Coyote Hills

Sunday, March 19, 2000

by Wyatt Riley and Robert Lewis, 408-984-8124

Come out and enjoy this spring's Coyote Hills orienteering event. White and Yellow courses will be set for beginners, and Orange, Long Orange, and Very Long Wet Orange will be set for intermediates and up.

The orienteering map of Coyote Hills has been updated and expanded to nearly double the original size, providing new terrain and allowing longer courses. The park is located right on the Bay with views (on clear days) of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose. The area includes several large mostly open hills and some interesting rock features and has only a few easily avoidable bushes of poison oak. Another controlled burn in Fall 1999 lowered vegetation and is theoretically being done, in part, to kill off the few small patches of star thistle in the park.

As usual, registration will be open 9:30-12:00; beginner's clinics will be offered on request 9:30-10:30 am; and start times are available 10:00-12:30. All participants must check in at the finish by 2:00 pm, whether or not they have finished their course.

Preliminary course details:

White         1.93 km         25 m climb         8 controls
Yellow        1.9 km          75 m climb        10 controls 
Orange        5.5 km         120 m climb       ~15 controls 
Long Orange   9 km           150-200 m climb    20-25 controls 
VLW Orange   10.7-13.2 km    180 m climb        25 controls
The White course is entirely on paved trails or large dirt roads. The Yellow course ventures off trails little more. The Orange courses are largely cross-country, with some trail sections. The Very Long Wet Orange course should provide enough challenge to even our faster orienteers, so that they get at least an hour's workout and may well get wet in the flat marshlands at the end of the course.

The additional 2.5 km under consideration on VLW Orange is flat and White/Yellow level. What do you think: Do you want the distance that badly or is 10.7 km long enough? E-mail Wyatt Riley or call 510-742-9751 to voice your opinion.

Questions? Suggestions? Want to help at the event? You can't make it Sunday and want to help hang bags on Saturday? E-mail Robert Lewis or call him at 408-984-8124.


Coyote Hills is conveniently located just north of the east end of the Dumbarton Bridge in Fremont.

From I-880 in Fremont, exit at Decoto Rd. (a.k.a. 84 West) and go west onto Highway 84, which leads to the Dumbarton Bridge. After you are on Hwy 84 on your way to the Dumbarton Bridge, about 2 miles west from I-880, exit at the Thornton Avenue and Paseo Padre exit, and turn right (north) on Paseo Padre. (Note that Thornton also crosses I-880, but you don't want to exit there.) After about 1 mile, turn left at the entrance to Coyote Hills Regional Park and follow the orienteering signs.

From the Peninsula, take Hwy 84 east to the Dumbarton Bridge. After you have crossed the bridge and passed the toll plaza, you should take the first exit, which is at Thornton Avenue and Paseo Padre. Turn left (north) on Paseo Padre and proceed about 1 mile, turning left at the entrance to Coyote Hills Regional Park. Look for orienteering signs.

The park charges $3.50 per car for parking unless you have an East Bay Regional Parks pass.