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McLaren Park

Event #3 of 5 in the BAOC 2017 Summer Series

Date: (Sun.) Jul. 30, 2017 CANCELED
Location: San Francisco, CA
Event Director: - 415.566.7990
Course Setter: Theo Verhoeven
Type: C; One advanced course with map exchange(s) & short option(s), total distance 5–7 km; Please note that this event will not be suitable for Beginners because of the difficulty of the course (pending park approval)

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

Event Has Been Canceled

I regret to have to report that we are unable to obtain a permit to hold an orienteering event in McLaren Park in SF. Therefore, what was to be the third event in the Summer Series is now cancelled.

We felt reasonably confident that a permit would be forthcoming, given that we had gotten approvals from everyone who we thought we needed them from. But then the naturalist for SF Parks said that McLaren has extensive sensitive areas, and that off-trail activities cannot be given permits in that park. We tried to point out that our impact is quite low, but the authorities didn't want to be in the business of granting permits for off-trail activities for some groups but not others.

Theo Verhoeven put in a great deal of time designing an advanced course for the event, and also made numerous map corrections. Deron van Hoff shepherded our application for a permit through the necessary steps, and also vetted Theo's course. Bob Cooley also made map corrections. We thank these three for their efforts, and we hope that maybe sometime in the future we can make use of the course and map revisions.

The scoring rules for the Summer Series are hereby modified so that the best 3 of 4 scores (instead of 4 of 5) will figure in the scoring.

Dennis Wildfogel
   July 16, 2017

John McLaren Park, home of the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, is the site of the third orienteering event in the 2017 Summer Series. Theo Verhoeven (course setter) and Bob Cooley (mapping director) have been hard at work updating the ISSOM Sprint map that was last used by BAOC in 2013. Please come out and enjoy this excellent map that was originally created by Vladimir Gusiatnikov, Vladimir Zherdev, and John Fredrickson.

Note: Since this is a "bare bones" event to reduce volunteer needs, please bring your own food and hydration, as these will not be provided.


There will be a single course on offer that covers 5.8 km (straight-line distance) and 35 controls. The course is suitable for intermediate and advanced orienteers. Because the number of controls exceeds that of some E-sticks, you may exchange your E-stick or rent one at Registration to ensure you have enough capacity to finish your course.

For those wanting a shorter challenge, the course comes close to the Finish at one point. The short course is 3.0 km and 18 controls. However, only those participants who complete the entire course will earn points towards the Summer Series Ranking.


Unlike a "normal" BAOC event, this event has no courses designed for beginners. In fact, some controls on the course might even be a bit challenging for novice intermediate runners. However, beginners are welcome to give it a try (i.e., at the risk of becoming frustrated). Although they might not find many controls, they really can't get lost.

Beginners should be aware that the Presidio of San Francisco (Aug. 13) and Golden Gate Park (Aug. 27) events in the Summer Series will more suited to beginners, and the "normal" Big Basin Redwoods State Park (Sept. 17) and Calero County Park (Sept. 24) events will have actual beginner courses.


  9:00 AM – Registration opens; closes at noon
10:00 AM – Starts open; you can start on the course anytime until 12:30
 2:00 PM – Courses close; checkpoint 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)).

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. At 2:00 PM we will also start taking down controls, so there's no point in staying out longer (other than to cause us worry).

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


The following fees apply at this event:

  $5 for juniors (age 8 through 20; under 8 is free)
$12 for adult members
$18 for adult non-members
  $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)  

For extra people on a team (i.e., completing the course together), add $7 per adult or $3 per junior.

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.

Location in the Park

The starting and registration area will be located at the John F. Shelley Drive Group Picnic Area. Parking for the event is along John F. Shelley Drive (see below).

Additional Feature

And, on a final note, if you are interested in extending your visit to McLaren Park, the San Francisco Mime Troupe is performing at the aforementioned Jerry Garcia Amphitheater ( starting at 1:30 PM. This is a free event (

Driving Directions

The approximate coordinates are 37.7219,-122.4204.

There's a map here that shows the location of the event. To use that map, drag it to center San Francisco in the panel, then use the "+" button to zoom in. Repeat dragging and zooming to get the desired area shown. You can click on the Satellite button to see an aerial view.

Carpooling or public transit is recommended, since parking will be along the street.

Driving North on 101

From the peninsula on U.S. Highway 101, take the Paul Ave exit and make a left onto Paul Ave. Cross over the freeway and make a left onto San Bruno Ave. Take the second right turn onto Mansell St. Drive about a half mile to turn right onto John F. Shelley Drive. Take this road past Cambridge St, then look for the large meadow on the right-hand side, and park along the road. We will meet in the picnic area south of the road.

Driving South on 101

Those coming from the north or San Francisco on U.S. Highway 101, join us here after taking the Paul Ave exit — it will dump you straight onto Mansell St — do not turn. Drive about a half mile to turn right onto John F. Shelley Drive. Take this road past Cambridge St, then look for the large meadow on the right-hand side, and park along the road. We will meet in the picnic area south of the road.

Public Transit

Transit information is available from ( There are several SF Muni bus lines that can get you to the park. The closest BART station, Balboa Park, is about a mile and a half walk ... or just get on either the SF Muni 54 or 29 bus from Balboa Park BART.

If you take the 54, get off at Felton and Madison, walk east on Felton one block to Gambier St, then south to the park and on to John F. Shelly Drive.

If you take the 29, get off at the second John F. Shelley Drive stop, and take this road past Cambridge St, then look for the large meadow on the left-hand side. If you get of at the first Shelley Dr stop, you will have to walk through the course area and that wouldn't be fair.