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Coyote Hills Regional Park Self-Serve Courses
Date: Apr. 1 - 30, 2021
Location: Fremont, CA
Course Setter: John Richardson
Type: Training; Unofficial, self-serve courses; download PDFs of the maps from the BAOC website; the courses are also available through the MapRun6 app on your smartphone or tablet, and the MapRunG app on a Garmin watch capable of running apps
After a very long absence, we again have a chance to visit this conveniently located park. Thanks go to John Richardson for updating the map and setting the self-serve courses!
- The marshes are out of bounds even though they are not shown as such on the map. We were banned from the park many years ago because people crossed marshes (because they were “obvious” route choices, and the marshes were not indicated as being out of bounds).
- These are unofficial, self-serve courses that you can run anytime during March and April.
- You are doing this at your own risk. BAOC accepts no responsibility for any injuries or death. Hazards could include steep hills and cliffs, loose rocks, occasional dense and sharp brush, poison oak, mountain lions and rattlesnakes, … and more.
- The start and end dates shown above are "artificial", due to a limitation of this website. The dates will move along as time passes.
- There is no fee for running these courses. Of course, charitable donations to BAOC are always appreciated. 😉
Comments From BAOC Members
- “If you’re planning on going to Coyote Hills, it would be good if you could go on a weekday or else arrive very early on a weekend. I went today, arrived at 10:30, and the parking lots were completely filled, and the rangers were not letting anybody else in. There is no nearby street parking that I know of.” Evan (4/4/21 11:12 AM)
- “We are at Coyote Hills now. I can see plenty of parking, but it was nearly full when we came in at around 10am. Make sure to have $5 cash. There is street parking about 3km away. That said, I agree with Evan that a weekday would be much better—the park is very crowded.” François (4/4/21 11:38 AM)
- “The lovely-looking street parking on Commerce Drive is full of ‘No Parking’ signs. According to the rangers, Fremont PD does ticket. There is an overflow lot at Patterson Ranch and Commerce, but that fills up pretty quickly too. Once the gates close, the park turnover is pretty high inside as people rotate through, but it might take a while.
- “There is another lot at Alameda Creek Regional Trail further up Ardenwood at the Creek, but I have never used it. It will add 2 miles each way.
- “Early or weekdays are better, unless you’re feeling lucky.” Brad (4/5/21 7:53 AM)
Coyote Hills is an especially good venue for intermediate orienteers, due to the very open nature of the terrain. John has done an excellent job though of making the route choices challenging, so even advanced orienteers should enjoy the experience. On a clear day, the views from the park are outstanding!
The park has a single entrance on Patterson Ranch Rd, located just off I-880 in Fremont. Pass the entrance kiosk (they were not collecting the $5 vehicle fee as of early March, but this could change) and the first parking lot (to the left), until you reach the Visitor Center parking lot at the end of the track. (See below for details.)
Public restrooms, water, and picnic facilities are available. For more general information about the park, see this website (http://www.ebparks.org/parks/coyote_hills/).
The courses are available both as “standard” map-and-compass courses, as well as through the MapRun6 app on your smartphone or tablet, or the MapRunG app on a Garmin watch capable of running apps.
- If you want to use the MapRun app on your smartphone, you should now be using MapRun6 rather than MapRunF.
- These courses are already available via the MapRun “Select Event” button. Navigate your way to the BAOC folder (USA > California > Bay Area > BAOC), and then look for the courses named “Coyote Hills 2021 ...”. If you need assistance with the MapRun app, a good place to start is here (https://docs.google.com/document/d/18m6zL0pT1UDiNMD8EdGHXcRZOQmd_1j0082afhDLXsM). More information about the MapRun app is available here.
Course Setter’s Notes
According to the BAOC archives, the last event we held at Coyote Hills was way back in 2007. A lot has changed since then, so the map has undergone a major update to reflect the changes in trails and vegetation. The views across the bay are still spectacular, and I hope you will enjoy these “Corona” courses!
Reminder: The marshes are out of bounds even though they are not shown as such on the map.
The Start and Finish are located at the U-turn at the northern end of the Visitor Center parking lot.
The control locations are marked by streamer tape.
Due to the nature of the terrain (rough-open ground with good visibility) and relative safety of the park, the courses are a little more accessible to less-experienced runners than previous “Corona” courses. On the other hand, I have also taken special effort to make the legs as navigationally challenging as possible to provide entertainment for more-seasoned orienteers. The Short course shares controls from the Long course, but has reduced length and climb.
The map has been completely updated to reflect 14 years of changes in the park, but is still not perfect. In particular, some smaller point features (rocks, benches, etc.) are missing (or are shown but no longer exist), and the difference between light/dark-green areas is not always clear. But it now at least resembles the park!
The grass is mainly short, making for fast running conditions, but I would still recommend wearing long pants and gaiters for the lusher patches, and as an insurance policy against any hidden poison oak. There is poison oak throughout the park, including at some control locations (which are marked with “P.O.” in the control descriptions as a warning), although it should be easy to avoid.
Care should be taken descending the steeper slopes, especially near the first parking lot where there is some loose rock. Please follow the park’s COVID-19 guidelines (wear a mask, keep social distance) and avoid closed trails (marked on the map with pink hatching). The park is on the safer side (you are more likely to encounter a turkey than a mountain lion), and has good phone signals, but there is nonetheless risk of injury/death, and as usual participation is entirely at your own risk.
For the people who have run the courses up to now and uploaded their GPS tracks with MapRun, you can see the overall results and you can see their routes and splits on RouteGadget with the links below.
- Short course: Current results (http://www.p.fne.com.au/rg/cgi-bin/SelectResultFileForSplitsBrowserFiltered.cgi?days=30&act=fileToSplitsBrowser&eventName=CombinedResults_Coyote%2520Hills%25202021%2520Short%2520PXAC.csv) RouteGadget (http://www.p.fne.com.au/rg/cgi-bin/reitti.cgi?act=map&id=12869&kieli=&cID=1)
- Long course: Current results (http://www.p.fne.com.au/rg/cgi-bin/SelectResultFileForSplitsBrowserFiltered.cgi?days=30&act=fileToSplitsBrowser&eventName=CombinedResults_Coyote%2520Hills%25202021%2520Long%2520PXAC.csv) RouteGadget (http://www.p.fne.com.au/rg/cgi-bin/reitti.cgi?act=map&id=12870&kieli=&cID=1)
(Of course, you won't want to "peek" at the routes before you run your course. 😉)
Coyote Hills is conveniently located just north of the east end of the Dumbarton Bridge in Fremont.
Note: The park might charge a $5 fee for a day pass. You might need the exact amount (in cash) for self-pay if the attendant is not present.
From 880 in Fremont, exit at Decoto Rd (a.k.a. 84 West) and go west onto the freeway that leads to the Dumbarton Bridge. After you are on Highway 84 on your way to the Dumbarton Bridge, about 2 miles west from 880, exit at the Paseo Padre Pkwy/Thornton Avenue exit, and turn right (north) onto Paseo Padre Pkwy. (Note that there is a Thornton Ave exit from 880, but you do not want to exit there [except if you're going south and missed the correct exit].) After about 1 mile, turn left at the entrance to Coyote Hills Regional Park (there might be only a small sign, after the turn).
From the Peninsula, take Highway 84 east to the Dumbarton Bridge. After you have crossed the bridge and passed the toll plaza, you should take the first exit to Thornton Avenue/Paseo Padre Pkwy. Turn left (north) onto Paseo Padre Pkwy and proceed about 1 mile. Turn left at the entrance to Coyote Hills Regional Park (there might be only a small sign, after the turn).
Proceed all the way to the end of the park road, as described above.
The approximate coordinates of the Start/Finish are 37.55406,-122.09178.