Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park

Date: (Sun.) Jan. 28, 2018
Location: Gilroy, CA
Event Director: - 707.567.3496
Course Setter: Misha Kreslavsky
Type: B; 8-course event for beginners through advanced

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

January 27th Update:

After rain on Wednesday and Thursday, the ground is muddy in a few places, but not too bad. Everything else is perfect so far. – Misha

January 24th Update:

Sunday at Coyote Lake/Harvey Bear Ranch Park is shaping up to be a special orienteering day: excellent courses by Misha, perfect weather (67 degrees), green hills, soft footing, stunning views​—​all in January!

Please note the following:

Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch is a beautiful wilderness park near Gilroy. The terrain is typical oak woodland. It is interesting and somewhat steep. Top course designer, Misha Kreslavsky, has set the full seven courses plus a short Brown course labeled "Beige".

We will need a full set of volunteers to help at the event site. Please see the list of tasks below.

Web editor's note: Please be aware that George (the club's Events Coordinator) stepped in to direct this event because no club member was willing to do that task. George spends a lot of time and energy coordinating our events, so it's very generous of him to take on the additional work for this event. Please consider supporting him (and the club) by volunteering some time to help at the event.

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
                   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 you must return to the Finish by 2:00, and then go to the download tent, even if you have not finished your course. If there are unaccounted people after 2:00, we must initiate a search for them.


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 (Beige, Brown, Green, Red, Blue) courses  
$12 member price for intermediate and advanced courses
$18 non-member price for intermediate and advanced courses
$6 per car park fee (this will be collected at registration and paid to the park)  
  $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).

You're welcome to do a second course (at reduced fees) as long as you can register for it by noon, start by 12:30, and finish by 2:00.

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.


Please bring your own lunch and beverages. Due to park restrictions, we will not serve snacks at this event.


Here are the final course statistics:

    Course   Length      Climb     Controls  Stops  Navigation     Terrain
    White    2.4 km   110 m  4.6%      9       0    Beginner       Trails, Easy  
    Yellow   2.4 km   150 m  6.3%      6       0    Adv. Beginner  Off-trail, Difficult
    Orange   3.6 km   180 m  5.0%      8       0    Intermediate   Off-trail, Difficult
    Beige    2.7 km    60 m  2.2%     10       1    Advanced       Off-trail, Moderate
    Brown    4.2 km   110 m  2.6%     12       1    Advanced       Off-trail, Difficult
    Green    6.6 km   190 m  3.0%     16       2    Advanced       Off-trail, Difficult
    Red      7.6 km   250 m  3.2%     16       2    Advanced       Off-trail, Difficult
    Blue     9.5 km   320 m  3.4%     20       2    Advanced       Off-trail, Difficult

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, mentally 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 Setter's opinion), without regard for any descending.

Detailed Course Setter's Notes are available here. Be sure to read them.

Request for Volunteers

This is a call for volunteers for this event. Misha has planned what promises to be excellent courses. We hope many of you can make it.

Please take a moment to look at the list below and let know how you can help.

Thank you in advance for your help,

[emailByName: unknown member name 'Marie-Josée Parayre'][emailByPosition: unknown position 'Marie-Josée Parayre'] (on behalf of George)

Driving Directions

The event headquarters will be at the boat launch accessed from the "Coyote Lake" entrance to the park. Do not go to the "Harvey Bear Ranch" entrance to the park!

The approximate coordinates are 37.093,-121.543.

From San Jose, go south on highway 101. Allow at least 50 minutes from the junction of 101-280-680. Take exit 357, Leavesley Road/CA-152W (which is before the CA-152E exit), and go east on Leavesley Rd 1.8 miles. Turn left onto New Avenue, and go 0.6 miles to Roop Rd. Turn right onto Roop Rd.

Alternative: You can save about 2 miles (but possibly not much time) by exiting 101 at San Martin Avenue, heading east, following it around the bends until it becomes New Avenue, and going south to the junction with Roop Rd. Turn left onto Roop Rd.

Go 3.2 miles to Coyote Reservoir Rd and the park entrance. (Note: At approximately 2.8 miles along Roop Rd there is an entrance on the left​—​do not take that entrance​—​instead, continue on to Coyote Reservoir Rd.) Once you turn onto Coyote Reservoir Rd, go 1 mile to the entrance kiosk, and then continue 1.3 miles on the main road toward the boat launch parking area. Registration and parking are at the Black Tail Picnic Area, just before the boat launch parking area. The boat launch parking area is available for overflow parking.

Note: The normal $6 park fee will be collected at event registration per a park requirement.

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