Sierra 2000 O-Fest

Recreational Courses

Contact: Evan Custer, 925-254-5628

The Sierra 2000 O-Fest isn't just for competitive orienteers. Several events will also have recreational courses open to the public: first-time orienteers, recreational hikers, and families. Unlike the competitive courses, you don't have to register in advance - just show up on event day and sign up. This means you can try orienteering at a low-key level while getting the chance to attend a national event and watch the serious competitors in action.

So come enjoy a day (or two or three) of orienteering at Lake Tahoe, one of the most scenic areas in the United States. Below are the event details, fees, directions, etc. If you'd like to make a vacation of it, check out our Lodging & Camping page for accommodations. See you there!


There will be recreational courses suitable for beginners (White course), advanced beginners (Yellow course), and intermediate orienteers (Orange course) at the following events.
  • Saturday/Sunday, July 29-30 - Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park at Spooner Lake (east shore of Lake Tahoe, near intersection of U.S. 50 and Nevada Route 28). Note: There is no Orange course on Sunday.
  • Wednesday, August 2 - Sawmill Flat, Northstar-at-Tahoe (7 miles south of Truckee on Highway 267).
  • Saturday/Sunday, August 5-6 - Burton Creek State Park, Tahoe City.
The courses will be different each day. There will also be free beginner's clinics and Start-Os for the wee ones.

Registration and Schedule

You don't have to pre-register for an event - just show up!
Registration: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Starts: 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Beginner's clinics: 9:30 - 10:30 am
Note: Whether or not you complete your course, you must check in at the Finish. If you don't, we must assume you are either lost or injured, and a search party may have to be sent to look for you. Please include your car's license plate number on the control card stub.


You may do any of the courses below at the recreational level. You can do two courses in a day if you have time, and different courses on different days. To give you a sense of the time involved: The average beginner who walks a White course takes about one hour to complete it; a runner might take 30 minutes.

Start-O. These short, free courses are suitable for young children (ages 3 to 10). They are near registration and require parental supervision.

White. Designed for novices, families, children, and others who don't want to get off the trail or get their feet wet. All of the controls are on paths.

Yellow. Designed for advanced beginners or people who have extensive experience with the use of topographical maps, such as backpackers. Controls may be off trails. There should be handrails (linear features) - such as trails, streams, fences, power lines, and distinct vegetation boundaries - between the controls.

Orange. Intermediate course designed for orienteers who have successfully completed 5 or 6 Yellow courses. It is off-trail, and requires knowledge of orienteering maps and orienteering techniques, including being able to read contour lines and follow a compass bearing, and may involve significant physical effort, including climbing up and down steep terrain off-trail.

Course Statistics

Here are the statistics for the recreational courses at the Sierra 2000. They consist of three numbers: distance (in kilometers), climb (in meters, uphill elevation change), and number of controls (features you'll be looking for). Below are the available course stats; check back later for updates. If you'd like additional details on these events, click the links to go to their individual Sierra 2000 pages.
	Sat, July 29	Sun, July 30	Wed, Aug 2	Sat, Aug 5	Sun, Aug 6
	Spooner Lake	Spooner Lake	Sawmill Flat	Burton Creek 	Burton Creek
White	2.7k,20m,9c	1.95k,105m,11c	2.7k, 25m	2.05k,35m,9c	
Yellow	3.03k,90m,9c	2.9k,170m,11c	4.1k, 50m	2.58k,55m,9c	
Orange	3.4k,125m,10c	(no orange)	6.5k, 215m	3.83k,95m,11c	4.58k,125m,11c


Standard BAOC fees will apply for these recreational courses. All participants receive a map.
  • For White and Yellow courses, the fee is $6.00 for an individual or the first adult in a group, and $2.00 for each additional adult.
  • For the Orange course, the fee is $8.00 for an individual or first adult of a group who is a member of BAOC, GCO, or any other USOF chartered club, and $2.00 extra for each additional adult. The charge for non-members on the Orange course is $12.00 for the first person, and $2.00 for each additional adult.
  • Children and juniors aged 8 to 20 are half price on all courses. Children under 8 are free.
  • Second courses are $2.00 per person.
  • Compass rental is $1.00.
  • Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park charges $5.00 for parking. Parking is free at Northstar and Burton Creek.
  • There is an optional $6.00 chair lift to the start at Northstar.
  • The July 29 event at Spooner Lake will feature electronic punching (see below). Rental of a SportIdent e-card is $2.00.

Electronic Punching

Electronic punching will be used on the recreational courses at the Spooner Lake event on Saturday, July 29th. All participants or groups must have a SportIdent e-card for this event. If you do not own one, you may rent one for $2.00. Standard paper punch cards will be used at all other events.


All maps will be pre-marked with the courses. White course participants will receive their maps at registration, and they may take them to the beginner's clinic. Yellow and Orange participants receive the map at the starting line. Every participant receives a map, and it is yours to keep after the event.

What to bring

Wear sneakers, running shoes, or lightweight hiking boots. Most people wear long pants, particularly on the Yellow and Orange courses. If you have a compass, bring it, or else you may rent one at registration. Bring a safety whistle, or get one at registration. You might also like to bring a lunch to eat afterward.


Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park at Spooner Lake
From the Bay Area, take I-80 east to Sacramento, then US 50 east through South Lake Tahoe to the intersection of Nevada Route 28. Turn north on Route 28 and shortly thereafter, make a right turn into the park. Pay $5 per car for parking. Follow directions on where to park, and then signs to registration.

From Truckee, take Route 267 to the T-intersection with Route 28 at King's Beach. Turn left and go about 30 miles until you come to the park entrance. (If you come to the intersection with US 50, you missed the turn.) Turn left into the park, and follow instructions as above.

From the Bay Area, take I-80 east to Truckee. Go south on Route 267 for about 7 miles to the Northstar-at-Tahoe resort. Follow signs to registration.

Burton Creek
From the Bay Area, take I-80 east towards Truckee, then go south on Route 89 to Tahoe City. At the Y-intersection, continue straight on Route 28 (North Lake Blvd). Go about 2 miles towards Dollar Point, turn left onto Fabian Way, then an immediate right onto Village Road. Turn left at the 3rd intersection onto Polaris Drive, and go to the end of the street and follow signs for parking at the North Tahoe High School. Follow signs to registration.

From Truckee or Northstar, take Route 267 to the T-intersection with Route 28 at King's Beach. Turn right and go about 7 miles until you get to Fabian Way near Dollar Point. (There is a 7-11 store on the south (towards the lake) side of the road.) Turn right and follow directions as described above.