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Joseph D. Grant County Park

Date: (Sun.) Mar. 30, 2014
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 408.878.5073
Course Setters: Werner Haag, Rory Maclean, Derek Maclean
Type: B; Standard 7-course event visiting the southern part of the park. Beginner instruction & courses offered.

Please note that fees and time limits apply. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.

Enjoy a fun map romp through the southern part of Joe Grant Park.

Note that there is also a TrailCross event at Joe Grant on Saturday.

What is Orienteering

An adventure! Discover the outdoors and discover yourself! Navigate to checkpoints in Joe Grant Park using a specially-produced map. Participants may enter individually or in teams of up to five people.


  9:00 AM – Registration opens
  9:30 AM – Beginner's clinic instruction (free)
10:00 AM – Starts open, you can start on courses anytime until 12:30
  2:00 PM – Courses close, checkpoint pick-up begins

Please check in at the Finish by 2:00 PM even if you don't complete your course, thank you, so we can have everyone accounted for and start checkpoint pick-up on time so those volunteers can get home.

After you finish, enjoy snacks and refreshments and socialize with other participants!


Here are the final details of the courses:

    Course    Length    Climb  Controls  Technical Difficulty
    White     2.1 km     90 m      9     Beginner
    Yellow    3.4 km    150 m     11     Advanced Beginner
    Orange    3.6 km    180 m     11     Intermediate
    Brown     3.0 km    130 m     10     Advanced
    Green     4.9 km    190 m     14     Advanced
    Red       5.9 km    240 m     16     Advanced
    Blue      7.1 km    310 m     20     Advanced

Note that the course Length is simply the sum of the straight-line distances between controls. Your actual distance will be somewhat longer, and will depend on your route choices (and any errors you make).

Climb is an estimate of the cumulative "up" that would be encountered on the optimum route, with no regard for any "down" along the way. As with course length, the actual climb you encounter will depend on your route choices (and errors).

Be sure to read the Course Setters' Notes for more information.

Remote Starts

White, Yellow, Orange, and Brown:

5- to 10-minute walk from parking lot.

Green, Red, and Blue:

10-minute drive to the Twin Gates parking area up Mt. Hamilton Road. Please carpool​—​occasional shuttles will be available as needed if you can't find a ride to the Start.
The Start will be unmanned most of the time, so expect it to be self-service.

Finish Location

The Finish is at the bottom, at the same place for all courses. Green, Red, and Blue runners will carpool back to the top to pick up cars. Occasional shuttles will be available as needed if you can't find a ride.

Course Comments

The courses are very open and runnable for the most part. There are only a few small areas of poison oak that are avoidable. If you are marginally sensitive, no precautions are necessary. If you are highly sensitive, the usual precautions are recommended.

The map is showing its age on the advanced courses. There are many new unmapped herd paths and vegetation morphings, but relying on contours makes navigation generally quite easy. We have made some corrections near the controls.

The ground is soft, making for easy contouring​—​hopefully it will remain so until event day.

What to Bring

For beginners' courses, comfortable outdoors attire and shoes are fine.

For intermediate and advanced courses, leg cover or gaiters are recommended, as well shoes with some extra grip on the sole.

A compass is not necessary, but can be helpful. We have compasses available for a $1 rental fee.

We time the courses with the SPORTident system, so a SPORTident fingerstick rents for $3. (Use of the "E-punch" system is easy. You can learn how at the event, or read about it here.)

Venue Facilities

Picnic tables, piped water, and flush toilets are available, so please feel free to bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy after you finish your course.


For participants on the intermediate and advanced courses, the park has some poison oak which you will want to avoid. It looks like this. Washing clothes and shoes and bathing exposed areas with dishwashing soap (which removes the irritant oil) or a commercial product such as Tecnu is recommended.


  $3 for juniors on beginner's and advanced beginner's courses
  $6 for beginner's and advanced beginner's courses (members & non-members)
  $5 for juniors on intermediate and advanced courses
$10 member price for intermediate and advanced courses
$15 non-member price for intermediate and advanced courses
$15 for the lowest-cost individual 1-year BAOC membership
  $1 for a compass rental
  $3 for an electronic fingerstick rental (if you don't own one, you'll need it to complete the course.)
  $6 per vehicle parking fee collected by the park at the entrance gate

For extra people on a team, add $3 per person on beginner’s courses or $5 per person for intermediate and advanced courses.

More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ. All the prices are also shown on the standard entry form (PDF/38KB) (, which you can print and fill out in advance to save some time at the event. (You will need one entry form for each group of people going on a course together.)


Would you like to join us for camping Saturday night at Joe Grant Park in San Jose? It will be beautiful up there in the early days of spring.

Camping is available in the park. It's a regular campground with flush toilets, showers, fire rings, tables, etc. Each site can hold 8 people and 2 vehicles. Additional vehicles can park in the overflow lot. Each site costs $32 per night, including the reservation fee, and the $6 park entrance fee will need to be paid for each vehicle.

I haven't camped there in years, and I'm looking forward to being up there in the Spring. As I recall, it was a very quiet campground, except for the sound of the wild pigs in the night!

Here's the contact info:

I have reserved two sites for Saturday night (#5 and #6), since you can reserve only two sites per home address. These sites that I reserved are now full, but there are many more sites available. Would you like to join us? We'll have a campfire.

Please let me know if you want to reserve a site to share with others, or would like to share a site somebody else has reserved.

February 28th Update: We have 2 sites filled, and more sites are available. I checked and it's good news​—​we are not limited to 2 tents per site.

Driving Directions

To reach the park, take I-680 to the Alum Rock Avenue exit in San Jose. (From southbound 101, it's easiest to go past Alum Rock Ave, exit onto I-680, and then exit to Alum Rock Ave.) Head east on Alum Rock to Mt. Hamilton Road. Take a right onto Mt. Hamilton Rd and proceed about 7.5 miles to the park entrance to your right. After paying the $6 park entry fee, go about 0.6 miles to the parking area designated by the O' signs.

Here's an alternative route choice (after all, orienteering is all about route choice): Quimby Road is believed to be much faster, with a shorter (but steeper) windy road, than Mt. Hamilton Rd from Alum Rock. Some people recommend this route even for those coming from the north on 280 or 101. In that case, exit 101 south at Tully Rd, and head east (toward the hills). Turn right onto Quimby Rd (just before East Ridge Shopping Center); take this up and over the hill until it meets Mt Hamilton Road. Turn right and go a few hundred yards to the park entrance.

From the south, coming up 101, take the Capitol Expy exit and head east (toward the hills). Go about 1.5 miles, turn right onto Quimby Road, and follow the directions just above.

There's a map here that shows the location of the event.

Carpool Site

People sometimes meet at the junction of Alum Rock Ave and Mt. Hamilton Rd, where there is plenty of parking. That might seem so near the park as to be not helpful, but it does save the twisty drive up Mt. Hamilton Rd, and the park entrance fee for the cars that are left below.

Similarly, people taking the Quimby Rd route could meet at East Ridge Shopping Center (at Tully and Quimby).