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Camp Tamarancho

Date: (Sun.) Aug. 17, 2008
Location: Fairfax, CA
Event Director: - 510.407.1876
Course Setter: Greg Ehrensing
Type: B; Standard seven courses--White (easy beginner) through Blue (strenuous advanced)

Course Setter's Notes


Welcome to Camp Tamarancho! We're offering the seven standard courses: White and Yellow for Beginners and Advanced Beginners; Orange for Intermediates; and Brown, Green, Red, and Blue for Advanced runners. Tamarancho offers terrain similar to many of our Bay Area parks like China Camp, Monte Bello, or Shell Ridge, with open fields, redwood ravines, and oak hillsides. I've tried hard to offer challenging, but not brutal courses, while taking advantage of all the varied terrain. I've tried to emphasize route choices between shorter, direct, sometimes steeper, off-trail routes versus longer, but gentler routes that may follow trails or fire roads. Brute force versus finesse?

Please come out and join us at a venue that is not normally open to the public!

Course Statistics

Here are the course stats:

  Course    Length    Climb   Controls
  White     1.4 km     50 m      11
  Yellow    2.5 km     95 m       8
  Orange    4.1 km    225 m      13
  Brown     3.5 km    195 m      11
  Green     3.9 km    300 m      15
  Red       5.0 km    350 m      17
  Blue      6.2 km    430 m      21

Climb has been estimated on a "worst-case" basis. (I'd rather tell you it's tough, and have you say it wasn't as bad as you thought it would be.) These are about average or even below for comparable venues in the Bay Area. Some hillsides are steep with loose soil of duff. Cleats or traction shoes are advised for the Advanced courses.

The Map

The map is generally very accurate, even with regards to vegetation. The camp has chosen to let some of the trails become overgrown, while others have become more distinct since the map was made. Here are a few items to note:


Though most of the courses are in the shady woods, all finish in the open fields, and the weather will likely be hot. All courses will have water available. Sometimes this will be the camp's existing water fountains. All piped water in the camp is drinkable, though you may need to let it run a bit to cool down.

Mountain Bikes

Camp Tamarancho operates a very active bike trail network. The trails used by the bikes are very distinct. While I have tried to avoid the trails, most courses will cross the trails at some point, and some route choices may follow the bike trails. We have tried to publicize our presence to the bikers, but they may be travelling fast and can come up on you quickly from either direction. Please be aware of the possibility of bicycle traffic and yield the right of way. Be courteous—they usually are!


Bees: No one has seen any of the bees that caused trouble last year (but then no one saw them last year prior to the event).

Poison Oak: Of course there's poison oak, it's the Bay Area! However, it doesn't seem to be a "good" year for poison oak—most is low growing. On most plants, the leaves are bright red to make it more visible. I've tried to avoid it on all courses.