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Calero County Park

Date: (Sun.) Apr. 2, 2023
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 408.688.4482
Course Setter: Rich Parker
Type: A; Standard, 7-course, Classic-distance event for beginners through advanced orienteers; this will be our annual, 1-day, National Ranking Event (NRE) with standard fees (i.e., not normal NRE fees)

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

This will be a standard, 7-course, Classic-distance event for beginners through advanced orienteers.

This year, we will have the added “treat” of this being the club’s annual, 1-day, “free” National Ranking Event (NRE). Note, however, that this does not mean the courses will be more difficult than at our normal events. The differences from a normal event are that people will be able to earn national ranking points ( and this event will count toward the four events needed to have a national ranking.

(Don’t get too excited. “Free” in this case means free of the normal, elevated NRE fees. Our normal fees will apply.)
Note: Since this event will be an NRE, Calero County Park is embargoed until the competition is finished. Per OUSA competition rules ( (section A.7.4), any attempt to survey or train in the competition terrain is forbidden. Individuals or groups visiting Calero, while embargoed, can still participate in the event, but are not eligible for competition or rankings.
OUSA has approved the NRE sanctioning and named a course consultant for the event.
There will be three additional NREs in the Bay Area as part of CalOFest ( (which starts July 17, 2023), so the Calero event is your chance to collect four NREs without ever traveling outside the Bay Area. (Four NREs within a 12-month period are required for an OUSA National Ranking.)

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.

COVID-19 Precautions

Please be mindful that COVID-19 is still with us. Please observe the following:

We will monitor any relevant regulations from Santa Clara County or the park administration, and announce them here if they impact our event.


    9:00 AM – 11:59 AM: Registration open
    9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Beginner clinics instruction (free)
  10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Starts are open for all courses
                    2:00 PM: Courses close, checkpoint control pick-up begins
Note: There is “traditionally” a long walk to the Start, so you might need to plan some extra time for that. If there is a long walk this year, the details will be added here.

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/12KB)).

Note that you can register and start on the 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).

Beginner clinics are 15–20 minute, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete the Beginners (White) course.

Note that you must return to the Finish by 2:00 PM, and then promptly go to the download tent, even if you have not finished your course. Please do not leave without checking in! If there are unaccounted people after 2:00, we must initiate a search for them.

Costs and Registration

The following fees apply at this event:

  $3 for each junior on Beginners (White) and Advanced Beginners (Yellow) courses
  $8 for each adult on Beginners and Advanced Beginners courses
  $5 for each junior on Intermediate (Orange) and Advanced (BrownBlue) 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 E-punch fingerstick rental (if you don’t own one; each group will need one to complete their course)
$15 (and up) for 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/12KB), 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.)

  • You can register at the event, or possibly online before the event (see below).
  • At the event, we can accept payment by cash or check (but no electronic payments).
  • Juniors are age 8 through 20 (under age 8 is free).
  • There is no charge for a second course (but you must end up paying for the more expensive course​—​e.g., Intermediate after Beginner).
  • Members of other orienteering clubs can pay the “member” fee. (We hope your club would do the same for our members. 🙂)

Optional Online Registration

You can (but are not required to) register online here ( for this event, but only if you are registering as an individual (i.e., not a group, team, troop, etc.). You must pay via PayPal (with credit card, debit card, or PayPal account​—​you do not need to have a PayPal account).

Note: If you register online, you must pay online before the event, and you must complete the online waiver.

Online registration for this event will close on Saturday, April 1st, at 6:00 PM. (No, that's not an April Fool joke.)

  • Online registration is not required​—​you can register at the event.
  • Online registration is available only to individuals, not to groups (i.e., sharing a single E-punch fingerstick). Groups must register at the event.
  • Compass rental cannot be arranged during online registration, but you can register online and rent a compass at the event.
  • E-punch fingerstick rental can be arranged during online registration.
  • You can see who is registered here ( (but keep in mind that others will register at the event).

Venue Facilities

The assembly area (registration, E-punch download, and toilets) will be at the McKean Entrance picnic area (i.e., our standard location). The driving directions are below.

Picnic tables, piped water, and portable toilets are available, so please feel free to bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy after you finish your course.

Note: The park will not let us serve food or water at the event. So, bring any snacks you will want to eat after your run. You can either bring your own water or fill your water bottle from the taps.

What to Bring

For Beginners courses (White and Yellow), comfortable outdoors attire and shoes are fine.

For Intermediate (Orange) and Advanced (Brown through Blue) courses, leg cover or gaiters are recommended, as well as shoes with some extra grip on the sole.

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 E-punch 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.)


The course details will be posted here closer to the event. Be sure to read the eventual Course Setter’s Notes for more information.

Park Rules

Did we mention that horses always have the right of way? If you encounter equestrians while running on a multi-use trail or road, please walk until you are clear of the horses. A startled horse could throw and injure the rider. Also be careful not to jump onto a trail when horses are nearby.

Request for Volunteers

As always, we need volunteers for this event. Please consider volunteering to help in one of the ways below.

Please sign up by contacting Tapio Karras, the Event Director (). Don’t delay, or you could miss your favorite task.

Driving Directions

The event assembly area is at the usual McKean Entrance picnic area in Calero County Park (i.e., not at the boat ramp). Because everyone uses GPS for driving directions these days, we will only have one orange/white orienteering directional sign at the junction of McKean Road and the park entrance, about a half mile SE of the Bailey Road junction and about 1.3 miles SE of the Calero Reservoir Boat Launch. For GPS navigation, the address is 23205 McKean Road, San Jose. (The approximate coordinates are 37.1749,-121.7611.)

From the Peninsula, take Highway 85 south to Almaden Expressway. Head south 5 miles to the end of the road. Turn right onto Harry, and then immediately left onto McKean. The main park entrance is 5 miles south on McKean. Go past the boat ramp, and turn instead at the entrance marked "Calero County Park; Park Office; Equestrian Center; All Trailheads".

From the East Bay, take Highway 101 south past San Jose and exit at Bailey Ave. After 3.2 miles west, Bailey ends at McKean. Turn left and go south 0.7 miles to the park entrance.

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There's a large parking lot next to registration.

Please do not park in the back of the lot​—​i.e., the part farthest from the road. Horse trailers park there, and we need to give them plenty of room to maneuver.