Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Table of contents

Point Pinole Regional Shoreline

Date: (Sun.) Jan. 26, 2020
Location: Richmond, CA
Event Director: - 925.862.2978
Course Setter: Steve Gregg
Type: C; Our annual visit to this fun, fast park. White, Yellow, and Orange courses for beginner through intermediate. In addition, we will offer a “One-Man Relay” for advanced orienteers.

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

From the Event Director on Jan. 25th:

Help! It's the day before our event, and I still need volunteers to staff the following positions:
  • Beginner Clinics: Two Volunteers (9:30–10:30) ​—​ Can be staffed by Relay runners
  • Early Beginner Starts: One Volunteer (9:30–10:30) ​—​ Can be staffed by Relay runners
  • Late Beginner Starts: One Volunteer (10:30–12:30)
Note: Beginner Clinics and Early Beginner Starts can be staffed by Relay runners, as we will be sure your shift ends no later than 10:30. That is one hour before the Relay Mass Start at 11:30. The walk to the relay start is only 15–20 minutes.
Please help, we need these positions filled.
, Event Director

We return to Point Pinole Regional Shoreline ( for our annual event. This year we have reserved the Palms Picnic Area as our event center. (This is the location we have traditionally used.) As a condition of our (pending) permit, all participants must park at the Giant Highway Parking Lot. The Palms Picnic Area is a short 5–10 minute walk along a paved walkway from the parking lot. A flyer for the park, which includes an overview map, is available here (4MB PDF) (


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)
  9:30 AM – 12:30 PM: White, Yellow, and Orange starts are open
                 11:30 AM: “One Man Relay” Mass start (Tentative​—​please check later for updates)
                  2:00 PM: Courses close, checkpoint control pick-up begins

Note: The “One Man Relay” start is one kilometer, about a 15–20 minute walk, from the event center (registration and E-punch) at the Palms Picnic Area. Please 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 below. Note, however, that a special form is being used for this event​—​our standard form will not be adequate.)

Note that you can register and start on the White, Yellow, and Orange 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 PM, 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, enjoy free refreshments, and stick around and socialize with other participants!

Venue Facilities

Picnic tables, piped water, and vault toilets are available at the Event Center (Palms Picnic Area), so please feel free to bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy after you finish your course. Light refreshments will be provided at no charge. Vault toilets are also present near the parking lot, and about half way along the road to the Relay Start/Finish area. Water will be provided at the Relay Start/Finish.


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 (Relay) 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.

Note: There might be a park entrance fee, but only if the Kiosk at the parking lot is open. Typically, it has not been open during our January events.

What to Bring

For the beginner (White) course, comfortable outdoors attire and shoes are fine.

Hiking boots or sturdy running shoes are recommended for the Yellow, Orange, and Relay courses. Long pants and/or gaiters are suggested for the Orange and Relay courses.

A compass is not necessary, but can be quite helpful. We have compasses available at Registration for a $1 rental fee.

We time the courses with the SPORTident system, so each entry/group needs to have a SPORTident fingerstick. If you don’t have your own you can rent one at registration for $5.


Steve Gregg is setting some fun courses this year. including the “One Man Relay” mentioned above.

The course statistics are below. Be sure to read the Course Setter’s Notes for more information. In particular, there is a lengthy explanation of the Relay logistics, and a strong recommendation that people pre-register for that event.

    Course    Length    Climb   Controls
    White     2.6 km     45 m      11  
    Yellow    2.8 km     70 m      12
    Orange    4.2 km     75 m      10
    Relay     4.5 km    100 m      24

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).

Since Point Pinole is one of our flattest BAOC venues, while still providing some forested navigational challenge, it is a very appropriate place for beginners to receive their initial introduction to orienteering.

The event center will be located at the Palms Picnic area. Registration, E-punch sign-in/download, and the Start/Finish for the White, Yellow, and Orange courses will be located there.

In addition to the White, Yellow, and Orange courses, this year's event will feature a “one-man relay”. Each participant will run three loops, of approximately 1.5 km each, with a common control to punch at the end of each loop, before starting the next one. The loops will have substantial forking, in exactly the same manner as last year's three-person relay. So, although each competitor will have run exactly the same distance by the end of the race, the order in which each runner takes the controls will be substantially different. Each loop will have 8 controls, so the controls will arrive quickly, and the entire race will probably feel more like a “forest sprint” than a standard orienteering course. In order to use the most technical parts of the park, and avoid a lot of dead running, there will be a remote Start and Finish, approximately 1 km north of the Palms Picnic area. A mass start is tentatively scheduled for 11:30 AM, although be alert for changes to this tentative schedule. See the Course Setter’s Notes for much more information about the Relay.

The details of the Relay entries are available here.


Poison Oak: Participants on all except the beginner (White) course will encounter some poison oak, which you will want to avoid. It looks like this. Washing clothes and shoes and bathing exposed skin with dish-washing soap or a commercial product such as Tecnu is recommended to remove the irritant oil.

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

Goats: A herd of goats is used at this park to control vegetation. They are moved from place to place without prior notification, and are contained using high-powered electric fencing. If necessary, courses will be adjusted to avoid the goats. Please don’t attempt to cross the fence or disturb the goats.

Non-Hazard Items

Horses always have the right of way. If you encounter a horse, you must stop running and respond to the rider’s direction.

A paved park roadway runs from the parking lot, past the event center and past the remote Relay Start. A park shuttle makes periodic trips from the parking lot to a fishing pier located beyond the remote Relay Start. Please yield the right of way to the shuttle. Do not congregate on the shuttle roadway near the event center. While walking/running along the roadway, please keep to the edge of the pavement, and be aware that the shuttle could come up behind you unexpectedly.

Request for Volunteers

As of January 25th (the day before the event!), we still need to fill the volunteer positions below. We can’t make this meet happen without your help! Please help make this event a success by volunteering.

Relay participants should be able to run the Relay if they volunteer for any slot other than the late shift of Beginner Starts and the Remote Start.

Driving Directions

Note: You want the Giant Highway park entrance, not the Atlas Bridge entrance, which we are not permitted to use.

The approximate coordinates for the parking lot are 37.992,-122.356. (Note: If you look for the park by name in Google Maps, you'll get wrong final directions. Instead, use the address 5551 Giant Highway, Richmond.)

To get there, take the Richmond Parkway exit off Interstate 80 in Richmond, and go west for 1.3 miles. Shortly after the stoplight at San Pablo Avenue, turn right at the next light onto Atlas Road. After 0.8 miles on Atlas, you will cross over a set of railroad tracks and encounter a stop sign. Turn left onto Giant Highway at this intersection (do not go straight). You will pass a detention center on your right, and the park entrance will be immediately after that, also on your right.

There is an entrance kiosk at the parking lot, but they might not be there to collect the $3 fee.

Please carpool if possible, since parking might be limited.

From the parking lot, walk up the hill, over the railroad bridge, and follow the paved path to the staging area.