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Calero County Park

Date: (Sun.) Feb. 11, 2024
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 707.567.3496
Course Setter: John Richardson
Type: B; Standard, 7-course, Classic-distance event for beginners through advanced orienteers; beginners are welcome and can learn about orienteering at free Beginner Clinics (unlike last year, this will NOT be a National Ranking Event [NRE])

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

February 9th Update

Hi everyone,
The hills have never been greener! The map has never been newer! The courses have never been more marvelous! The weather forecast is dry and partly sunny!
You really don’t want to miss this classic orienteering event. The event is suitable for all skill levels — beginner clinics will be offered throughout the morning.
If possible, please pre-register here ( (deadline Saturday at 6 PM). Day-of registration will also be available.
Please note that, per park rules, we cannot offer refreshments/beverages/snacks at the assembly area. So please bring your own nutrition.
Let me know if you have any questions about anything at all. Looking forward to seeing you all there!
 Graham Brew, Calero Event Director & BAOC Event Coordinator ()

This will be a standard Classic-distance event with seven courses for beginners through advanced orienteers. Everyone is welcome to attend this event, especially beginners. There will be free beginner clinics at the event to get you started.

This will be earlier in the year than we've visited the park in the past, so it will be interesting to see if nature is starting to blossom. This scene provides an example of how the park might look:

2023 Calero Scene

The park's website is here (

What is Orienteering?

An adventure! Discover the outdoors and discover yourself! You can explore a course by yourself or go as a team with your friends. You will get a highly detailed orienteering map, probably unlike any map you have seen before. The map will have a lot of detail on it, such as fences, boulders, lone trees, vegetation boundaries, and anything else you might see. Your course will be printed on the map.

Orienteering is easy to learn, a challenge to master, and incredibly fun! You can read more about orienteering here.

Health Precautions

Please be mindful that the flu, RSV, and COVID-19 are still with us. Please observe the following:

We will monitor any relevant regulations from Santa Clara County or the park administration, and announce them here if they impact our event.


  9:00 AM – 11:59 AM: Registration open
  9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Beginner clinics instruction (free)
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Starts are open for all courses
                  2:00 PM: Courses close, checkpoint control pick-up begins
Note: There is a 1 km walk (60 m climb) to the Start, which is shared for all the courses. It should take around 15 minutes to get there at a walking pace.

At registration, all juniors (i.e., under 21) 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 (PDF/12KB)).

Note that you can register and start on courses anytime during the open times 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 15–20 minute, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete the Beginner (White) course.

Note: Beginners are given their White- or Yellow-course maps at registration. You should get your map before joining a beginner clinic.

Note that everyone must return to the Finish by 2:00 PM, and then promptly go to the download tent, even if they have not finished their course. Please do not leave without checking in! If there are unaccounted people after 2:00, we must initiate a search for them.

After you finish, stick around and socialize with other participants! Beginners should use this opportunity to ask any questions they have.

Costs and Registration

The following fees apply at this event:

  $3 for each junior on Beginner (White) and Advanced Beginner (Yellow) courses
  $8 for each adult on Beginner and Advanced Beginner courses
  $5 for each junior on Intermediate (Orange) and Advanced (BrownBlue) courses  
$15 for each adult member on Intermediate and Advanced courses
$20 for each adult non-member on Intermediate and Advanced courses
  $1 for a compass rental (optional)  
  $5 for an E-punch fingerstick rental (if you don't own one; each group will need one to complete their course)
$15 (and up) for one-year BAOC membership (optional)  
  • At the event, we can accept payment by cash, check, or credit/debit card (but no electronic payments — e.g., PayPal, Venmo).
  • Individual entrants can register at the event or online before the event (see below).
  • Groups going on a course together must register at the event. (The online registration system can't deal with groups. 🙁)
  • Juniors are age 8 through 20 (under age 8 is free).
  • There is no charge for a second course (but you must end up paying for the more expensive course​—​i.e., Intermediate or Advanced after Beginner).
  • Members of other orienteering clubs can pay the "member" fee. (We hope your club would do the same for our members. 🙂)

More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ. All the prices are also shown on the standard entry form (PDF/12KB), which you can print and fill out in advance to save some time at the event. (You will need one entry form for each group of people going on a course together.)

Optional Online Registration

Online registration has closed, but you can still register at the event.

  • Online registration is not required​—​you can register at the event.
  • You can see who is registered here ( (but keep in mind that others will register at the event).

Venue Facilities

The assembly area (registration, E-punch download, and toilets) will be at the McKean Entrance picnic area (i.e., our standard location). The driving directions are below.

Picnic tables, piped water, and portable toilets are available, so please feel free to bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy after you finish your course.

Note: The park will not let us serve food or water at the event. So, bring any snacks you will want to eat after your run. You can either bring your own water or fill your water bottle from the taps.

What to Bring

For Beginner courses (White and Yellow), comfortable outdoors attire and shoes are fine.

For Intermediate (Orange) and Advanced (Brown through Blue) courses, leg cover or gaiters are recommended, as well as shoes with some extra grip on the sole.

A compass is not absolutely necessary, but can be helpful, and thus is recommended. 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 E-punch 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.)


Here are the course details. Be sure to read the Course Setter's Notes for more information.

    Course   Distance     Climb     Controls  Map Scale  Navigation
    White     3.1 km    80 m  2.6%     10      1:7,500   Beginner  
    Yellow    3.0 km   105 m  3.5%     10      1:7,500   Adv. Beginner
    Orange    3.2 km   185 m  5.8%     10      1:7,500   Intermediate  
    Brown     2.9 km   145 m  5.0%     10      1:7,500   Advanced  
    Green     4.8 km   230 m  4.8%     11     1:10,000   Advanced
    Red       6.3 km   320 m  5.1%     12     1:10,000   Advanced
    Blue      7.3 km   355 m  4.9%     17     1:10,000   Advanced

  • There is a 1 km walk (60 m climb) to the Start, which is shared for all the courses. It should take around 15 minutes to get there at a walking pace. (The Finish is a 5-minute walk back to the assembly area.)
  • Please follow the marked route when walking to the Start. If you are aware of the “shortcut” that was used for previous events, please do not take it. Ignoring this guidance could jeopardize our ability to continue using the park.
  • Maps for the Beginner courses (White and Yellow) are given out at registration, and can be looked at before starting the course.
  • Maps for the Intermediate course (Orange) and Advanced courses (Brown through Blue) are provided at the Start, and must not be looked at before starting the course.
  • Beginners should be aware that the course lengths shown are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. The climb numbers represent the amount of ascending that would be done on the "optimum route" (in the Course Setter's opinion), without regard for any descending. Because you won't travel in straight lines, and might not follow the optimum routes, your actual distance and climb will be somewhat more than what is shown above, and will depend on your route choices (and any errors you make).
  • Horses always have the right of way. If you encounter a horse, you must stop running and respond to the rider's direction.

Park Rules

Did we mention that horses always have the right of way? If you encounter equestrians while running on a multi-use trail or road, please walk until you are clear of the horses. A startled horse could throw and injure the rider. Also be careful not to jump onto a trail when horses are nearby.

Request for Volunteers

As usual, we will need volunteers to help run the event. Please consider volunteering to help in one of the ways listed below. All volunteers at the event will be able to complete a course.

Please sign up by contacting Graham Brew, the Event Director (). Don't delay, or you could miss your favorite task.

Driving Directions

The event assembly area is at the usual McKean Entrance picnic area in Calero County Park (i.e., not at the boat ramp). Because everyone uses GPS for driving directions these days, we will only have one orange/white orienteering directional sign at the junction of McKean Road and the park entrance, about a half mile SE of the Bailey Road junction and about 1.3 miles SE of the Calero Reservoir Boat Launch. For GPS navigation, the address is 23205 McKean Road, San Jose. (The approximate coordinates are 37.1749,-121.7611.)

From the Peninsula: Take Highway 101 or I-280 south to Highway 85, then take Highway 85 south to Almaden Expressway. Head south 5 miles to the end of the road. Turn right onto Harry, and then immediately left onto McKean. The main park entrance is 5 miles south on McKean. Go about 1.3 miles past the boat ramp, and turn in at the entrance (on your right) marked "Calero County Park; Park Office; Equestrian Center; All Trailheads".

From the East Bay: Take I-680 or I-880 south to Highway 101 in San Jose, then take Highway 101 south beyond Highway 85, and exit at Bailey Ave. After 3.2 miles west, Bailey ends at McKean. Turn left and go south 0.7 miles to the park entrance on your right.

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There's a large parking lot next to registration.

Please do not park in the back of the lot​—​i.e., the part farthest from the road. Horse trailers park there, and we need to give them plenty of room to maneuver.