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Joseph D. Grant County Park

Date: (Sun.) Mar. 15, 2020 CANCELED
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 408.878.5073
Course Setters: Derek Maclean, Kim van Berkel
Type: B; Standard 7-course event for beginners through advanced

This event has been canceled

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Joe Grant orienteering event is canceled.
We intend to reschedule for the future.
– Peter Graube, Event Director (March 13, 2020)

Course Setters' Notes

By Derek Maclean & Kim van Berkel

We are looking forward to a great day of springtime orienteering in the green foothills of Mount Hamilton.

Note: Info on the current park position on Covid-19 will be posted later.


Here are the course details:

    Course    Distance    Climb   Controls
    White      2.1 km     100 m      12  
    Yellow     3.2 km     150 m      17
    Orange     3.4 km     140 m      17
    Brown      4.3 km     150 m      17
    Green      5.1 km     180 m      19
    Red        6.1 km     240 m      21
    Blue       7.5 km     280 m      23

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).

Course Comments


Almost all on trails. Controls are visible from trails, but may require short off-trail to reach the actual marker. All the climb is on the first half of the course.
Note that the course passes near the Advanced Start near the end. The route to the Finish is on a park road​—​please watch out for cars.


On or near trails, but many controls require short cross-country routes. You will need to judge the best locations to leave trails based on vegetation and contour information from the map.
Control markers will not be as visible as on the White course.


Almost all off trail, but with linear features such as trails or fences nearby to mitigate navigational errors. Some controls may be shared with advanced courses, and may vary in degree of technical difficulty.
Will cross some steep slopes and bushy areas. Stout footwear and full-body cover is recommended.
Navigation is significantly technically harder than Yellow.
The last few controls go through the campground area. Please take care to avoid occupied campsites and do not disturb campers.
You will likely encounter one fence that may be difficult to climb, but you should be able to find a section where the lowest wire can be rolled under.

Advanced (BrownBlue):

Designed to be as navigationally challenging as possible, given the nature of the terrain. Courses emphasize good map reading and movement through terrain. Legs tend to be short/medium length to minimize involvement of trails and linear features.
Controls are hung as low as possible consistent with fairness. You should generally expect to find the specified feature before seeing the marker.
The Brown course should not have to cross any fences except through gates. Other courses will encounter at least one fence crossing. It is usually easiest to find a spot to roll under.
All the advanced courses have a common 400 m section along a track (30 m climb). The only water stop will be on this common section. Please use the available bags for used cups, and do not litter this public area.

Starts and Finishes

The White and Yellow Start is an 800 m walk from parking/registration, along a flat road. The White course Finish is adjacent to the parking/registration area. The Yellow Finish is adjacent to the White/Yellow Start, so there's an 800 m walk back along a road to parking/registration. Please remember to check in after your run and download/return your E-stick.

The Start for the Orange and Advanced courses is 800 m up a track with 80 m climb. Allow 15 minutes to get to the Start. The Orange course Finish is adjacent to parking/registration. The Advanced courses have a remote Finish, 1.8 km, mostly flat, on tracks and roads. Do not forget to download your E-stick.


There are no water stops on the White, Yellow, or Orange courses.

There will be water at the Orange/Advanced starts. There is one water stop on the Advanced courses (see above).

Map & Terrain

Gates should be closed after passing through. This is a condition of park use, because of the use for pasture grazing. One gate near the Advanced Start will be kept open and monitored.

Cow/animal trails may be seen on the ground that are not shown on the map. Often these present good routes across valleys or gullies. Trails that are shown on the map as intermittent can usually be readily followed in the direction of travel.

Groups of trees (copses, white patches on map) can be tricky to distinguish from single trees (green circle). Mapping shows whether a contiguous aerial canopy was present, but this may be less distinct on the ground. If trees have died or fallen, this may affect the apparent shape or extent of copses. Single trees and copses are frequently used for control locations, so take care in areas where both features are present.

Gullies and reentrants can be steep on the Orange and Advanced courses. The map represents these quite well, and all should be readily passable on reasonable routes. Sturdy footwear with good grip is particularly required on these courses. Often, animal tracks can be seen on the approach to a reentrant and offer good crossing routes.

Most vegetation can be passed through somewhat more easily than the map suggests. Several years of low rainfall reduced the overall brush density, and early in the season the growth is relatively low. Light green is usually passable. Some good routes may entail a quick push through darker green areas.


Routes to the Starts and Finishes use park roads near the campground. Please be aware of cars when in this area or when crossing any roads.

Poison oak is prevalent in the area, mainly in damp, or shady wooded areas. Some exposure may be expected, roughly proportional to course length and time off-trail. Much of it will not yet be fully in leaf, but bushes can still cause irritation following contact. You should know what it looks like, and take precautions to minimize exposure. Wear full cover of legs and arms, avoid contact with possible bushes, and wash clothes and body afterwards (i.e., as described here).

Cows may be present in the competition area, although the course setters have not seen any during our visits. They are docile, and can be curious, but will stay away from you if you pass near them. Be careful to not get between a cow and its calf.

The park has numerous pigs, and we have seen groups of up to six adults with piglets. They will avoid you and run away if they see you coming. Pigs often hide in brush during the day. If traversing thicker areas, be aware that they may startle you by suddenly rushing out of the vegetation.

There may be horses and riders present in the park​—​they have right of way. Be careful not to startle them. When approaching on a trail, slow to a walk, make sure that horse and rider see you, and make yourself known, e.g. greet the rider so that the horse knows you are a human from your voice.

Ticks are present, especially in grassy areas. You should check your clothes and body after the event.