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Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park

Date: (Sun.) Jan. 28, 2018
Location: Gilroy, CA
Event Director: - 510.525.1574
Course Setter: Misha Kreslavsky
Type: B; 8-course event for beginners through advanced

Course Setter's Notes

By Misha Kreslavsky

Welcome to beautiful Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park. The park is full of wildlife, and has fantastic vistas​—​especially from the White, Yellow, and Orange courses.

I hope you enjoy the courses. Good luck!

Start and Finish Locations

There are two Start locations:

The Finish for all courses is close to the assembly area.


The terrain is hilly, open, with scattered oaks and patches of oak and pine forests. The ground is already wet and soft, but not muddy yet​—​very good for running on slopes. However, the steepest slopes will still slow you down.

The grass is green and very short. In some places there are dry thistles left from last year​—​they are easily runnable.

In a few places, the ground is strewn with small rocks. Last year's rain season left many (unmapped) minor slides (mostly on the Orange course).

I saw plenty of birds, deer, pigs, and one mountain lion.


The map scale is 1:10,000; the contour interval is 5 m.

The map made by Matej Ĺ ebo is very good. Lidar contours are mostly accurate; however, narrow reentrants appear muted on the map. I slightly edited contours only near controls.

There are some unmapped cattle trails and old car tracks. Undergrowth (with poison oak) has somewhat expanded and thickened since mapping, but this is not critical yet.

Green dots mean either small lone trees or bushes. Those bushes are "thickets" in the control descriptions. Green ×'s mean standing dead trees. Brown ×'s mean fallen trees.


There are cattle in the park. They are not aggressive. However, try to not startle the cows​—​run around groups of cows rather than through them. Do not get between a calf and its mother!

There are horses (with riders) on some trails. Don't startle the horses, give them right of way (ask the rider if it's okay to run around).

On all courses except White, there is some poison oak, but not much.

On all courses except White, there are pieces of barbed wire on the ground. Please be careful.

There are tics (but not many yet). Don't forget to check yourself after your course.


Here are the details of the courses. See below for additional comments.

   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

In addition to the standard seven courses, there is a Beige course, aka "Short Brown", a very short advanced course.

White Course (Easy Beginner)

The White course follows trails. You will need to recognize them on your map and on the terrain, and make the correct turns at the junctions.

Yellow Course (Advanced Beginner)

The Yellow course is simple technically, but demanding physically: it is steep, with high elevation gain, and off-trail segments. Long pants and shoes with good grip are needed. You will mostly follow linear features ("handrails"): trails and fences. Do not hold onto the fences literally, it is not safe (don't scratch yourself with rusty barbs)​—​find your way on steep slopes at some distance from the fences. You will not need to cross fences.

Orange Course (Intermediate)

The Orange course is short, has technically simple control locations, but rich route choices. It is also physically challenging because of steep slopes and significant elevation gain. Note that steep reentrants are deeper and steeper than they appear on the map.

Depending on your route choice, you may need to cross barbed-wire fences. Don't jump or climb over the fences, it is unsafe for you and may damage the fence. Roll under the wire​—​it is quick and safe.

Some controls from different courses are close to each other. Don't forget to check the numbers.

Beige, Brown, Green, Red, and Blue Courses (Advanced)

The courses have low climb and are fast. Riley Culberg vetted the Blue course, and made it in 1:22:10.

There is a mandatory fence crossing through the gate on your way to the second last control. Please use the gate! (Crossing this fence away from the gate makes no sense anyway.)

You will have to cross (on Red and Blue), or may choose to cross (on Beige, Brown, and Green), other barbed-wire fences without gates. As usual, roll under the fence, don't jump or climb over.

The courses have a common first control 120 m along a trail from the Start.

Some controls from different courses are close to each other. Don't forget to check the numbers. (I've warned you.)

Note that the Red and Blue courses have fewer water stops than usual. Plan accordingly.