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Joe Grant TrailCross

Joseph D. Grant County Park

Date: (Sat.) Mar. 29, 2014
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 408.313.3753
Course Setter: Werner Haag
Type: Initial TrailCross event of 2014 — suitable for everyone from beginner to advanced

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

This is our first TrailCross event of 2014. Your challenge will be to find the quickest route among the many alternatives. Fully stocked aid stations will refresh you along the way of this trail run with a twist.

Note that there will also be a regular 7-course event on Sunday.

Event Schedule

Note that this event is on Saturday.

The preliminary event schedule is as follows:

  9:00 – Registration Open, Beginner's Clinics available
  9:25 – Maps available
  9:40 – Course Briefing
10:00 – Mass Start
10:01 – Individual Starts available until 10:30
12:30 – Award Ceremony (estimated)
  1:00 – Courses Close

Note that everyone must report to the Finish by the closing time, even if they have not completed their course.

How it Works

At each checkpoint, there will be an orange and white, 1-foot-tall "control" (marker) with an electronic box to record your visit. Similar to a chip timing system, the runner will carry a "chip" attached to a finger strap, and will "punch" the electronic box at each checkpoint. This will record your visit to each checkpoint. (See our User's Guide to Electronic Punching for more information.)

You must visit the checkpoints in the order indicated on your map to complete the course successfully.

All of the above will be covered in the pre-race instructions.


Here are the preliminary details of the courses:

             Straight-Line     Trail      Elevation           
   Course      Distance       Distance      Gain      Controls
    5 km         4.6 km        5.5 km       110 m        13
   10 km         8.4 km       14.8 km       310 m         8
   10 mi        13.0 km       20.3 km       420 m        21

For those not familiar with orienteering terminology, the Elevation Gain (which is often simply called Climb) is an estimate of the cumulative "up" that will be encountered on your route, with no regard for any "down" along the way.

Refreshments and Results

After you complete your course, have some snacks and swap stories from your adventure! We will recognize the top male and female participants for each of the three distances, plus the top Masters (40 years of age and over) and the top Juniors (20 years of age and younger) in each gender.

Complete results will be posted on the BAOC website after the event.


For a price discount (see below), preregister by Thursday, March 27, by sending an email to .

After March 27, it's still a good idea to preregister, because it helps us properly estimate supplies and it makes event-day registration go more quickly.

In either case, you will pay your fees at the event.


The revised event fees listed below include use of a SPORTident electronic e-stick to "punch" at each control, the use of a compass (while supplies last), and a small plastic whistle. Please bring your own compass if you have one. Snack food and water will be provided free of charge at the aid station(s) and after the Finish.

If you will be participating as a group, please note that each person will need to register and pay separately.

Please note that even if you preregister, you will need to check in at the event, to pay your fees, and to pick up your SPORTident e-stick (if you don't have your own) or to register your personal e-stick, so we can enter you in our results system.

In addition to the event fees below, the park charges $6 per vehicle at the entrance gate.

The fees below were revised on March 20th. (Yes, they are now the same for all three courses.)

Member of BAOC, GCO, or any other Orienteering USA club

                            Regular        Event-Day 
                         (before or on   (on or after
   Course   Category       Thur 3/27)      Fri 3/28)
   10 mi    Adult           $23 $15         $28 $18
            Junior (*)      $8  $5          $8  $5
   10 km    Adult           $18 $15         $23 $18
            Junior (*)      $5              $5
    5 km    Adult           $13 $15         $18
            Junior (*)      $3  $5          $3  $5
   (*) Juniors are age 20 and younger.


                            Regular        Event-Day 
                         (before or on   (on or after
   Course   Category       Thur 3/27)      Fri 3/28)
   10 mi    Adult           $28 $20         $33 $23
            Junior (*)      $8  $5          $8  $5
   10 km    Adult           $23 $20         $28 $23
            Junior (*)      $5              $5
    5 km    Adult           $18 $20         $23
            Junior (*)      $3  $5          $3  $5
   (*) Juniors are age 20 and younger.

BAOC membership will be available at the event, or you can join by submitting the BAOC Membership Application before the event.

Course Setter's Comments

For those unfamiliar with TrailCross or Orienteering, please note that you will very likely be going off-trail for part of the course, in order to cut corners and save time. Therefore:

The TrailCross can be completed wearing standard flat-soled running shoes, although soft-studded trail-running shoes might be a bit better.

More Information

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on TrailCross are available here.

If you're interested in events that are more off-trail, please check the Bay Area Orienteering Club schedule to see upcoming events. Also check out the BAOC Wilderness Scramble Series for events where you pick your own route.


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).