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Pacheco State Park

Wildflower Weekend

Date: Mar. 9 - 10, 2019
Location: Hollister, CA
Event Director: - 510.525.1574
Course Setters: Aron Walker, Misha Kreslavsky
Type: B; Saturday Middle & Night-O courses and Sunday regular courses

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


  • Online preregistration is now closed. It is not required. See below for details.

This beautiful park is atop Pacheco Pass. March is the peak of the wildflower season. Come and join us for a great orienteering weekend. Newcomers are welcomed. There will be beginner courses and free beginner clinics.

The Saturday program will consist of afternoon Middle courses and early evening Night-O courses.

There will also be the seven regular (White through Blue) courses on Sunday morning.

The Sunday course setter reports "The hills are nice and green, there are already some wildflowers. I saw many coyotes and several bobcats."

Tentative Schedule

Saturday, March 9th

  2:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Registration open
  2:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Beginner clinic instruction (free)
  2:30 PM – 4:00 PM: Starts for Middle courses
                5:00 PM: Courses close
                 6:03 PM: Sunset  
                 6:59 PM: Civil Twilight ends
  6:30 PM – 7:00 PM: Night-O Registration open  
                7:15 PM: Night-O Mass Start
                8:30 PM: Course closes

Sunday, March 10th

Note: Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 AM Sunday, March 10th. Remember to "spring forward".

  9:00 AM – 11:59 AM: Registration open
  9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Beginner clinic instruction (free)
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Starts open for Classic courses
                  2:00 PM: Courses close, checkpoint control pick-up begins

Comments for Both Days

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 (except that the Night-O has a single mass start). Thus, for example, you do not need to be "punctual" at the opening times shown above (but you can if you want, but please don't show up earlier and expect to be served).

Beginner 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 the course-closing times shown above, and then go to the download tent, even if you have not finished your course. If there are unaccounted people after the courses close, we must initiate a search for them.

Special Costs For This Event

The following fees apply for the Saturday Middle courses and for the Sunday standard courses (i.e., separate fees for each day). The cost of the Night-O is $10 for adults and $3 for juniors. There is a $5 discount if you preregister on-line ( and enter all three events.

  $3 for each junior (age 8 through 20) 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)  


  • Note that BAOC has a new fee structure for 2019, as shown above.
  • Online preregistration is now closed (but is not required).
    If you preregister online, and enter all three races, you will receive a $5 discount. You can still enter at the event, but the discount does not apply and payment will be by cash or check only. Online preregistration closed on Thursday, March 7th.
    (You can see who has already registered online here (, but note that others will register at the event.)
  • At the event, we are able to accept payment only by cash or check​—​no credit cards or electronic payments.
  • There is no charge for a second (or more) course.
  • There is no longer a discount for "additional people" on a team.

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.)

Note: In addition to the above costs, there is a $10 per day per vehicle park-use fee. Fill out an envelope at the entrance and follow its directions.


Saturday Afternoon Middle Courses

    Course    Length       Climb     Controls  Terrain
    White     2.3 km     55 m  2.4%     10     On trail  
    Yellow    2.5 km     75 m  3.0%     11     Mostly on trail, some linear features
    Orange    4.3 km    175 m  4.1%     17     Mostly off trail with handrails and/or backstops
    Brown     2.8 km    175 m  6.2%     13
    Green     4.1 km    245 m  6.0%     19
    Red       4.8 km    300 m  6.2%     20
    Blue      5.7 km    375 m  6.6%     23

Walk from assembly area to Start:

White, Yellow, Orange – 75 m (no climb)
Brown, Green, Red, Blue – 600 m (20 m climb)

Walk from Finish to assembly area:

White & Yellow – 75 m (no climb)
Orange, Brown, Green, Red, Blue – 950 m (15 m climb)

Saturday Evening Night-O Courses

Long and short Night-O courses with a Mass Start at 7:15 PM.

Each course will be a series of loops that participants do in different orders. The details are below.

    Course   Loops   Length    Climb   Controls
    Short      2     2.5 km    120 m      10  
    Long       4     4.3 km    200 m      16

Starts are about 800 m away from the assembly area, with 20 m climb. The Finish is 400 m away with no climb.

Sunday Morning Standard Courses

Final course details:

    Course   Length      Climb     Controls  Stops  Navigation     Terrain
    White    2.3 km    60 m  2.6%     10       0    Beginner       Trails, Easy  
    Yellow   3.5 km   180 m  5.1%      7       1    Adv. Beginner  Trails + off-trail, Easy
    Orange   4.8 km   255 m  5.3%     12       1    Intermediate   Off-trail, Hard
    Brown    3.5 km   140 m  4.0%     11       1    Advanced       Off-trail, Moderate
    Green    4.9 km   255 m  5.2%     11       2    Advanced       Off-trail, Hard
    Red      6.4 km   335 m  5.2%     16       2    Advanced       Off-trail, Hard
    Blue     8.1 km   475 m  5.9%     22       3    Advanced       Off-trail, Very Hard

Beginners should be aware that the course lengths shown are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. Your actual distance will be somewhat longer. For a rough estimate of how far you will actually go, mentally change "km" to "mi" (e.g., for a "2.3 km" course, you might travel about "2.3 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.

The Start for the White course is near the assembly area. The Start for all the other courses is a 1.3 km walk, on trail, with 90 m climb.

The Finish for all the courses is near the assembly area.

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


The nearest hotel accommodation is Motel 6 ( close to Los Banos. There are many hotels in the Gilroy area.


The closest camping is at San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area (

Event Volunteers Needed

The Pacheco team is hard at work to offer a superb Orienteering experience. Please contribute to this event by volunteering for one of the activities listed below. All volunteers will be able to compete. No experience is required for most tasks. It is a chance to become more involved in the club.

Saturday Middle: Early set up, starts, beginner clinics, refreshments

Saturday Night-O: Refreshments

Sunday Classic: Starts, beginner clinics, refreshments, control pickup, take down

The Park Ranger is allowing some limited camping for event volunteers at the event site on Saturday Night. Contact if you want to camp onsite. These onsite camping spaces cost $20 per vehicle, and must be reserved with George by Thursday, March 7th. (For those who cannot volunteer, camping is available at the regular park campground.)

Driving Directions


  • Be very careful crossing Highway 152. The traffic is moving faster than you might think!
  • There is a $10 per day per vehicle park-use fee. Fill out an envelope at the entrance and follow its directions.

The entrance to Pacheco State Park is between Gilroy and Los Banos on the south side of Highway 152, just west of Pacheco Pass.

The approximate coordinates for the event are 37.0633,-121.2148. There's a (slightly defective) map here that shows the location of the event.

From most of the Bay Area: Take US 101 south from San Jose to Gilroy, and then Highway 152 east (don't be confused by Hwy 152 west). Pacheco State Park is to the right just before the very top of the pass, about 10 minutes after the exit for Casa de Fruta. There is a large gravel lot (often used by trucks) on the right-hand side of the road that does connect to the park entrance; a superior route choice is the paved road to the park immediately after the gravel turnout.

From points further east (Central Valley, Sacramento, Livermore, Antioch): Take Interstate 5 south to Highway 152 west. Pacheco State Park is a left turn (there is a turn lane) immediately after the top of Pacheco Pass.