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Presidio of San Francisco, Main Post

Date: (Sat.) Jul. 31, 2021
Location: San Francisco, CA
Event Director: - 415.566.7990
Course Setter: Deron van Hoff
Type: C; Sprint courses at the Main Post Parade Ground on SATURDAY

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

This is a last chance to tune up for the upcoming U.S. Sprint Championships at the Tahoe 2021 event. Also, this is a good introduction to orienteering if you are a beginner.

We will return to the Main Post Parade Ground for another set of Sprint-style courses on our ISSOM map produced by Matej Sebo in 2016. Three courses are on offer, of approximately Yellow, Green, and Blue length for a Sprint event.

This event will be suitable for beginners. Orienteers of all abilities are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Note: If you are coming with a group of five or more people, please tell the so we can be sure to have enough maps.

COVID-19 Precautions

We will be following the San Francisco health ordinance guidelines on the day of the event. That generally means that we can hold the event without social distancing and wearing masks. Nevertheless, we should all be cognizant of the ongoing risk of contracting COVID-19, even for those who have been fully vaccinated. Please stay home if you are feeling unwell in any way. If you are not vaccinated, we ask that you wear a mask while you are in the assembly area, including at the Start and the Finish.

Also, no food or water will be provided at the assembly area, and no water will be available on the courses. Please bring what you need.


Note that the event is on Saturday.

  9:00 AM – 11:59 AM: Registration is open
  9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Beginners' clinic instruction (free)
 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Starts are 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 periods 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 short, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete a beginner course.

Please note that everyone must return to the Finish by 2:00 PM, and check in at E-punch, even if you don't complete your course. We need to account for all participants, because otherwise we must organize a search party for you.

After you finish, stick around and socialize with other participants!


The following fees apply at this event:

  $3 for each junior (age 8 through 20) on the beginner (Yellow) course
  $8 for each adult on the beginner (Yellow) course
  $5 for each junior on an advanced (Green or Blue) course  
$15 for each adult member on an advanced (Green or Blue) course
$20 for each adult non-member on an advanced (Green or Blue) course
  $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.)

Presidio Amenities

See below for driving directions and information about parking.

Unfortunately, many of the eateries and restrooms are closed due to the economic effects of COVID-19. Fortunately, the Presidio has set up multiple portable toilets for public use. Six portable toilets are available at the assembly area. They were well maintained when I visited, although the disinfectant and soap dispensers were empty at the washing stations.

The Presidio Trust also wants me to make everyone aware that they have seen an uptick in car break-ins​—​smash and grabs. You should not leave anything visible in your car, and you should be careful about what you are storing in your trunk or glove compartment.

What to Bring

For beginners, comfortable outdoors attire is fine, but you should wear sturdy running or hiking shoes.

The Sprint courses will involve a lot of running on streets, sidewalks, and trails, so running shoes might be appropriate. However, there will also be some off-trail travel for which you might want cleated shoes. You will want long pants and/or 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.)

Course Details

All starts and finishes are at the assembly area.

Here are the details of the courses:

    Course    Length    Climb   Controls
    Yellow    1.9 km     20 m      12  
    Green     2.7 km     25 m      14
    Blue      4.4 km     60 m      22

Note: Unlike “forest” courses, the course lengths above are the shortest possible while going around impassable objects (i.e., per IOF standards for Sprint courses). As usual, 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.

All the controls on the Green and Blue courses are unique​—​that is, there are no controls shared between the two courses. So, you might want to do both courses.

The Yellow course uses controls that are on both Blue and Green, but in a different order than on those courses. Beginners are encouraged to try the Yellow course first (although it is difficult to get truly lost, so you could start with Green). Feel free to run one, two, or all three courses for your entry fee as long as you arrive early enough to start your last course before starts close and complete by the course closing time. (Note: If you start with the Yellow course and then run either Green or Blue, you must pay the fee difference.)

Here are some other important notes about the courses:

Those are features shown on the map as not allowed to be crossed even though some of these are physically possible to cross. This snip of the map legend shows the symbols that you are not allowed to cross.

“Impassable” Map Features

Unfortunately, there are many shades of green on the map​—​the darkest green (usually landscaping) and olive green (private property) are “impassable”.

Request for Volunteers

Please tell if you are willing to help for an hour or two during the event. We will need help with set up, beginner clinics, starts, finishes, and tear down.

In particular, has asked for help with E-punch set up, handling entries, and tear down.

Even if you don't have time to volunteer, we hope you decide to come out and run a course.

Driving Directions

Note: Read the directions below carefully, as no signs will be provided because of park rules.

The closest parking to the assembly area is located near the south end of the Main Post Parade Ground at N37.79956,W122.45847 (,-122.45847/@37.799556,-122.4606887,17z).

From the Bay Bridge: Take exit 1B to merge onto US-101 N/Central Fwy toward Golden Gate Bridge. Continued on Central Fwy. Turn right onto Market St. Use the left two lanes to turn slightly left toward Franklin St. Turn left onto Pine St. Turn right onto Presidio Ave, which becomes Presidio Blvd when you enter the park, and later becomes Lincoln Blvd. Continue on Lincoln Boulevard at the traffic circle with Girard Road. Turn left onto Anza Avenue and drive south to the south end of the parking lot at the Main Post Parade Ground. The assembly area is nearby. Park there and be sure to purchase a parking sticker from a machine.

From the South: On I-280, use any of the three left lanes to take exit (#49B) for CA-1 N toward 19th Avenue/Golden Gate Bridge. At the first traffic light, use any of the three left lanes to turn slightly left onto 19th Ave. Stay on 19th Ave through Golden Gate Park, beyond, and through the Presidio. Keep right and follow signs for US-101 S/Marina Blvd S, and merge onto US-101. Take the exit (#437) for Marina Blvd toward the Presidio. Turn right onto Girard Rd, then turn right onto Lincoln Blvd. Turn left onto Anza Avenue and drive south to the south end of the parking lot at the Main Post Parade Ground. The assembly area is nearby. Park there and be sure to purchase a parking sticker from a machine.

From Marin: After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, stay left to continue on US-101 (i.e., do not exit to Veterans Blvd). Take the exit (#437) for Marina Blvd toward the Presidio. Turn right onto Girard Rd, then turn right onto Lincoln Blvd. Turn left onto Anza Avenue and drive south to the south end of the parking lot at the Main Post Parade Ground. The assembly area is nearby. Park there and be sure to purchase a parking sticker from a machine.


You must pay for parking. Parking in the Main Post lots is $2.30 per hour or $10.50 for all day, and is enforced seven days per week. The parking machines accept credit and debit cards, and possibly coins. (The charge, which varies by location in the park, is $1.90–$2.60 per hour or $9.50–$11.50 per day [as of July 1, 2021]. More information is here (