Golden Gate Park

San Francisco
Sunday, February 13, 2000

by Ian Ramsey, 415-551-9693

Golden Gate Park offers its medley of surprises and secret places for the orienteer to explore on February 13th. There is no better way to explore the park than to orienteer it. When you have finished, check out the highlights like Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.

We will offer White, Yellow, and Orange courses. I encourage all levels of orienteers to attend this meet, as this park can be quite a bit of fun to run through.

Course-setter's Notes (Dwight Freund)

In spite of troubles with moved/taken controls in earlier years, I am going to try again with paper plate controls. Last year's experiment with multiple-choice questions about features at the control points was not an entire success, due to ambiguity of questions, impatience of runners, and severely restricted the setter's choice of control points. I am hoping that recent efforts by the city to reduce use of the park as a permanent residence, as well as the less heavy use of the west end will allow the controls to go unmolested for a few hours.

As an added security measure, I am hereby asking for volunteers to 'patrol' sections of the courses for, say, an hour, prepared to replace any pie plates found missing (an oxymoron?).

There will be a choice of three 'advanced' courses: an Orange, a Long Orange, and an option to run the Orange course using a modified map with all the (excessively numerous) trails deleted.

It need not be reiterated how difficult it is to set a truly advanced course in such a setting. No actual control feature can be above Orange difficulty, and even these are on the Yellow side of the spectrum. However, I think I have succeeded in placing the controls to provide a significant challenge in finding the most effective route choice. There are usually various sorts of obstacles to get around, and rarely is there a direct trail for any significant part of the way between pairs of controls.

Course Stats:

White                              9 controls, 2.3 km
Yellow                            11 controls, 4.1 km
Orange (with or without trails)    9 controls, 4.75 km
Long Orange                       15 controls, 7.3 km


There is a small amount of PI in the park, mostly young shoots this time of year. All courses occasionally cross vehicular roads, so care must be taken in crossing. There are probably also horsers and bikers about on the trails. If there is recent rain, then you can expect muddy/soggy conditions in some areas.


We will hold the meet at Lindley Meadow, which is northeast of the polo fields near the middle of the park. Spreckels Lake is just across JFK Drive to the north. This will allow all courses to be run in the (relatively!) less developed western half of the park.

Note: On Sundays JFK Drive from the east end of the park to Crossover Drive (the overpass) is closed. Also, construction has closed some roads within the park.

From the East down Fell Street: Take a left on Stanyan (which borders the east end of the park). Take a right on Waller and follow this road as it becomes Kezar Drive. This will lead you onto Lincoln Way, and from there follow the South directions (below).

From the North: Head down Fulton St. to either 30th or 43rd and head south into the park. From 30th, take a right on JFK and go 1/2 mile to the meadow on the left (the lake will be on the right). From 43rd (also called Chain of Lakes drive), take a left on JFK and head about a mile to the meadow on the right.

From the South: Find your way to 41st Avenue and head north into the park. At JFK drive, turn east and follow it for about a half mile. The meadow will be to the south just after Spreckels Lake.