Table of contents

1 What is Orienteering?
2 Schedule
3 Venue Facilities
4 Costs
5 What to Bring
6 Courses

7 Hazards
8 Request for Volunteers
9 Driving Directions
10 Parking

Calero County Park

Date: (Sun.) Nov. 10, 2019
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 408.599.9709
Course Setter: Rich Parker
Type: B; Standard seven-course event for beginners through advanced

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

Online registration is available for this event as described below.

Request from the Event Director:

Does anyone have an SUV or other vehicle with high clearance, and can spare an hour after the event to drive to the backroads of Calero to drop off those helping with control pick-up?
Ideally we're also looking for someone to drop us off Saturday morning as we place out water and the most-remote controls, but either one of these would be a great help.
, Calero Event Guy and Membership Guy

Calero is usually one of our best local events of the year​—​certainly a highlight of the year in the South Bay.

Rich Parker has some great courses planned, with moderate climb numbers for Calero. As of Nov. 2, the weather forecast is for 77 degrees and partly cloudy, with no winds.

The photos on this page show various scenes in Calero Park, which change each time the page is drawn. You can click on a photo to see a larger image, and you can click on that image to see a really large one.

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! You can read more about orienteering here.

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)


  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/90KB)).

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 15–20-minute, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete the beginner (White) course.

The walk to the remote Start will take about 10–15 minutes. Plan accordingly.

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.

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 due to Santa Clara County health department restrictions, we will not be offering the post-race refreshments that we typically have at BAOC events. A large water jug will be available.

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)


The following fees apply at this event:

  $3 for each junior on beginner's (White) and advanced beginner's (Yellow) courses
  $8 for each adult on beginner's and advanced beginner's courses
  $5 for each junior on intermediate (Orange) and advanced (Brown, Green, Red, Blue) courses  
$15 for each member on intermediate and advanced courses
$20 for each non-member on 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)  


More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ. All the prices are also shown on the standard entry form (PDF/90KB), 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.)

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

What to Bring

For the beginner (White) course, comfortable outdoors attire and shoes are fine.

Due to the dry weather, matted grasses, and loose soils, we recommend O-shoes or shoes with cleats on the intermediate (Orange) and advanced (Brown through Blue) courses. Hiking boots with an aggressive tread are recommended for the advanced beginner (Yellow) course.

Dry grasses with burrs and stickers are present on all the courses except White. We recommend long pants and gaiters.

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.)


Rich Parker is setting some challenging and fun courses, with low climb numbers (i.e., for Calero 😉) and a mix of longer and shorter legs for good route choices.

Note: There will be a walk of about 0.9 km (with about 100 m climb) to the remote Start for all courses. Plan on 10–15 minutes to walk there.

The Finish will be about 0.5 km from the parking lot.

Below are the final course statistics (which have not changed). Be sure to read the Course Setter's Notes for more information.

    Course     Length        Climb       Controls
    White      3.0 km     110 m (3.6%)      11  
    Yellow     2.9 km     110 m (3.8%)      11
    Orange     3.9 km     165 m (4.2%)      13
    Brown      3.3 km     155 m (4.7%)       8
    Green      4.3 km     180 m (4.2%)       9
    Red        6.2 km     295 m (4.8%)      13
    Blue       7.1 km     335 m (4.7%)      16

Beginners should be aware that the lengths shown are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. 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. Because you won't travel in straight lines, and might not follow the optimum routes, your actual distance and climb will be somewhat more than what is shown above, and will depend on your route choices (and any errors you make).

Historically, at BAOC events at Calero, there has been considerable climb on the courses. By comparison, these courses have exceptionally low amounts of climb. It was a challenge to achieve this at Calero, which increased the distance and climb for the walk to the Start.

Also note that the number of controls on the advanced courses is smaller than usual. This is by careful design​—​it results in many more legs with interesting route choices.

The controls will be configured to respond to SIAC AIR+ E-sticks (as well as other models, of course).

Special E-punch Note

Read this if you use an SI-5 E-stick (the oldest model, with serial numbers from 1 to 499,999): We were not able to reprogram the controls before this event, so they are still on Daylight Saving Time. This creates a problem with the SI-5 sticks, because they have only a 12-hour clock, and when downloading close to noon, some punches can be interpreted as the wrong day or half-day. So, for just this event, no finger sticks under 500,000, please. If you use an SI-5 E-stick, you can borrow a later model from Registration at the event (there is no charge if you leave your SI-5 as "deposit"). Thanks! Jay Hann, Mr. E-punch


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 skin 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.

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Request for Volunteers

We could use the usual help: Beginner's Clinics and Control pick-up, but in particular we need a few people to staff the remote Start, and (less critical) the remote Finish.

Please let me know if you can help.

, Event Director, 408-599-9709

Driving Directions

The event assembly area is at the usual McKean Entrance picnic area in Calero County Park (i.e., not at the boat ramp). Because everyone uses GPS for driving directions these days, we will only have one orange/white orienteering directional sign at the junction of McKean Road and the park entrance, about a half mile SE of the Bailey Road junction and about 1.3 miles SE of the Calero Reservoir Boat Launch. For GPS navigation, the address is 23205 McKean Road, San Jose. (The approximate coordinates are 37.1749,-121.7611.)

From the Peninsula, take Highway 85 south to Almaden Expressway. Head south 5 miles to the end of the road. Turn right onto Harry, and then immediately left onto McKean. The main park entrance is 5 miles south on McKean. Go past the boat ramp, and turn instead at the entrance marked "Calero County Park; Park Office; Equestrian Center; All Trailheads".

From the East Bay, take Highway 101 south past San Jose and exit at Bailey Ave. After 3.2 miles west, Bailey ends at McKean. Turn left and go south 0.7 miles to the park entrance.

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)


There's a large parking lot next to registration.