Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont
March 22, 1998

Beginner's Event & More with W, Y, O, Score O' and Memory Score O'
Course Controls Dist. (km) Climb (m) Expected Winning Time (minutes) Expecteding Winning Score
White 8 1.9 25 20-30 n/a
Yellow 10 1.9 75 30-40 n/a
Orange 9 3.1 110 40-50 n/a
Score 27 ~6.5 ~225 45-55 270 (all 27, x10 pts. each)
Memory Score 27 ~6.5 ~225 50-60 240-270

The first ever orienteering event to be held at Coyote Hills will include regular beginner White and Yellow courses, an intermediate level Orange course and (longer) Score O', and an advanced memory Score O'. The area is relatively easy for orienteering, with several large open hills and some interesting rock features and a trail network through the adjacent marsh. About 90% of the terrain is open grassland or marsh. Only about 10% of the map has trees or significant bushes, many of which are easy-to-avoid poison oak. The While and Yellow courses will not go through any poison oak, and it will be easily avoidable on Orange and the Memory O' (just don't go charging through bushes in shorts!)

The Score Orienteering event at Coyote Hills will have 27 controls, and a time limit of 60 minutes. Each control is worth 10 points, and there is a 5 point per minute overtime penalty. Your map shows all 27 controls, and unlike regular orienteering, you may pick them up in any order. In general, you should get as many controls as you can, while still returning to the finish in under 60 minutes.

The Memory Score O is very similar, except that participants MAY NOT carry a map. Instead they may look at a Score O' map, posted at the start and memorize as many control locations a possible, go get those, then return to the map to memorize more. There will be additional Score O' maps located at two of the controls (which are specifically identified) but you will have to memorize how to get to those from the start.

The Coyote Hills are right against the salt flats on the edge of the Bay and can provide great views of all of the South Bay and, conditions permitting, even a distant view of San Francisco. The park has more than 40 miles of hiking, biking, and walking trails, as well as a boardwalk through the marshes, and several ancient Indian shell mounds. There is also a great visitors' center with a mini-museum about the local history.

The 1:10000 orienteering map with 5 meter contours was produced in Fall 1997 starting with USGS contours, and USGS aerial photography (DOQs.) Much like Steve Gregg's Pt. Pinole map up at the north end of the Bay, this map was produced by a local club volunteer. As this is my first attempt at a "wilderness" map, I'm sure some advanced orienteers will have some suggested improvements, but I suspect most beginners will find the map to be quite reasonable.

Coyote Hills is conveniently located just north of the east end of the Dumbarton Bridge in Fremont. From 880 in Fremont, exit at Decoto Rd. (a.k.a. 84 West) and go west onto the freeway that leads to the Dumbarton Bridge. AFTER you are on highway 84 on your way to the Dumbarton Bridge, about 2 miles west from 880, exit at the Thornton Avenue & Paseo Padre exit, and turn right (North) on Paseo Padre. (Note the both Paseo Padre and Thornton also cross 880, but you don't want to exit at either of these.) After about 1 mile, turn left at the entrance to Coyote Hills Regional Park and follow orienteering signs.
From the Peninsula, take 84 east to the Dumbarton Bridge. After you have crossed the bridge and passed the toll plaza, you should take the first exit at Thornton Avenue & 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.

Note that Coyote Hills charges something like $3 per car for parking.

For more information, or if you'd like to help out with registration, starts, finishes or results, please contact me at 510-445-1773, or

-- Wyatt Riley

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