Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Table of contents

Presidio of San Francisco

California Orienteering Festival, Stage 1

Western States Orienteering Championships, Day 1

Date: (Mon.) Jul. 17, 2023
Location: San Francisco, CA
Event Director: - 650.248.0909
Course Setter: Matej Sebo
Type: A; All are welcome, including beginners; NRE Sprint event in an urban park; California Orienteering Festival, Stage 1; Western States Orienteering Championships, Day 1

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 course details have been posted. (7/16/23 9:00 PM).

Welcome to Presidio National Park​—​a unique and historic location within the city of San Francisco, in the shadow of the Golden Gate bridge. In addition to this orienteering event, the Presidio offers many opportunities for recreation and entertainment. We encourage you to review all that’s on offer at the Presidio website ( The Presidio Visitor Center is near the assembly area, and has a wealth of information, leaflets, and displays.

This event will be at the Main Post Parade Ground (map (,-122.4586/@37.7995,-122.4586,17z)). The event will offer a set of Sprint courses on our ISSprOM map.¹

This is the first event (“Stage 1”) of the California Orienteering Festival ( (Cal-O-Fest). It is also the first 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: this one; on Tuesday, July 18, at Golden Gate Park; and on Wednesday, July 19, at Morgan Territory Regional Preserve.

Even though this is a “competition” event for most 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 Monday, this is not the normal BAOC event schedule, and this schedule applies only to recreational entrants.

 10:30 AM –   1:00 PM: Registration is open for recreation courses
 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Beginner clinic instruction (free) — Times might change
 12:30 PM –   2:00 PM: Recreation starts are open
                   3:30 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. (The registration form is available here [12KB PDF]. However, be aware that the fees on that form are wrong for this event.)

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 10:30 (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 3:30 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)  


Presidio Amenities

See below for driving directions and information about parking.

The assembly area is on grassy lawns close to parking and registration. The Finish and download areas are also adjacent.

Strictly no tent pegs, stakes, etc. may be used on the lawns, because a rodent-proof barrier is in use below the surface. There is ample space on the lawns for babysitting, which may be arranged between parents.

Due to the short duration of the courses, and the afternoon timing of the event, no food or drink will be provided by the event organizers. A water tap is available nearby to fill water bottles. There are numerous dining options nearby, including multiple food trucks within 250 m of the assembly area. Offerings vary, but on one recent visit included hamburgers, borscht, Algerian food, and pupusas. Colibri restaurant is also very close, and offers upscale Mexican food in an informal setting. Bringing a picnic is also a great option​—​there are many picnic tables, often with spectacular views of the Golden Gate, Alcatraz, and the San Francisco waterfront.

Public toilet facilities are available within 300 meters in the Officers Club (near Colibri restaurant), near the food trucks, and adjacent to the Visitor Center.

The Presidio Trust wants everyone to be aware that they have seen an uptick in car break-ins​—​smash and grabs. You should not leave anything visible in your car, and you should be careful about what you store in your trunk or glove compartment.

What to Bring

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

The Sprint courses will involve a lot of 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 Presidio of San Francisco prior to the event. See this map ( for the embargo area; on that webpage, click on "Stage 1: Presidio Embargo" in the left-hand panel for more information.

However, orienteers are welcome to visit the following areas on the day, including before your start: near assembly in the Main Post area​—​Disney Family Museum, Visitor Center, Tunnel Tops, and Crissy Field; areas to the west of the main post​—​including coastal bluffs, Fort Point, and Golden Gate bridge viewing. Other areas should not be visited until after your race.

Course Details

Here are the details of the recreational courses:

    Course              Length  Climb  Controls  Scale  Difficulty
    Rec 1 White         1.4 km   20 m     15    1:3000  Beginner 
    Rec 2 Yellow        1.5 km   25 m     13    1:3000  Advanced beginner
    Rec 3 Orange Short  2.1 km   40 m     14    1:3000  Intermediate (*)  
    Rec 4 Orange Long   2.1 km   40 m     14    1:3000  Intermediate (*)
    Rec 5 Beige         1.8 km   35 m     16    1:3000  Advanced (*)  
    Rec 6 Brown         1.8 km   35 m     16    1:3000  Advanced (*)
    Rec 7 Green         2.2 km   40 m     15    1:4000  Advanced
    Rec 8 Red           2.5 km   50 m     21    1:4000  Advanced
    (*) At this event, both Orange courses are the same, and Beige & Brown are the same course.

There is one Start for all courses, about 600 meters from the arena on good paths with no climb. Please note that there is a Quiet Zone at the Start.

The Finish is at the assembly area.

Here are some other 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 restrictions.

Parking for the assembly area is located along the lawn of the Main Post Parade Ground. The approximate coordinates are 37.7995,-122.4586.

From the Bay Bridge: Take exit 1B to merge onto US-101 N/Central Fwy toward Golden Gate Bridge. Continued on Central Fwy. Turn right onto Market St. Use the left two lanes to turn slightly left toward Franklin St. Turn left onto Pine St. Turn right onto Presidio Ave, which becomes Presidio Blvd when you enter the park, and later becomes Lincoln Blvd. Continue on Lincoln Boulevard at the traffic circle with Girard Road. Turn left onto Anza Avenue and drive south to the south end of the parking lot at the Main Post Parade Ground. The assembly area is nearby. Park there and be sure to purchase a parking sticker from a machine.

From the South: On I-280, use any of the three left lanes to take exit (#49B) for CA-1 N toward 19th Avenue/Golden Gate Bridge. At the first traffic light, use any of the three left lanes to turn slightly left onto 19th Ave. Stay on 19th Ave through Golden Gate Park, beyond, and through the Presidio. Keep right and follow signs for US-101 S/Marina Blvd S, and merge onto US-101. Take the exit (#437) for Marina Blvd toward the Presidio. Turn right onto Girard Rd, then turn right onto Lincoln Blvd. Turn left onto Anza Avenue and drive south to the south end of the parking lot at the Main Post Parade Ground. The assembly area is nearby. Park there and be sure to purchase a parking sticker from a machine.

From Marin: After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, stay left to continue on US-101 (i.e., do not exit to Veterans Blvd). Take the exit (#437) for Marina Blvd toward the Presidio. Turn right onto Girard Rd, then turn right onto Lincoln Blvd. Turn left onto Anza Avenue and drive south to the south end of the parking lot at the Main Post Parade Ground. The assembly area is nearby. Park there and be sure to purchase a parking sticker from a machine.


You must pay for parking. Parking in the Main Post lots is approximately $2.50 per hour or $12.50 for all day, and is enforced seven days per week. The parking machines accept credit and debit cards, and possibly coins. Be sure to display the parking ticket on your dashboard. (The charge, which varies by location in the park, is $2.50–$3.00 per hour or $12.50–$15.00 per day [as of June 28, 2023]. More information is here (

Public Transit

Information about public transportation options is available at the park website (​—​notably, the PresidiGo shuttle is a free bus service from downtown San Francisco that runs every 30–60 minutes, and terminates convenient to the event center.

¹ ISSprOM stands for the IOF (International Orienteering Federation) International Specification for Sprint Orienteering Maps, which is available here (1MB PDF). A one-page presentation of the Sprint map symbols is available here (525KB PDF). Our ISSprOM map was produced by BAOC member Matej Å ebo in 2016, and updated to the latest standard.