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Tahoe Weekend

Spooner Lake and Burton Creek State Parks

Date: Aug. 23 - 24, 2014
Location: Lake Tahoe Area
Event Director: - 415.566.7990
Course Setters: Deron van Hoff, Nik Weber (GCO)
Type: B; Classic events for beginners through advanced—Saturday at Spooner Lake, Sunday at Burton Creek

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

Enjoy exploring two lovely wilderness areas in the Sierra Nevada mountains, each a stone’s throw from Lake Tahoe. Saturday we’ll be at Spooner Lake State Park ( just across the border in Nevada, and Sunday’s venue is Burton Creek State Park ( in Tahoe City, CA. Join us for camping at Donner Memorial State Park.

Note: Please see the request below for help at the events.

What is Orienteering

An adventure: Discover the outdoors and discover yourself! Teams of 1 to 5 find checkpoints in parks and wilderness areas using specially-produced maps. All are welcome at our events​—​runners, joggers, hikers, and walkers.


This schedule applies to both events: Saturday at Spooner Lake and Sunday at Burton Creek.

  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

Enjoy free snacks and refreshments from BAOC after you finish.

Please check in at the Finish by 2:00 PM, and report to the E-punch tent, so we can have everyone accounted for and start checkpoint pick-up on time so those volunteers can get home.


Each day there will be a beginners’ course of 1–2 km in length. A great warmup if you're trying orienteering for the first time. You get to see the map before the start and experience how everything works.  There's also an advanced beginners’ course of about 2–3 km in length. For more experienced participants, we have intermediate and advanced courses of 3–10 km in length. Those courses explore the forests, meadows, hilltops, and valleys for a fun, challenging navigation experience.

Saturday at Spooner Lake

Deron Van Hoff is setting classic-distance courses. Registration, E-punch, refreshments, etc. will be set up in the day-use area of the State Park, and the White/Yellow/Orange Start and Finish will be near the registration area. The Start and Finish for the advanced courses (Brown through Blue) will be on the west side of Highway 28​—​be careful crossing the highway going to and from the courses.

The details for these courses are as follows:

   Course     Length     Climb    Controls
   White      3.1 km      40 m       12  
   Yellow     3.1 km      70 m       11
   Orange     4.7 km     220 m       14
   Brown      3.7 km     150 m       13
   Green      5.8 km     275 m       18
   Red        7.7 km     320 m       22
   Blue       9.6 km     370 m       27

More information is available in the Course Setter's Notes.

Sunday at Burton Creek

Nik Weber is also setting classic-distance courses, which will start and finish at North Tahoe High School. The courses have these parameters:

   Course     Length     Climb    Controls
   White      2.2 km      50 m       10  
   Yellow     2.3 km      60 m        9
   Orange     5.4 km     120 m       10
   Brown      3.9 km      60 m        8
   Green      5.6 km     115 m       10
   Red        7.6 km     170 m       15
   Blue       9.1 km     200 m       20  (that’s 2.2% climb!)

More information is available in the Course Setter's Notes.


Intermediate (Orange) and advanced (Brown through Blue) courses will traverse some rocky, stony areas​—​watch your step! Deadfall and fallen logs can also be tricky obstacles. You may potentially encounter wildlife such as bears and mountain lions (but that is not likely).


Note: To account for U.S. Forest Service rules, we have decided to require that you be a member of an OUSA orienteering club to participate on an advanced course at Spooner Lake on Saturday. If you are not a club member, you may join BAOC at registration on the day of the event and still be able to participate on an advanced course.

The following fees will apply each day:

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

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

More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ.

What to Bring

For beginners' courses (White and Yellow), comfortable outdoors attire and shoes are fine.

For intermediate (Orange) and advanced (Brown through Blue) 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 is needed for each team. If you don't have your own, they rent 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 at Spooner Lake State Park.

We might have access to the high school restrooms by Burton Creek State Park; otherwise we will have porta potties.

Locations within the Parks

Saturday at Spooner Lake State Park, go to the main entrance and follow the signs. Registration, E-punch, refreshments, etc. will be set up in the day-use area of the State Park, and the White/Yellow/Orange Start and Finish will be near the registration area. The Start and Finish for the advanced courses will be on the west side of Highway 28​—​be careful crossing the highway going to and from the courses.

Sunday at Burton Creek State Park, we will use the parking lot of North Tahoe High School.


As with all events, lots of help will be needed to put on this event. The following request was recently posted to the BayONet (

Thanks to everyone so far that has agreed to help out at the Tahoe Weekend. There are plenty of openings left that need to be filled though. First and foremost, I hope you all attend. If you can spare a few hours on either Saturday or Sunday (or both), please let know. Beginners' Clinics ... starts ... early shift ... late shift ... control pickup? All are still needed!!
There's one special request that may appeal to someone: I will be setting out controls at Spooner Lake on Friday, August 22. If anyone wants to meet me on Friday, and set the controls for White/Yellow/Orange, it would be a big help. Control locations are streamered. These courses don't overlap at all with the advanced courses, so you would still be able to compete fairly on Saturday. (This is covered as of 8/17.)
Thank you,


August 19th Update:

We have room for seven more people at the Ridge Campground at Donner Memorial State Park on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this weekend. Let know if you'd like to join us for camping.
I know most of you won't camp, but we'll be at sites 12, 14, and 26 if you'd like to come by to say "Hello", stay for a refreshing swim, and/or join us for a campfire.

This year the camping area for the Tahoe events will be in Truckee at Donner Memorial State Park ( in the Ridge Campground.

I have reserved site 12, an individual site, to share on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, Aug. 22, 23, 24. We are allowed 8 people and 2 cars in the site. Extra cars can park in the campground in the nearby overflow area.

There are flush toilets, showers (bring quarters), bear-resistant lockers, fire rings, and tables.

The swimming right there by the campground is wonderful. It's so cool and refreshing!

If you are interested in sharing this site, or in reserving a site to share with others, let me know what nights and how many people.

Here's the link to make reservations (

Campsite 14, which is a good site on the outside of the loop, is still available if anyone wants to reserve it to share.

Let me know if you have any questions.

February 28th Update: We now have sites 12 and 14 filled in the Ridge Campground, but more sites are available nearby. Extra cars can park in the overflow lot between sites 12 and 14. Both sites are close to the swimming area.

(February 26, 2014)

Driving Directions to Spooner Lake on Saturday

Spooner Lake is on the east shore of Lake Tahoe, near the junction of Routes 28 and 50, which is between Incline Village and South Lake Tahoe.

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 28. The park entrance will be on the right.

Expect to pay a park fee at the entrance kiosk. It's $8 for NV residents, and $10 for others. Note that parking will be limited, so please carpool if possible.

Free parking is located on the west side of Route 28, just north of the intersection with U.S. 50. The walk is about 0.25 mile (400 m). If you park there, be very careful crossing Route 28 while walking to and from the event. Also, be aware that there is a $1 per person walk-in use fee assessed at self-pay stations.

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

Driving Directions to Burton Creek on Sunday

Take I-80 east to CA State Highway 89 south toward Tahoe City. At the main intersection in Tahoe City (by the Save Mart on your left), go straight onto Highway 28 (N Lake Blvd). After 2 miles, turn left onto Fabian Way. (There's a 7-Eleven store on the opposite side of the highway.) Make an immediate right onto Village Rd. Turn left at the third intersection onto Polaris Dr, go to the end of the street, and follow signs for parking at North Tahoe High School.

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