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Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

Date: (Sun.) Dec. 3, 2017
Location: San Ramon, CA
Event Director: - 415.456.8118
Course Setter: Graham Brew
Type: B; Standard 7-course event, for beginners through advanced

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

Nov. 30th addition: Please see the parking requirements below.

We have finally received final approval to hold this event! So, after an absence of several years, we will have a seven-course "B" event at Las Trampas Regional Wilderness on Sunday, December 3rd, with courses for beginners through advanced orienteers.

For those of you not familiar with Las Trampas, the park consists of typical California terrain: grassland, with scattered and sometimes dense woods of oak, laurel, madrone, and toyon trees. There is a fairly extensive trail network, and most of the park is open range, so cattle are usually present. Poison Oak exists, though it is not too abundant, and the courses will avoid the worst areas. December is a great month for that reason, as the PO will be bare sticks, making it much harder to contract the oils that cause the itchy rash!

Perhaps the only downside to the park is that the terrain is on the steep side. That said, experienced course setter Graham Brew has done his utmost to minimize the climb, with a remote Start for all the courses. BAOC held an "A" meet at Las Trampas last century, so you know the terrain has to be pretty good!

The recent rains have softened the ground nicely and the hills of Las Trampas are turning green. As of Friday, December 1st, the weather forecast looks good. Conditions can't be much better for a fall orienteering day. Come prepared to have a great time!

Note: We are hoping for a good-sized turnout. If the parking lot fills up, late arrivals should have no trouble parking on the shoulder of Bollinger Rd, north from the lot to just before the road turns into the circular parking lot at the end. Please remember: Do not park in the circular lot at the end of the road! Those spots are reserved for non-orienteer visitors to the park.

Scott Aster
Event Director

What is Orienteering?

An adventure! Discover the outdoors and discover yourself! You can explore a course by yourself or go as a team with your friends. You will get a highly detailed orienteering map, probably unlike any map you have seen before. The map will have a lot of detail on it, such as fences, boulders, lone trees, vegetation boundaries, and anything else you might see. Your course will be printed on the map.

Orienteering is easy to learn, a challenge to master, and incredibly fun!


  9:00 AM – 11:59 AM: Registration open
  9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Beginners' clinic instruction (free)
 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Starts open (See comment below about walk to Start!)
           2:00 PM: Courses close, checkpoint control pick-up begins

At registration, all juniors must be accompanied by parents or legal guardians, or bring with them a waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian (the registration form is available here (PDF/100KB)).

Note that you can register and start on courses anytime during the open times above. Thus, for example, you do not need to be "punctual" at 9:00 (but you can if you want, but please don't show up earlier and expect to be served).

Beginners' clinics are short, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete the beginner (White) course.

Note that there is an 1800-meter (1.1-mile) walk to the Start (beginner and advanced), which includes 130 meters of climb. Allow half an hour to make this journey, and allow yourself some time to rest before you start your course.

Please note that everyone must return to the Finish by 2:00 PM, and check in at E-punch, even if you don't complete your course. We need to account for all participants, because otherwise we must organize a search party for you.

After you finish, stick around and socialize with other participants!

Venue Facilities

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

Please note that toilets and water fountains will be located about 200 meters north of the parking lot, accessed by an easy, short trail that keeps you off the road. This trail will also be the start of your route to the remote Start area.


The following fees apply at this event:

  $3 for juniors (age 8 through 20) on beginner's (White) and advanced beginner's (Yellow) courses
  $8 for adults on beginner's and advanced beginner's courses
  $5 for juniors on intermediate (Orange) and advanced (Brown, Green, Red, Blue) courses  
$12 member price for intermediate and advanced courses
$18 non-member price for intermediate and advanced courses
  $1 for a compass rental (optional)  
  $5 for an electronic fingerstick rental (if you don't own one; you'll need one to complete the course)
$15 for the lowest-cost individual one-year BAOC membership (optional)  

Note: We are able to accept payment only by cash or check​—​no credit cards or electronic payments.

For extra people on a team, add $5 per adult on beginners' courses or $7 per adult on intermediate and advanced courses (with lower prices for juniors).

More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ. All the prices are also shown on the standard entry form (PDF/100KB), 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.) Please note that the form has a second page for signatures of group members.


Here are the course statistics:

    Course     Distance    Climb   Controls
    White       2.9 km     120 m      12  
    Yellow      3.2 km     155 m      14
    Orange      4.3 km     235 m      17
    Brown       3.1 km     165 m      16
    Green       4.6 km     250 m      18
    Red         5.5 km     350 m      23
    Blue        6.3 km     405 m      25

Beginners should be aware that the distances shown are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. Your actual distance will be somewhat longer. To estimate how far you might actually go, change "km" to "mi" (e.g., for a "2 km" course, you might travel up to 2 mi). The climb numbers represent the amount of ascending that would be done on the "optimum route" (in the Course Setters' opinion), without regard for any descending.

The White course is for beginners and young children. This is 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.

The Yellow course is for "advanced beginners". It provides a bit more navigation challenge. Beginners can do this course after the White course (if they complete the first course before noon).

The Orange (intermediate) course, and the Brown, Green, Red, and Blue (advanced) courses explore the forests, meadows, hilltops, and valleys for a fun, challenging navigation experience. The advanced courses all involve difficult navigation, and differ by physical difficulty from Brown "easiest" to Blue "hardest".

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

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 as shoes with some extra grip on the sole. The courses will be steep!

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 each entry/team needs to have a SPORTident fingerstick. If you don't have your own, you can rent one at registration for $5. (Use of the "E-punch" system is easy. You can learn how at the event, or read about it here.)


The intermediate and advanced courses will traverse some steep areas.

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

This is not a hazard, but you must remember that horses have the right of way. If you encounter a horse, you must stop running and respond to the rider's directions. Also, do not "burst out of the woods" onto a trail if there's a horse nearby.

Volunteers Needed

If you would like to help with the event, we need many volunteers. In particular, we could use a few people for these tasks:

9:00–12:00: Registration (~1-hour shifts)
9:30–10:30: Beginners' clinics
10:00–2:00: Starts & finishes (~1-hour shifts)
11:00–1:30: E-Punch (~1-hour shifts)
2:00–3:30 (or so): Control Pick-up

No previous experience is needed (except for beginners' clinics). We will train you! And you can do a course before or after your volunteer duties.

Please send Event Director an email if you can help.

Driving Directions

The approximate coordinates are 37.815,-122.047.

From the north, east and south, take I-680 to the Crow Canyon Road West exit in San Ramon. Go west on Crow Canyon to Bollinger Canyon Road. Turn right (north) onto Bollinger Canyon Rd, and continue about 4 miles to the Little Hills parking area on your left, near the end of Bollinger Canyon Rd.

From the west, take Highway 238 east from Highway 880, or Highway 580 southeast from Oakland. Shortly after the merge of Highways 238 and 580 (about 3 miles from 880 when taking 238), take the exit for Center Street and Crow Canyon Road. Turn left onto Center St, turn right onto Castro Valley Blvd, and turn left onto Crow Canyon Road. Follow Crow Canyon Road north several miles to Bollinger Canyon Road. Turn left (north) onto Bollinger Canyon Rd, and continue about 4 miles to the Little Hills parking area on your left, near the end of Bollinger Canyon Rd.

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


Please observe the following parking requirements:

The ranger has required that we park only in a special, gated lot located near the end of Bollinger Rd. This lot is a short ways past the stables and the "Little Hills" parking area we have used in the past. One of our large "Parking" orienteering signs will be posted at the entrance to the lot, which is also where registration and E-punch will be located. If this lot fills up, you can park at the numerous turnouts along Bollinger Rd, and walk into the parking-lot area.

The ranger has told us do not park in the small lot at the very end of Bollinger Rd. He wants that reserved for non-orienteers visiting the park. Please do not park there!