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Driving Directions to Bay Area Parks


BAOC holds events throughout the greater Bay Area, as well as in the Sierras and Central Valley (with our sister club, GCO (http://www.goldcountryorienteers.org)). This page contains directions to common event locations at our mapped parks — plus a few photos to give you an idea of the terrain of our events.

For specific directions to a particular event, look for the event in the Event Schedule. You can also locate events on the maps of event locations.

You might also want to refer to the map and terrain summary for these parks.


List of Parks by Region

North Bay

Peninsula

South Bay

East Bay

Central Valley

(check with GCO (http://www.goldcountryorienteers.org) for more information on events in this area)

Sierra Nevada

Alphabetical List of Parks

Almaden-Quicksilver County Park, San Jose

From north of San Jose, take Highway 85 south to Almaden Expressway. Go south on Almaden Expressway 4.5 miles to Almaden Road. Go right onto Almaden Road though the town of New Almaden and look for the large parking lot on the right.

From south of San Jose, take 85 north to Almaden Expressway and follow the directions above. Or take Monterey Highway to Bailey Avenue, turn right onto McKean Road, and left onto Almaden Road.

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Annadel State Park, Santa Rosa

In Marin County, take Highway 101 north to Santa Rosa, exiting at Highway 12 East. Follow Highway 12 as it makes a left onto Farmers Lane. Turn right onto Montgomery and proceed 5 km to Channel Drive (on the right). Take Channel Drive to the ranger station and pay the $2 fee. Continue to the end of Channel Drive and the parking lot.

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Bear Valley, Arnold

Take Highway 5 or 99 to Highway 4, and then drive east about 70 miles, through Angel's Camp and Arnold, to Bear Valley Cross Country Ski Resort. Bear Valley is 120 miles from Livermore and Sacramento.

Bedwell Bayfront Park, Menlo Park

From the Peninsula, take Highway 101 to the Marsh Road East exit. Stay to the left so that you can go straight ahead into the park at the traffic signal where Marsh turns right into Bayfront Expressway.

From the east bay, cross the Dumbarton Bridge. Go to the fifth traffic light and turn right into the park.

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Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Boulder Creek

Take I-880 or I-280 to Highway 17, and go south over the Santa Cruz Mountains. Exit at Mt. Hermon Road in Scotts Valley, and go right (NW) 3 miles to Highway 9. Turn right, proceed about 6 miles to the town of Boulder Creek. Turn left on Highway 236, and go 9 miles to the park headquarters.

There is no shortage of alternative routes. Here are some favorites:

From the West or South Bay, a shorter, scenic, and winding alternative to Hwy 17 is to take Hwy 85 to the Sunnyvale-Saratoga exit (also known as S. De Anza Blvd.). Go south to reach the town of Saratoga, and then turn right on Highway 9 (Big Basin Way). Follow this two-lane road up, over, and down the mountain, about 13 miles in total, to the north end of Hwy 236. Go right and follow 236 about 8 miles to park headquarters.

Coming from the East Bay? Cross the San Mateo Bridge and continue on Hwy 92 up to I-280, then go south. Exit I-280 at Woodside Road (Hwy 84), and follow that through Woodside and up the mountain to Skyline Blvd (Hwy 35). Turn left and follow Skyline until you reach Hwy 9. Turn right on Hwy 9 and then follow the above directions to reach the park.

Another even shorter (and a bit less windy) alternative: Exit Hwy 17 at Bear Creek Road (3 mi south of Los Gatos). Take Bear Creek for 11 miles, all the way to the town of Boulder Creek. Bear Creek Rd ends at a T-intersection with Hwy 9. Turn left onto 9, go about 0.1 miles, and then turn right onto Hwy 236. From there, it is about 9 miles to park HQ. It takes just under 40 minutes to drive the 20 miles from Hwy 17 & Bear Creek Rd to the park HQ.

Coming from San Francisco or Marin? Follow I-280 south and then choose any one of the above options for getting from it to the park.

Board of Directors Meetings, Foster City

The quarterly BOD meetings sometimes take place at the William Walker Recreation Center in Foster City, at 650 Shell Blvd.

From San Francisco and the South Bay: Take 101 to 92 East. Exit at Foster City Blvd. Make a right at Metro Center Blvd. Go one block. Make a left at Shell Blvd. The recreation center will be on your right, just past the intersection with E. Hillsdale Blvd.

From the East Bay: Take the San Mateo/Hayward Bridge (92) West. Exit at Foster City Blvd, the first exit on the west side of the bridge. Make a right upon exiting the freeway (Chess Drive). Make a right at Foster City Blvd. Make a right at East Hillsdale Blvd. Make a left on Shell Blvd. The recreation center will be on your right , just past the intersection with E. Hillsdale Blvd.

Board of Directors Meetings, Menlo Park

The quarterly BOD meetings sometimes take place at the Burgess Recreation Center in Menlo Park, at 701 Laurel St. (That's the official address of the recreation center, but parking and access are much easier from Alma Street, one block to the west, as described below.)

(Note that the following are "Peninsula directions" — that is, west = toward the mountains, east = toward the bay, north = toward San Francisco, south = toward San Jose.)

From Hwy 101, north or south: Take the Willow Road - West exit. Follow Willow about 2 miles until it ends at a "T" intersection. Turn right onto Alma Street. The Recreation Center is just past the ball fields on the right. The parking lot is beyond the building.

From the East Bay: Take 880 to the Dumbarton Bridge. Once across the bay, turn left at the second traffic light onto Willow Road. Willow will cross over 101, then follow the directions above.

From I-280, north or south: The conservative route choice is to cross over to 101 and follow the directions above. An alternative is to take the Sand Hill Road exit, follow Sand Hill Road east about 3.5 miles until you pass the Stanford Shopping Center. Turn left onto El Camino Real, go about 3/4 mile to the fourth traffic light, turn right onto Ravenswood Ave. Cross the railroad tracks, take an immediate right onto Alma Street, and then left into the parking lot. The Rec Center is at the far end of this lot.

Boggs Mountain State Forest, Cobb

Traffic Warning: Friday afternoon and evening traffic on CA 29 through Napa Valley and US 101 to Santa Rosa is quite heavy. Give yourself at least another hour to get through this. Better yet, try to drive up early in the day.

From San Francisco via Santa Rosa—this is usually the fastest SF route:

From the East Bay via Napa Valley:

(Once in the Napa Valley, you have the option of taking the scenic Silverado Trail instead of the traffic-heavy CA-29. Turn right to leave CA-29 at Trancas, then turn left onto Silverado heading north. You will turn right onto CA-29 just north of Calistoga.)

From Sacramento:

Bon Tempe Reservoir, Fairfax

Please note that carpooling is encouraged.

From Highway 101 in Greenbrae, take the Sir Francis Drake Blvd exit, and go west for 5.5 miles to the town of Fairfax. Turn left at Claus Dr (Rino gas station on the right), and then immediately take another left onto Broadway.

Turn right at the next corner, which is Bolinas Rd (coffee shops on both corners, homeless and 60's hippies on the left). Stay on Bolinas Rd for 1.5 miles. Turn left at the large, brown wooden sign with white lettering that says "Lake Lagunitas".

Stay on this road until you reach the ranger kiosk. Pay the entrance fee ($7 in 2009) at the pay-and-display machine. Proceed on the road to the parking lot at the very end (unless the event announcement specifies a different meeting point). (Note: Do not turn right on the gravel road to Bon Tempe Dam.)

There will not be any orienteering signs posted, since the Water District requests that we keep a low profile.

Boreal Ridge, Soda Springs (Auburn Ski Club Training Center)

From I-80 (about 91 miles east of Sacramento or 10 miles west of Truckee), take the Boreal Ridge/Castle Peak off-ramp (Exit 176). Go to the west end of the Boreal Ridge parking lot. Check in and registration are in one of the two buildings at the end of the parking lot.

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Briones Regional Park, Orinda

Bear Creek Road entrance, SW portion of the park: From Route 24 in the East Bay, take the Orinda exit and head north toward Richmond. Approximately 2 miles later, turn right at the signal onto Bear Creek Road. Continue 3.7 miles to the park entrance on the right. Pay the park entrance/parking fee (~$4) at the kiosk.

Alhambra Valley Road entrance, NE portion of the park: From Route 24 in the East Bay, take the Pleasant Hill Road exit, and head north toward Concord. After about 1 mile, turn left onto Reliez Valley Road. Continue on this road for about 5 miles, and look for O' signs at the entrance to the park on the left. There's a park entrance/parking fee (~$4) that you pay at the kiosk.

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Burton Creek State Park, Tahoe City (Ski-O: Tahoe Cross Country)

Burton Creek is on the northwest side of Lake Tahoe in the Sierras. To get there, take Highway 80 to Truckee. Exit at Hwy 89 and drive south to Tahoe City. At the traffic light, go north on Hwy 28 (North Lake Boulevard) about 2 miles, and turn left on Fabian Way (7-Eleven store on the opposite side of the highway). Make an immediate right onto Village Road and follow it as it veers to the right.

Regular O' events: Turn left at the third intersection onto Polaris Drive, go to the end of the street, and follow signs for parking at North Tahoe High School.

Ski-O events: After Village Road curves to the right, turn left onto Country Club Drive, and park as close to the Tahoe XC office (Highlands Community Center) as you can.

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Calero Reservoir, Morgan Hill

From the Highway 85 corridor in South San Jose, exit at 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 past the boat ramp and turn instead at the entrance marked: Calero County Park; Park Office; Equestrian Center; All Trailheads.

From other points (East Bay/Peninsula), take Highway 101 south past the southern 101/85 split in southeastern San Jose. A few miles further, exit at Bailey Ave and turn right (west). After 3.2 miles, Bailey ends at McKean. Turn left and go south 0.7 miles to the park entrance.

China Camp State Park, San Rafael

China Camp is located 15-20 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge and a few miles northeast of San Rafael. Exit Highway 101 at North San Pedro Road near the Marin County Civic Center, and travel east for 3.5 miles to the Miwok Meadows picnic area. If you arrive late in the day, the lot may be full, but you can park on North San Pedro Road and walk or ride to registration.

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Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont

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 that 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.

Public Transit: From the Fremont BART station, take AC Transit bus #322 (departs 9:05, 10:05) to Ardenwood Blvd. and Commerce Dr. Walk west about 2 km along Commerce and into the park.

Dimond Park, Oakland

Take the Fruitvale exit off I-580 in Oakland. Go north on Fruitvale for 0.4 mile. Dimond Park will be on your left. Park on the streets adjacent to the park.

Doton's Point, Folsom Lake, Roseville

Take I-80 east past Sacramento toward Reno and North Lake Tahoe. At Roseville (appr. 18 miles from downtown Sacramento), take the Douglas Boulevard exit east about 6 miles, where it dead-ends at the park entrance. There is a $5 vehicle fee. Continue on the main park road for a mile or so and look for O' signs.

Edgewood County Park, Redwood City

West entrance: Take I-280 to the Edgewood Blvd exit. Go west to Cañada Road, then go south until just after Cañada crosses under I-280. The park is on the east side of the road.

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Emerald Hills, Redwood City

Events are usually held at the Roy Cloud Elementary School, on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Emerald Hill Road. To get there, take I-280 to the Farm Hill Boulevard exit. Go northeast on Farm Hill about one mile to the intersection with Emerald Hill Road and turn left. Go three blocks and turn right onto Red Oak Way, and then make an immediate left into the school parking lot.

Fallen Leaf Lake, South Lake Tahoe

From the Bay Area and Sacramento, take US 50 east from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe. At the "Y" intersection of US 50 with Route 89, continue north on Route 89. Go approximately 3.5 miles to Cathedral Road, and turn left into the Sno-Park.

From Reno and the east, take US 395 south towards Carson City. Turn west on US 50 and go through South Lake Tahoe. At the "Y" intersection of US 50 and Route 89, turn right onto Route 89 north. Go approximately 3.5 miles to Cathedral Road, and turn left into the Sno-Park.

Goethe Park, Rancho Cordova

This park has been renamed to River Bend Park.

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

The starting area for recent events has been located in Marx Meadow along John F. Kennedy Drive between 25th Avenue and 30th Avenue. Check the event announcement for the starting location. The following directions are to Marx Meadow.

From Route 101 North or Interstate 80 West: Take the 9th Street off-ramp in San Francisco, and work your way over to Fell Street. Follow Fell Street west for 1.5 miles, which will bring you to the east end of Golden Gate Park. The east end of John F. Kennedy Drive is closed on Sundays for biking, roller blading, etc., so you'll have to take an alternate route to the staging area. One option is to bear left on Kezar Drive, and follow this for 0.6 mile to Lincoln Way. Continue on Lincoln Way for about 1 mile to Crossover Drive/19th Avenue. Turn right onto Crossover Dr, and get in the left lane. Bear left onto Crossover Dr. Turn left onto Transverse Drive, and then right onto JFK Drive. Marx Meadow will be on your right (on the north side of JFK Dr).

From Interstate 280 North: Take Route 1 North/19th Avenue exit. Continue north on 19th Avenue, then continue straight through the park on Crossover Drive staying in the left lane. Bear left onto Crossover Dr. Turn left onto Transverse Drive, and then right onto JFK Drive. Marx Meadow will be on your right (on the north side of JFK Dr).

From Route 1 South: From the Golden Gate Bridge, follow Route 1 South (Park Presidio Boulevard). Mid-way through Golden Gate Park, take a right on Crossover Drive. Turn left onto Transverse Drive, and then right onto JFK Drive. Marx Meadow will be on your right (on the north side of JFK Drive).

Huddart Park, Woodside

From I-280 on the Peninsula, go west on Highway 84 (Woodside Road) toward Woodside. From the intersection of Mountain Home, Cañada Road, and Highway 84 (near Roberts Market), continue west on Highway 84 for 0.7 mile to Kings Mountain Road. Turn right (northwest) and follow Kings Mountain Road for 2.1 miles to the park entrance. Follow the orienteering signs to registration.

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Indian Valley, Novato

Take Highway 101 to Marin County, and exit at Ignacio Boulevard, about 2 miles south of Novato. Go west on Ignacio Boulevard, and continue all the way to the campus entrance. Follow the O' signs to parking.

Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland

From Highway 13 in the East Bay (the Warren Freeway), take the Joaquin Miller Road (JMR) exit. Go uphill (east) on JMR, the park entrance is on the left (look for the orienteering sign). The cross street for the park entrance is Sanborne, the upper end (not the lower end with the gate). Follow the O' signs to registration.

Joseph Grant County Park, San Jose

Take the Alum Rock Road exit off I-680 in San Jose, and head for the hills (east). This exit is about one mile northeast of the 280/680/101 interchange. Continue on Alum Rock Road for about 2 miles, and turn right onto Mt. Hamilton Road. Go about 7.5 miles to the park entrance, which will be on your right.

Knowland Park, Oakland

From I-580, take exit 29, Golf Links Road. Go in the Oakland Zoo Parking entrance, pay the $6 parking fee, and head up the hill to the very top of the parking lot. Follow O' signs to registration.

Lake Elizabeth/Fremont Central Park, Fremont

From I-880 South or North in Fremont, take Stevenson Blvd. east (toward the hills) and go about 2 miles to Paseo Padre Pkwy. Check the event announcement for the starting location. You might turn right onto Paseo Padre, then left into the park, and park on the far side of the swimming area. Or you might cross Paseo Padre, and turn right into the park opposite Gallaudet Drive.

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Las Trampas Regional Wilderness, Danville

Main entrance: From the north, east and south, take I-680 to the Crow Canyon Road West exit in San Ramon. Go west on Crow Canyon to Bollinger Canyon Road. Turn right (north) and continue about 4 miles to the end of Bollinger Canyon Road. Follow the O' signs to the parking area on your left.

Main entrance: From the west, take Highway 238 east from Highway 880, or Highway 580 southeast from Oakland. Shortly after the merge of Highways 238 and 580 (about 3 miles from 880 when taking 238), take the exit for Center Street and Crow Canyon Road. Turn left onto Center St, turn right onto Castro Valley Blvd, and turn left onto Crow Canyon Road. Follow Crow Canyon Road north several miles to Bollinger Canyon Road. Turn left (north) onto Bollinger Canyon Road and continue about 4 miles to the end. Follow the O' signs to the parking area on your left.

East (small) entrance: To get to the trail head, take the Stone Valley Road exit off I-680 in Alamo. Go west for one block then turn south (left) onto Danville Blvd. Go south for about 0.5 miles and turn right on La Serena Avenue. At the end of La Serena, turn right on Holiday Drive, then left on South Avenue. The trail head is at the end of South Ave.

McLaren Park, San Francisco

Driving North On 101: From the peninsula on U.S. Highway 101, take the Paul Ave. exit and make a left onto Paul Ave. Cross over the freeway and make a left onto San Bruno Ave. Take the second right turn onto Mansell St. Drive about a half mile to turn right onto John F. Shelley Drive. Take this road past Cambridge St., then look for the large meadow on the right-hand side, then park along the side of the road. We usually meet on the left (south) side of the road.

Driving South On 101: Those coming from the north or San Francisco on U.S. Highway 101, join us here after taking the Paul Ave. exit — it will dump you straight onto Mansell, do not turn. Drive about a half mile to turn right onto John F. Shelley Drive. Take this road past Cambridge St., then look for the large meadow on the right-hand side, then park along the side of the road. We usually meet on the left (south) side of the road.

Public Transit: Transit information is available from McLarenPark.org. It lists several SF Muni bus lines that can get you to the park. The closest BART station, Balboa Park, is about a mile and a half walk... or just get on the SF Muni 29 bus from Balboa Park BART. Get off at the second John F. Shelley Drive stop, and take this road past Cambridge St., then look for the large meadow on the right-hand side.

Mississippi Bar, Rancho Cordova

Take Highway 50 east from Sacramento toward South Lake Tahoe. Turn off at the Hazel Avenue exit, just west of Folsom. Go north over the river about a mile to Sunset. Go right and down the hill to the stop sign. Look for signs to the stables area parking lot.

Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, Palo Alto

From I-280 in Palo Alto, take the Page Mill Road exit (check at the Park 'n' Ride lot for carpoolers), head west (uphill) just under 10 miles to the stop sign at Skyline Blvd. Turn left (cross traffic does not stop!). Proceed about one mile on Skyline and turn right into the parking lot for Skyline Ridge OSP. Park in the lot to the left (the equestrian lot), after negotiating the traffic circle.

An alternate, somewhat faster route from the South Bay is to come up Highway 9 from Saratoga and after 7.5 miles, turn right onto Skyline Blvd. Go about 5-1/2 miles to the Skyline Ridge OSP and turn left into the parking lot.

From the north, it is prettier and less curvey to take Skyline Blvd. south from the Hwy 35 exit off I-280 near San Mateo. (Hwy 35 is Skyline Blvd.) From this exit you will have about a 35-minute drive. Immediately after the exit you will have a few decision points; just keep following the signs to Skyline Blvd. / Hwy 35 and soon you will be on a beautiful stretch of two-lane highway. Halfway there, at the junction with Woodside Road, you can visit the legendary Alice's Restaurant.

(Note: This park is sometimes referred to by its sister park: Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve.)

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, Livermore

Take I-580 east to the North Livermore Avenue exit in Livermore. Turn left, and drive north until forced to turn left onto Manning Road. Take the next right onto Morgan Territory Road, and continue 5.6 miles to the parking lot on the right. The road is very narrow with many sharp curves, so allow extra time and drive carefully.

Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, Soquel/Aptos

Northern (Soquel) entrance: from the Los Gatos vicinity in the South Bay, take Highway 17 south 6.5 miles from downtown Los Gatos to Summit Road. South on Summit Road (cross Hwy 17) 4 miles, pass Summit Store on left. Right onto Old San Jose - Soquel Road, go 6.9 miles. Before the bridge, turn left onto Olive Springs Road, go 1.3 miles to parking near the end of the road.

Southern (Aptos) entrance: Follow Highway 1 south of Santa Cruz and take the Aptos/Seacliff Beach exit. Make a left over the freeway and then a right at the first signal light onto Soquel Dr. After about 0.3 mile, there is a railroad overpass and the road forks; keep left to stay on Soquel Dr. A short distance later, after crossing the railroad tracks, make an immediate left turn onto Aptos Creek Road. Be careful: the sign to the park entrance is not clearly visible as it is partially covered by a bush. Take Aptos Creek Road up about 3 miles to the parking lot at its end. There is a $3 day-use fee.

Northstar Resort, Truckee

From all points East and West, take Interstate 80 to Highway 267 (Exit 188B) just east of Truckee. Take Highway 267 in the direction of King's Beach for about 5.5 miles. Northstar Resort will be on your right (follow the orienteering signs from here)

Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline, San Leandro

From northbound or southbound I-880, take the Marina Blvd West exit (Exit 33B). Go about 1.3 miles on Marina Blvd, to a short right-turn lane at Neptune Dr, just before the main road bends left. Turn right (North) onto Neptune Dr, and go 0.6 miles to the end. Park on the street.

Public transportation is poor in this area. Your best bet is to take BART to San Leandro station, then walk 2.7 miles or hire a taxi cab.

Pacheco State Park, Hollister

From San Jose and the West: From US 101, take CA-152 (Exit 356) 14 miles east to Pacheco Pass. Turn right into the park. Follow O' signs to registration.

From Sacramento and the North: From I-5, take CA-33 south (Santa Nella exit 407) 3 miles to CA-152. Turn right onto CA-152 and go 8 miles west to Pacheco Pass. Turn left into the park entrance. Follow O' signs to registration.

From Los Angeles and the South: From I-5, take CA-152 (Exit 403B) west 12 miles to Pacheco Pass. Turn left into the park entrance. Follow O' signs to registration.

Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, Richmond

To get to Point Pinole, take the Richmond Parkway exit off Interstate 80 in Richmond and go west for 1.3 miles. Immediately after the stoplight at San Pablo Avenue, turn right onto Atlas Road. After 0.8 miles on Atlas, you will cross over a set of railroad tracks and encounter a stop sign. Turn left onto Giant Highway at this intersection. You will pass a detention center on your right, and the park entrance will be immediately after that, also on your right. Pay the fee (if any), park, and walk over the railroad tracks to the staging area in the meadow.

Presidio of San Francisco, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco

All the action usually starts from Pershing Square (a.k.a. the Main Parade Ground), or from the north part of Fort Winfield Scott. Check the event announcement for the starting location.

Here are directions to Pershing Square:

From the North or South on Highway 1: Turn East on California St. and go about 13 blocks to Arguello Blvd. Turn left and go about 4 blocks, entering the Presidio via the Arguello Gate. Follow Arguello, veering right at the fork, all the way down to the Main Parade Ground (big parking lot). Follow the orienteering signs to the registration/start area.

From the East: Use the Lombard St. entrance. Go about 1/4 mile, veering right onto Presidio Blvd., which becomes Lincoln Blvd. Continue on Lincoln until the Main Parade Ground appears on the left between Graham and Montgomery.

Here are directions to Fort Winfield Scott:

Coming from the South or East: Head to the Golden Gate Bridge. Take the last SF exit on Doyle Drive just before the toll plaza. Turn right on Lincoln Blvd., go under the overpass and take the first left (Storey Road). Park right there (in the parking area next to the ball field that is surrounded by buildings--this is Fort Scott) or down the road at the log cabin (500 meters away).

Coming from Marin: Exit immediately after the toll plaza onto Merchant Road. Turn left on Lincoln, and right on Storey.

Public Transit: From the Daly City BART station, take Muni Bus #28 (departures every 10 min.) to Merchant Road at the overpass under Doyle Drive, about 32 min.

Rancho San Antonio Preserve, Los Altos

From I-280 on the Peninsula, take the Foothill Expressway exit and head south on Foothill Blvd. Turn right at the first light on Christo Rey Drive and go about 1 mile to the park entrance. Meet in the picnic area just across the creek and to the right from the main parking lot at the end of the park drive. Parking goes fast, so come early (before 6 pm) or be prepared to hunt around for a spot.

Red Hills, Oakdale

Take Highway 120 east from Oakdale (near Modesto) towards Sonora. After 15 miles, turn right on La Grange Road. Go about 0.5 mile to the event, and follow the O' signs.

River Bend Park, Rancho Cordova

Take I-80 to Sacramento, continuing through town on Business 80. Stay to the left on U.S. Highway 50, toward South Lake Tahoe. About 6 miles east, take the Bradshaw Road exit and go north 0.5 mile to Folsom Boulevard. Turn right (east) on Folsom for a mile, and then left onto Rod Beaudry Drive to the park entrance. There is an A&W stand at the corner, and signs for River Bend Park.

Rossmoor Bar, Rancho Cordova

From Sacramento, take U.S Highway 50 heading east, and exit at the Sunrise Boulevard North exit. Go about 0.75 mile and turn left onto Coloma Road. Then go about 1.25 miles and turn right onto Elmanto Drive. Enter the park and follow the O' signs to the parking area.

Royal Gorge, Soda Springs

From I-80 about 80 minutes east of Sacramento (15 minutes west of Truckee), take the Norden/Soda Springs exit (Exit 174). Go straight through the village for about a mile to the first blinking light/stop sign. Turn right; go across the railroad tracks, past the Soda Springs Downhill Ski area on your right, up the hill and turn at the second right (Pahatsi). After the turn, go straight to the Summit Station parking lot of the Royal Gorge ski area lodge.

Shell Ridge Open Space, Walnut Creek

Events are held at two separate locations in this park. Make sure you read the event announcement to know which place to go to. The directions to both places start out the same:

Traveling north on I-680, take the Ygnacio Valley Road exit (which is just north of the Hwy 24 interchange). Turn right onto Ygnacio Valley Rd, and see below for the continuation from there.

Traveling south on I-680, take the N. Main Street exit, and head south on Main Street. Turn left onto Ygnacio Valley Road, and see below for the continuation from there.

For the north side of the park: Head east on Ygnacio Valley Road approximately 2.3 miles to Walnut Avenue (not Walnut Boulevard). Turn right onto Walnut Avenue and go 1.5 miles to Oak Grove Road. Turn right onto Oak Grove and immediately veer right onto Castle Rock Road. Northgate High School is on the right about 0.5 mile along Castle Rock Road. Park in the school lot closest to the hills, past the buildings. Registration and starts will be about a ten-minute walk from the lot along Castle Rock Road, right on Comistas Drive, and left on Hanna Grove Trail.

For the south side of the park: Turn right onto Homestead Avenue, and go 0.2 mi to Marshall Drive (the first street on the left). Turn left onto Marshall, and go 1.1 mi to Indian Valley Elementary School (at the end of Marshall). The school gates are closed on weekends, so park on the street.

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Shoreline Park, Mountain View

Take Highway 101 to Shoreline Blvd. in Mountain View. Go north on Shoreline Blvd into Shoreline Park. Continue until the road ends in a parking lot.

Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve, Palo Alto

From I-280 in Palo Alto, take the Page Mill Road exit (check at the Park 'n' Ride lot for carpoolers), head west (uphill) just under 10 miles to the stop sign at Skyline Blvd. Turn left (cross traffic does not stop!). Proceed about one mile on Skyline and turn right into the parking lot for Skyline Ridge OSP. Park in the lot to the left (the equestrian lot), after negotiating the traffic circle.

An alternate, somewhat faster route from the South Bay is to come up Highway 9 from Saratoga and after 7.5 miles, turn right onto Skyline Blvd. Go about 5-1/2 miles to the Skyline Ridge OSP and turn left into the parking lot.

From the north, it is prettier and less curvey to take Skyline Blvd. south from the Hwy 35 exit off I-280 near San Mateo. (Hwy 35 is Skyline Blvd.) From this exit you will have about a 35-minute drive. Immediately after the exit you will have a few decision points; just keep following the signs to Skyline Blvd. / Hwy 35 and soon you will be on a beautiful stretch of two-lane highway. Halfway there, at the junction with Woodside Road, you can visit the legendary Alice's Restaurant.

(Note: This park is sometimes referred to by its sister park: Monte Bello Open Space Preserve.)

Spooner Lake State Park, Incline Village, NV

Spooner Lake is on Lake Tahoe's east shore near the junction of Routes 28 and 50.

From Truckee, exit I-80 at Route 267 and head south to King's Beach. At the lake, go left (east) on Route 28. Spooner Lake park entrance is approximately 10 miles south of Incline Village, on the left side of the road.

From South Lake Tahoe, take Route 50 north approximately 10 miles, then turn left onto route onto Route 28, and the park entrance will be on the right.

Spring Lake County Park, Santa Rosa

There are two entrances into the park, which do not connect inside the park, so be sure to read the event announcement to learn where to go.

To get to the south entrance: Take U.S. Highway 101 north to Santa Rosa. Once in Santa Rosa, exit onto highway 12 going east. Follow highway 12 for 1.5 miles to its left turn at Farmers Lane. Do not take this turn, but instead, continue straight onto Hoen Avenue. At the Hoen-Summerfield traffic light 1.5 miles later, continue straight, then take an immediate left onto Newanga Avenue. Newanga leads into Spring Lake County Park. At the ranger's kiosk, make a right and go up the hill to the Oak Knoll Picnic Area.

For the north entrance, follow the directions to Annadel State Park (http://baoc.org/maps/#Annadel). After turning right onto Channel Drive, turn right again onto Violetti Road, and turn right again into Spring Lake Park. Follow the O' signs to the registration area.

Public Transit: From the Santa Rosa Transit Mall at 2nd and B Street, take Santa Rosa City bus # 2 (departures on the hour) to the intersection of Summerfield and Hoen.

Stanford University, Palo Alto

Events at Stanford generally start either in front of Tresidder Student Union, or the Gates Building. Check the event announcement for the starting location.

The directions to both locations start the same:

From Highway 101: Exit at Oregon Expressway/Embarcadero Road, and take Oregon Expressway southwest past El Camino (where the name changes to Page Mill Road) to Foothill Expressway/Junipero Serra Boulevard. Turn right onto Junipero Serra Blvd.

From I-280: Exit at Alpine Road (if coming from the north) or Page Mill Road (if coming from the sourh) and drive northeast to Junipero Serra Boulevard. Turn right onto Junipero Serra from Alpine Rd, or left onto Junipero Serra from Page Mill Rd.

To get to Tresidder Student Union from Junipero Serra Blvd.: Turn onto Campus Drive East (not West), and go to Mayfield Avenue. Turn left and follow Mayfield around a forced left turn. Park in the first parking lot on your right. Registration is usually in front of Tresidder Student Union, the large building just north of the parking lot.

To get to the Gates Building from Junipero Serra Blvd.: Turn onto Campus Drive West (not East), and drive to Panama St, which will be after a 90-degree bend to the right in Campus Drive. Turn right onto Panama St, and left onto Via Ortega. You may park in the open-air lot on the right, or the parking structure on the left. From the parking lot, walk down Via Ortega, away from Panama St (and toward Campus Drive). Turn right at Via Pueblo, then left Via Palou, and right again onto Serra Mall (it's about a block along each street). Registration will be inside the Gates building to your left.

Sugarloaf Mountain, San Mateo

Take either Hwy 101, I-280, or I-880 to Highway 92. From 280, head east. All others, head west. Once on 92, take the Hillsdale Blvd exit east (away from San Mateo College) and proceed about 100 meters. Make a right on Glendora Dr., heading down a steep hill. Proceed about one mile on Glendora until its intersection with Cherrywood Dr. Laurelwood Park (which is adjacent to SugarLoaf Mtn.) will be on your left. There should be ample parking on the street.

Sunol Regional Wilderness, Fremont

Take I-680 to the Calaveras Road exit near Sunol. Go south on Calaveras Road about six miles to Geary Road. Turn left onto Geary and continue a couple of miles to the park entrance. Pay the parking fee and follow the O' signs to the registration area. (Park only in designated parking areas. The rangers do give tickets.)

Tahoe Donner Cross Country, Truckee

From I-80 exit into Truckee (about 100 miles east of Sacramento) at Exit 184. Turn left onto Donner Pass Road and go 0.5 miles to Northwoods Blvd (signal). Turn left onto Northwoods and go about three miles to Fjord Road (you'll see a sign for the cross country area before you reach the road). Turn right onto Fjord and go less than 0.1 miles to Alder Creek Road. Turn left onto Alder Creek and go about 0.5 miles to the cross country parking area on the left. If the parking lot is full, park along the street.

Tamarancho, Fairfax

From Highway 101 in Marin, take Sir Francis Drake Boulevard until you reach downtown Fairfax. Continue westbound on Sir Francis Drake past downtown for another quarter mile and look for the green highway sign that says "Camp Tamarancho." Turn left at this sign onto Olema Road, and continue to follow the subsequent green camp signs until you reach Iron Springs Road. Head up Iron Springs Road for two miles until it ends at the camp entrance.

Warning: Iron Springs is a narrow, winding, partially paved road with lots of small to moderately sized potholes. A car with normal clearance can make it if driven carefully. Low-riders and sports cars are not advised.

Tilden Park, Berkeley

The assemble area for events is usually at the Mineral Springs Group Picnic Area on Wildcat Canyon Road. There are many ways to reach Mineral Springs, depending on what direction you are coming. Here are a few possibilities:

From the east, take the Orinda exit from Rte. 24, and head north toward Orinda Village and Richmond on Camino Pablo. Go about 3 miles, and turn left at the signal onto Wildcat Canyon Road (Bear Creek Rd. goes off to the right toward Briones Park), and wind your way up Wildcat for 3.1 miles. The Mineral Springs Picnic Area will be on your right, past Inspiration Point, but before you get to the Botanical Garden.

If you are coming from the north or from Berkeley, it probably will be easier to go up to Grizzly Peak Rd., east on Shasta, and right on Wildcat Canyon Road past the Botanic Garden, and turn left into Mineral Springs Picnic Area.

In the winter, the park closes South Park Drive, so if you are coming from the south on Grizzly Peak Rd. from Claremont or Fish Ranch Rd., you will not be able to take South Park Drive down to Wildcat Canyon Rd., but should continue to Shasta Road, and turn east.

If the lot is full, and it probably will be if it is a nice day, you may park on the shoulder of the road if your vehicle is completely off the road and is not in a "No Parking Zone".

Public Transit: Take BART to the downtown Berkeley station. Take the #67 AC Transit bus, which leaves once an hour at 50 minutes past the hour. Go to the end of the line and get off at the Brazilian Room in Tilden. Walk about 1 km on Wildcat Canyon Road past the Botanical Garden to the Mineral Springs Group Picnic Area. The return bus leaves once an hour at 15 minutes after the hour.

U.C. Berkeley, Berkeley

Take the University Avenue exit from I-80, and head east toward the hills until you run into the campus. Parking is available on the streets surrounding the campus. Registration is usually at the Campanile, the tall clock tower in the center of campus.

Public Transit: From the Downtown Berkeley BART station, walk north on Shattuck Ave. then east on Center St. to the Campanile, approximately 0.8 km.

Vasona Lake County Park, Los Gatos

Take Highway 17 South from San Jose. Exit at Lark Avenue and turn left (east, over the highway at the light). At the first traffic light, turn right (south) onto Los Gatos Blvd. Turn right again (west) at a traffic light onto Blossom Hill Road. After crossing over Highway 17 again, the park entrance will be on your right. There might not be O' signs in the park, so make sure you read the event announcement for the location of registration.

There is a park entrance fee per car, which you pay at a kiosk. The machine accepts credit cards.

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz

Take Highway 1 north from Santa Cruz. Turn left (toward the ocean) about 1.8 miles past Western Drive at the brown state park sign. Pay the $6 parking fee at the entrance kiosk and park, then follow the signs to registration.

If you're driving south on Highway 1 from Half Moon Bay, the park entrance is about 7 miles past Davenport on your right.