional and international championship events, and National and World Ranking Events (NRE and WRE, respectively). In conjunction with the competitive events, there will be “recreational” events suited for all levels of orienteering skills​—​from beginner to advanced.
The Western States Orienteering Championships are open to participants from western U.S. states that have 10,000-foot mountains (i.e., AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY). The Championship is determined by the results of three events: the event on Monday, July 17, at the Presidio of San Francisco; this event; and the event on Wednesday, July 19, at Morgan Territory Regional Preserve.

This event will offer a set of Middle-distance courses for recreational participants, as well as another set of courses for the competitive people.

Even though this is a “competition” event for many of the participants, it is open to all, including beginners, for whom this will be an excellent introduction to orienteering.

Note: Beginners are encouraged to attend this event​—​not only to get an introduction to orienteering, but also to have a rare opportunity to experience a large, international event. Please do not be deterred by the competitive aspects of the event. The “recreation” courses will be just like those at a “normal” BAOC event.
Note: If you are coming with a group of five or more people, please tell us () so we can be sure to have enough maps.

More information about this event is available on the Cal-O-Fest website ( and in the Cal-O-Fest Bulletin #4 (5.1MB PDF) (


Note: The event is on Tuesday, this is not the normal BAOC event schedule, and this schedule applies only to recreational entrants.

  9:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Registration open for recreation courses
  9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Beginner clinic instruction (free) — Times might change
 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Recreation starts are open
                   2:00 PM: Recreation courses close

At registration, all juniors must be accompanied by parents or legal guardians, or bring with them a waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian.

Note that you can register and start on courses anytime during the open periods above. Thus, for example, you do not need to be “punctual” at 9:00 (but you can if you want, but please don’t show up earlier and expect to be served).

Beginner clinics are short, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete a beginner course.

Please note that everyone must return to the Finish by 2:00 PM, and check in at E-punch, even if you don’t complete your course. We need to account for all participants, because otherwise we must organize a search party for you.

After you finish, stick around and socialize with other participants!


Note: These are not the normal BAOC fees, and these fees apply only to recreational entrants.

  $20 for each junior (age 8 through 20)
  $30 for each adult
  $1 for a compass rental (optional)  
  $5 for an electronic fingerstick rental (if you don’t own one; you’ll need one to complete the course)
$15 for the lowest-cost individual one-year BAOC membership (optional)  


Location in the Park

The assembly area for this event will be at the east end of Lindley Meadow (map (,-122.4884/@37.7705,-122.4884,17z)) in Golden Gate Park (

A detailed map of the assembly area is here (90KB PDF).

See below for driving directions and information about parking.

Park Amenities

There are restrooms near the assembly area. A limited number of picnic tables might be available for our use.

Unfortunately, our park permit doesn't allow us to provide snacks or water. So, make sure to bring your own water & snacks. (There are water fountains scattered around in the park.)

Be aware that there is a risk of car break-ins​—​smash and grabs​—​in the park. You should not leave anything visible in your car, and you should be careful about what you store in your trunk and glove compartment.

What to Bring

For beginners, comfortable outdoors attire is fine, but you should wear sturdy running or hiking shoes.

The Middle courses will involve running on streets, sidewalks, and trails, so running shoes might be appropriate. However, there will also be some off-trail travel for which you might want cleated shoes. You will want long pants and/or gaiters.

A compass is not necessary, but can be helpful. We have compasses available for a $1 rental fee.

We time the courses with the SPORTident system, so each entry/team needs to have a SPORTident fingerstick. If you don’t have your own, you can rent one at registration for $5. (Use of the “E-punch” system is easy. You can learn how at the event, or read about it here.)

Embargo Notice

This notice does not apply to recreational participants.

Since this is a National Ranking Event and part of the Western States Championships, competitors are not permitted to visit the Golden Gate Park prior to the event. See this map ( for the embargo area; on that webpage, click on "Stage 2: Golden Gate Park Embargo" in the left-hand panel for more information.

Course Details

Here are the details of the recreational courses:

    Course              Length  Controls  Scale  Difficulty
    Rec 1 White         2.6 km     19    1:5000  Beginner 
    Rec 2 Yellow        2.9 km     22    1:5000  Advanced beginner
    Rec 3 Orange Short  3.4 km     21    1:5000  Internmediate (*)  
    Rec 4 Orange Long   3.4 km     21    1:5000  Internmediate (*)
    Rec 5 Beige         3.2 km     19    1:5000  Advanced  
    Rec 6 Brown         3.3 km     21    1:5000  Advanced
    Rec 7 Green         4.2 km     24    1:5000  Advanced
    Rec 8 Red           5.6 km     31    1:5000  Advanced
    (*) At this event, both Orange courses are the same.

All starts are a short walk from the assembly area. Please note that there is a Quiet Zone at the Start.

The Finish is at the assembly area.

Here are some important notes about the courses:

Those are features shown on the map as not allowed to be crossed even though some of these are physically possible to cross. This snip of the map legend shows the symbols that you are not allowed to cross.

“Impassable” Map Features

Unfortunately, there are many shades of green on the map​—​the darkest green (usually landscaping) and olive green (private property) are “impassable”.

Request for Volunteers

As always, events cannot be put on without the assistance of several volunteers. Please consider helping. (All volunteers will be able to run a course!)

Driving Directions

Note: Read the directions below carefully​—​signs might not be provided because of park rules.

The approximate coordinates of the assembly area are 37.7705,-122.4884.

Coming from the Bay Bridge: After crossing the bridge, use the right two lanes to take exit 1B and merge onto US-101 N toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Use the left two lanes to take exit 434B for Octavia Blvd. Continue straight onto Octavia Blvd, and use any lane to turn left onto Fell St. After 1.5 miles, turn right onto Cole St, and after three blocks, turn left onto Fulton St. After 2.1 miles, turn left onto 30th Ave, and turn left onto John F. Kennedy Dr. The assembly area will be on your right less than 0.1 mile from the turn​—​start looking for parking.

Coming from the South: From I-280, approaching San Francisco, use the left three lanes to go straight to exit 49B toward “19th Avenue/Golden Gate Bridge”. Do not stay on I-280, which curves to the right. At the first traffic light, use any lane to turn left onto 19th Avenue. Continue 4 miles (entering Golden Gate Park when you cross Lincoln Way); get into the left lane to turn left onto Crossover Dr at the second traffic light inside the park. After 0.1 mile, turn left onto Transverse Dr. At the stop sign, turn right onto John F. Kennedy Dr. The assembly area will be on your left about 0.5 mile from the turn. This is where you should try to park.

Coming from Marin: After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, shortly after the toll plaza, use the right two lanes to exit onto 19th Avenue. Continue on 19th Ave into Golden Gate Park, and get in the right lane. At the first traffic light after entering the Park, turn right onto Crossover Dr. After 0.1 mile, turn left onto Transverse Dr. At the stop sign, turn right onto John F. Kennedy Dr. The assembly area will be on your left about 0.5 mile from the turn. This is where you should try to park.


Parking for the assembly area is located along John F. Kennedy Dr. All the other parking possibilities are farther away, and/or difficult to reach the assembly area from.