2016 NAV-X Challenge @ Pacheco

Quick Info

  • Date: Saturday October 1, 2016

  • Location: Pacheco Pass State Park, Gilroy, California

  • Event Director: Mats Jansson

  • Course Director: Dennis Wilkinson (COURSE SETTER'S NOTES)

  • Courses:  3 hr and 6 hr Map Trek (aka Rogaine)

  • Produced in cooperation with Bay Area Orienteering Club (BAOC)

  • $41-$71 - juniors 40% off, early registration 25% off

List of Registered Entrants

Follow this link to an updated list of entrants.

Event summary

The fourth event in the inaugural 2016 Nav-X Challenge Series brings us to the oak studded hills of Pacheco Pass State Park. This event will be held in the expansive and wild park just West of San Luis Reservoir, using a high quality (recent national orienteering events have been held using this map) orienteering map.  Mark Prior and Mats Jansson have designed approachable yet challenging courses for a total adventure of either 3 or 6 hours.


8:30 - 9:45 Event Check-in (and Late Registration)
8:45 Maps available
8:45 - 9:45 First Timer Assistance with Maps
9:45 Event Briefing
10:00 Mass Start
11:30 - 4:30 Snacks and Refreshments
1:00 Finish for 3h participants
1:15 3h Awards
4:00 Finish for 6h participants
4:15 6h Awards

New to Map Trekking?

Map Trekking is a “Navigation Sport” that has elements of a few other sports and activities like Trail Running, Fell Running (XC hill running), Hiking, Orienteering and Geo Caching.  More specifically, Map Trekking is a time-based challenge, 2 hrs or more in length, where participants try to score as many points as possible within the time allowed, by visiting checkpoints scattered across a vast, wild landscape.  Participants are free to decide which checkpoints to visit, and in what order.  Typically, a set time is allowed before the start for participants to study the map, and determine their route.  Participants travel on foot and navigate their chosen route using the map and a compass (No GPS allowed except for recording your track).  A late finish comes with point penalties, adding another layer of challenge to the sport.  Checkpoints vary in difficulty and the point value reflects the same, so that easy ones yield a lower point value than difficult ones.  To encourage beginners, course setters typically provide plenty of easy checkpoints near the start and finish location.

Venue / Park Info

Pacheco State Park is the last remaining portion of the Mexican land grant, El Rancho San Luis Gonzaga. This land has been a horse and a cattle ranch since 1843 and has breath taking views of the Central Valley to the east and the Santa Clara Valley to the west.

The park has beautiful displays of spring wildflowers, scenic vistas, and outstanding trails for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking. The 28 miles of trails offer several loop options to give visitors the choice of a hike or ride of from one to twenty miles or more. During the spring the park's grassy slopes abound with blossoming wildflowers. The park is home to tule elk, deer, bobcat, coyote, fox, several hawks, golden eagles and many other smaller animals. Cattle continue to graze on the ranch in the winter and spring months.

About the Map

The map we will be using is an Orienteering map produced by the Bay Area Orienteering Club.  Its scale is 1:10,000, meaning that 1 cm on the map is 100 m in the terrain. The contour interval (elevation between two contour lines) is 5 m (~16 ft).  Here is a sample of what it looks like:

Learn more about orienteering type maps here.

The map is of very high quality, and has more detail than typical Rogaining maps.  In fact, the map has been used for OUSA sanctioned orienteering events in the recent past. 

The terrain is similar to the terrain at Briones, except it is less steep.  There are some steep areas, but the terrain is mostly rolling hills, quite runnable.  It is quite open with typical coastal range oak studded hills.  Creeks that may have water in the winter and spring will be dry at the time of the event.  A few ponds and reservoirs exist, but the water, if present, would not be drinkable to humans.  We will provide water on the course.

Courses and Divisions

There will be two courses offered:

  • 3 hr Map Trek - collect as many points as you can in 3 hours
  • 6 hr Map Trek - collect as many points as you can in 6 hours

Participants can compete in the following divisions:

  • Junior Mixed (Under 20, 1-5 person teams, All-male or mixed Male-Female)
  • Junior Female (Under 20, 1-5 person teams, All-female)
  • Open Mixed (20-49, 1-5 person teams, All-male or mixed Male-Female)
  • Open Female (20-49, 1-5 person teams, All-female)
  • Masters Mixed (50 and up, 1-5 person teams, All-male or mixed Male-Female)
  • Masters Female (50 and up, 1-5 person teams, All-female)

Results from this event count toward the Series Championship.


Early Registration Regular Registration Late Registration
Course Length 3h 6h 3h 6h 3h 6h
Junior (under 20) or Student under 25 $20 $34 $22 $37 $25 $43
Adult (20+) $33 $57 $36 $63 $41 $71
  • Early Registration - Before Sep 12        
  • Regular Registration - Before Sep 29
  • Late Registration - At the Event

See who has signed up here.

What to Bring

Wear what you would normally wear for a strenuous hike in May in Northern California.  Here are some tips:

  • Sturdy shoes with a good tread
  • Long pants or gaiters
  • Visor hat
  • Compass (you may rent one for $1 + $5 refundable deposit if you don’t have one)
  • ePunch (SI stick with 60 control capacity - you may rent one for $5 if you don’t have one)
  • Pen and maybe a highlighter marker (for marking up your map and making notes)
  • Water (22 oz bottle, or a small camelbak)
  • On the go snacks (energy bar, gel, etc.)

Race for Less - Volunteer!

$15 cash back if you help us out getting the controls picked up after.  Email Event Director if interested.


There is a $10 per car parking fee (bring cash) - carpool to save both kinds of green.

Map and Directions

24 miles west of Los Banos and 20 miles east of Gilroy on Dinosaur Point Road off of Highway 152. The park is located along the scenic, historic Pacheco Pass; on the west side of San Luis Reservoir, east of Hollister. 
Address: 38787 Dinosaur Point Road, Hollister, CA 95023
GPS: 37.062792, -121.214941


Basalt Campground

The only campground located near San Luis Reservoir, Basalt has 79 developed family campsites in a shaded, wind-protected valley.  Some sites will accommodate trailers and motor homes up to about 30 feet.  Each site has a fire ring and table with water faucets nearby.  New restroom facilities offer hot pay showers and flushable toilets.  A dump station is available to registered campers.  Reservations can be made year round.

San Luis Creek Campground

One of two campgrounds on the O'Neill Forebay, San Luis Creek has 53 sites that offer water and electric hook-ups.  Some of the sites border the shoreline.  The campground has very little shade and is in an open area susceptible to wind.  No flush toilets or showers are available.  Each site has a level pad, fire ring, and a table.  Some sites will accommodate trailers and motor homes up to about 30 feet.  A new 5 mile accessible walking trail follows the O'Neill Forebay shoreline and connects the campground to the North Beach day-use area.  A dump station is available for registered campers. All boats must be removed from the water by sunset.   Reservations can be made year round.

Medeiros Campground

The Medeiros primitive campsites are located along the southern shoreline of O'Neill Forebay.  A limited number of fire rings, shade ramadas, and tables are available.  Drinking water is available in 3 locations.  There are no flush toilets or showers, however chemical toilets are available.  All boats must be removed from the water by sunset.  Medeiros campground is available on a first - come first - serve basis.

Reserve here