Table of contents

Sunol Regional Wilderness

Date: (Sun.) Oct. 27, 2019
Location: Sunol, CA
Event Director:
Course Setter: Yurii Konovalenko
Type: B; Standard seven-course event for beginners through advanced at one of our more popular parks

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

Status Update, Friday, Oct. 25, 8:00 PM:

If you are concerned about the status of the event this Sunday, because of the fire-risk, power-outage, and air-quality issues, please be advised that all systems are go for our event in Sunol.
The park has no plans to close this weekend due to fire risk or PGE blackout, so we’re welcome to carry on as planned. Low air quality is on our radar, but the high winds on Saturday are predicted to help clear things out for Sunday, leaving us in hopefully good shape.
If you are concerned about air quality, you can check current particulate counts on the AirNow website ( The closest sensors to Sunol are in Fremont ( and Livermore (
Note that pre-registration is available here ( for Sunday’s event, allowing you to skip the lines at the event (see below for details).
See ya'll Sunday,
Jeff Goodwin, Event Director

One More Reason to Register Online

In addition to running results on MeOS, our normal software, we will be running results on a beta version of OE 12, the software targeted for next year's California Orienteering Festival (
So, by registering online, you not only get to skip the regular two lines (registration and E-punch), but also an additional line for OE 12.
Jay Hann, Western Race Services

We return to Sunol Regional Wilderness ( for our annual event. The standard seven courses are on the menu, with our usual beginner (White and Yellow) and intermediate (Orange) courses, as well as a full set of advanced (Brown, Green, Red, Blue) courses, to choose from. We have an excellent course setter, so come and join in on the fun!

Sunol Scenic View
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Note: There is no potable water in the Park. We will be bringing water jugs for the event, but you can help out by packing your own water bottle and filling it up before you leave home.

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.


  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

Note: The Start is a 10–15-minute walk from the registration area. Plan accordingly.

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.

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!


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.)

In addition to the above costs, there is a park entrance fee of $5 per car (and $2 per dog). Pay at the entrance kiosk.

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.)

Venue Facilities

There is no potable drinking water available at this park. BAOC will provide drinking water at the assembly area and at water stops on the intermediate and advanced courses, but you can help by bringing water for yourself for before and after your course. There will not be any water stops on the beginner (White) and advanced beginner (Yellow) courses. If you plan to carry water bottles or a Camelback-style water bladder on your course, please fill them at home.

Picnic tables and vault toilets are available.


All seven regular courses will be available. Here are the details:

    Course    Distance    Climb   Controls   Navigation
    White      2.3 km      60 m       8      Beginner      
    Yellow     2.7 km      90 m       9      Adv. Beginner
    Orange     3.8 km     278 m      12      Intermediate
    Brown      3.5 km     158 m      10      Advanced
    Green      4.3 km     285 m      13      Advanced
    Red        6.7 km     405 m      19      Advanced
    Blue       8.1 km     555 m      23      Advanced

Beginners should be aware that the distances shown are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. Your actual distance will be somewhat longer. For a rough estimate of how far you might actually go, mentally change “km” to “mi” (e.g., for a “2.3 km” course, you might travel up to “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 is a 10–15-minute walk from the registration area. The Finish is at the registration area.

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


Poison Oak: Participants on all except the beginner (White) course will encounter some poison oak, which you will want to avoid. Washing clothes and shoes, and bathing exposed areas, with dishwashing soap or a commercial product such as Tecnu is recommended to help remove the irritant oil. Poison oak is dry this time of year (the leaves turn orange or red, and are beginning to fall off), so it can be hard to identify. However, be aware that the irritating oils are present in the stems as well as the leaves.

Ticks: Deer ticks are found in this area and may carry Lyme disease. Be sure to check yourself (and your dog) after completing your course.

Rattlesnakes: Rattlesnakes are present in this park. They are not aggressive, but they may strike if threatened or cornered. Give them distance and respect.

Steep Terrain: The terrain at Sunol is very steep. The contour interval is 7.5 meters rather than the usual 5-meter interval. Closely spaced 7.5 m contours may indicate a slope that is not safely crossable. During the dry season, fallen leaves and loose soils result in slippery slopes.

Park Rules

Fences: One of the conditions of use of Sunol Park for orienteering events is that we DO NOT CROSS FENCES. Do not attempt to climb over a fence, or roll under one, or squeeze between strands. Any such violation will result in disqualification of the participant (and, more importantly, could jeopardize our ability to use the park).

No Smoking: Smoking is not allowed in Sunol Regional Park.

Dogs: If you plan to bring a dog to the park, please review and abide by leash rules posted near the registration area and on line ( Note that the park collects a $2 fee per dog at the entry kiosk.

Equestrians: Horses always have the right of way. If you encounter equestrians while running on a multi-use trail or road, please wait or walk until you are clear of the horses​—​ask the riders what they want you to do. A startled horse could throw and injure the rider. Also be careful not to jump onto a trail when horses are nearby.

Cattle: The advanced courses will cross a cattle grazing area. Cows are generally docile and easily avoided, but do not get between a mother cow and a calf.

Sunol Location Map
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Request for Volunteers

As always, we will need the help of several people to put on this event. Please contact the Event Director () as soon as possible to help with coordination efforts.

Driving Directions

Sunol Regional Wilderness is in the East Bay. Take highway I-680 to the Calaveras Road exit near Sunol. Go south on Calaveras Road about four miles to Geary Road. Turn left onto Geary Road and continue about two miles to the park entrance.

For GPS navigation, the approximate coordinates of the parking area are 37.5119,-121.8286. The map at the right shows the location in the park, and the direction to the Start. (You can click on the map to see a larger image.)

The entry kiosk will be manned by a ranger to collect park fees of $5 per car and $2 per dog. They accept only cash​—​please try to bring exact change.

Parking and the registration area will be located off the main driving loop through the park. It should be easy to find, but look for the BAOC signage as you enter the park. This is the same place as last year, but different than in previous years. (Park only in designated parking areas. The rangers do give tickets.)

There’s a map here that shows the location of the park. (Click on the “pins” in the East Bay until you find the one for this event, and then drag the map [not the pin] to center the pin, and zoom in to see more detail.) [Editor's note: Yes, we do know that the map does not display correctly, but it is still usable after you dismiss the Google notice.]

Public Transit

Unfortunately, there is no public transit serving Sunol Regional Wilderness.