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Coyote Lake (aka Harvey Bear Ranch County Park*)

Date: (Sun.) May. 4, 2014
Location: Gilroy, CA
Event Director: - 831.439.9822
Course Setters: Lubomir Šebo, Matej Šebo
Type: B; Standard 7-course event, with courses for beginners through advanced — Note: Do not go to the "Harvey Bear Park" entrance!

Course Setters' Notes

By Lubomir and Matej Šebo

Come and join us for a 7-course event on one of our club's newest maps! As of late April, the meadows are sparkling with wildflowers.

Coyote Lake Wildflowers
(Click on photo for full-size image)

Important Event-Day Information

The main assembly area and parking lot is at the Black Tail Picnic Area adjacent to the Marina parking lot (the same place as for the 2012 Golden Goat). The Finish for all courses is close to this location.

The Start for the White, Yellow, and Orange courses will be about 500 meters up the hill from the assembly area.

There will be a remote Start for the advanced courses (Brown, Green, Red, and Blue), about 3 km from the assembly area. A shuttle will be provided to the remote Start, and there is also the option of carpooling to the remote Start and finding a ride back to retrieve the car.

Map Comments

This map was first used for the 2012 Golden Goat, and has since been revised and expanded. The scale is 1:10,000, and the contour interval is 5 meters. The contours are generated from USGS LIDAR data by Bob Cooley, and thus are very accurate. Vegetation boundaries are also reliable and detailed. No dotted vegetation boundary symbol is used in the current version of the map.

The San Andreas Fault runs through the park, and as a result, there are places with some unusual fault-line topography. In particular, the advanced courses (Brown, Green, Red, and Blue) will encounter a lot of terraces: flattened out sections of a sloping hillside. Form lines have been used to show some of the finer contour details. Careful contour reading will definitely pay off on some legs.

All major trails and fences that you will encounter are on the map. Almost all major fences are made of barbed wire; gates are indicated with the black crossing-point symbol. These crossing points are not mandatory, but they do help in negotiating the barbed-wire fences. It is also usually possible to crawl underneath the lowest strand of barbed wire.

Large lone trees are mapped with the hollow, green, circle symbol; small lone trees and bushes are shown as green dots. Brown ×'s are fallen trees, green ×'s are dead trees that are still standing. Most major fallen and dead trees in the areas the courses pass through are on the map.


Poison oak is the primary hazard, but it is avoidable. The chance of encountering poison oak increases dramatically with the level of green on the map. In other words, light and medium green areas have a high chance of being infested with poison oak, while dark green areas are often massive poison oak bushes. The courses are designed so that no distinct advantage is gained by passing through light, medium, or dark green.

In a few places, the ground is strewn with rocks (potato to soccer-ball sized) that might slow a faster runner down. These areas are not mapped, and due to the tall grass, they can be invisible until you are literally on top of them. Watch your step to avoid twisted ankles or unintended face-plants!

There are a few steep re-entrants in the park which the advanced courses (especially Green, Red, and Blue) will encounter. Re-entrants mapped with a dry-ditch symbol (brown dots) have distinct dry watercourses along their bottoms but are relatively easy to pass. However, the few re-entrants that are mapped using the gully symbol (thick brown line) are difficult to cross. Please keep this in mind when planning route choices. Cow paths are the best way to cross steep re-entrants, and the more distinct paths are on the map.

Wildlife abounds in this park: We've seen cows, deer, wild pigs, turkeys, tarantulas, skunks, squirrels, hawks, and even a resident pair of nesting bald eagles. However, the animals that you will encounter are generally docile, and will run away if approached. Ticks are also present, so take the usual precautions.

Several massive and steep cliffs are scattered throughout the park, but none of them are located near a viable route choice option.

Although this is technically not a hazard, we would also like to remind all runners to carefully read the map when approaching a control. Remember, not all of the controls you see will be on your course. Although punching a wrong control will not automatically lead to disqualification (if you then punch the right one), running to the first control you see can potentially waste time and energy!

Final Course Statistics

   Course   Length   Climb  Controls  Water Stops  Navigation
   White    2.5 km    75 m     12          0       Very easy  
   Yellow   3.6 km   115 m     15          0       Easy
   Orange   4.5 km   195 m     16          2       Intermediate
   Brown    4.6 km   170 m     18          3       Advanced
   Green    6.1 km   290 m     20          2       Advanced
   Red      7.7 km   375 m     22          3       Advanced
   Blue     9.5 km   450 m     28          4       Advanced

These are Long courses, so while the navigational difficulty is the same as usual, each course is slightly longer and has slightly more climb than Classic distance. The course distance is measured along the straight lines between controls​—​your actual distance will be longer. Climb is measured along the optimal route (in the course setter's opinion)​—​your actual climb may be less or more, depending on your route choices.


We will also be offering a Line-O training/exercise course for those who feel like having some more adventure. Follow the purple dashed line on the map, keeping a careful eye out for controls that are exactly on the line, while watching out for dummy controls that may try to trick you into leaving the line. A unique code will be found at each correct control, and a small prize will be awarded for finding all six correct controls.

The Start and Finish for the Line-O will be next to the Finish for all the courses, close to the Black Tail parking lot. The course is 2.2 km with 90 m of climb. The map will be printed at 1:4,000 with 5 m contours.