• Dinkey Creek (map)
  • 37.161473, -119.200428

2017 Nav-X Challenge @ Dinkey Creek


Quick Info

  • Date: Saturday, July 22, 2017
  • Location: Dinkey Creek, California
  • Event Director: Andrew Peterson (info@navxchallenge.org)
  • Course Directors: Mats Jansson
  • Courses:  4 & 8h Map Trek
  • Max 75 participants.  Register early, there will be no day of registration!  Registration closes end of day Wednesday, July 19th.

List of Registered Entrants

Follow this link to an updated list of entrants.

Event summary

Race or trek in the Sierra Nevada mountains east of Fresno at elevations between 6500 and 8000 feet! The race area is relatively runnable pine forest with low to moderate undergrowth with significant areas of interspersed granite slabs. Steepness is moderate by California standards, with some dramatic terrain and spectacular views mixed in. The map will be a slightly improved USGS topo developed in 2016 for the North American Rogaining Championship, and at 1:20000 scale.

Come experience the true wildness of Sierra Nevada mountains to challenge yourself.  If you participated last year and never got to see the “more runnable” southern part of the map, this year’s event uses that southern part of the map, so it will be new terrain for many.

This event counts toward the NAV-X Challenge Series, and with the longer durations come more points!  This event will be limited to 75 participants.  Pre-registration required - no same day registration.


July 21 (Friday):

Camping is allowed near the start/finish area (permit not required per National Forest)

July 22 (Saturday):

   08:00    Check-in opens, maps available for 8 hr division

   09:15    Briefing, 8 hour division; intention sheets due

   09:30    Start, 8 hour division

   10:15    Briefing, 4 hr division; intention sheets due

   10:30    Start, 4 hr division

   13:30    Refreshments available

   14:30    Finish, 4 hours

   15:00    Absolute deadline to finish, 4 hours

   15:15    Award ceremony, 4 hours

   17:30    Finish, 8 hours

   18:00    Absolute deadline to finish, 8 hours

   18:15    Award ceremony, 8 hours

   19:00 Dinner


July 23 (Sunday):

08:00    Control pickup begins

11:00    Control pickup ends

12:00    Event area closed


New to Rogaining or Map Trekking?

Map Trekking, also known as Rogaining, 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 Geocaching.  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 Info

The Sierra Nevada mountains of California are world famous for their beauty and wildness. However, almost all of the upper elevations is federally designated Wilderness and therefore forbidden for organized group events or races. We have identified one of the last remaining large, permittable regions around 7000 feet and are excited to bring you the 2017 NAV-X Challenge #3 in this dramatic venue! The race area has moderate undergrowth and steepness, by California standards, and is large enough that top 8 hour teams will find it difficult to clear the course.

Moderate (local) steepness aside, you will definitely need your climbing legs for this race. The event area is characterized by major canyon systems divided by ridges, with elevation differences of 1000 feet or more. The vegetation is largely pine forest, with some bare granite slab or open sandy ground on the mountaintops and some canyon sides. Undergrowth is patchy but will be a factor, so leg protection is suggested; deadfall can also be an impediment.  You may also encounter limited areas of alpine meadow, talus slope, dense stands of young trees, or thick chaparral. You will not encounter poison oak, which does not grow at these elevations. There is a road network, although some of the smaller use roads may not be well maintained or mapped.  

There is currently legislation in progress which would convert around half of the terrain for this race into Wilderness, rendering it inaccessible for future racing. The timeline for this decision and change is in the next 2 to 5 years. Come race in the Sierras while you can! If you’d like to take action to attempt to retain the ability to produce group events in this area, before or after the race, contact the event directors.


About the Map

The map for this race will be an improved USGS topo in scale 1:20,000. There are three vegetation colors layered onto the contours, using satellite photo. This map was used successfully at the 2016 North American Rogaining championship, and is owned by the Bay Area Orienteering Club.


Courses and Divisions

There will be two courses offered:

  • 4 hr Map Trek - collect as many points as you can in 4 hours

  • 8 hr Map Trek - collect as many points as you can in 8 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 NAV-X Challenge Series Championship.



This event is free to participants.  We will, however, ask participants to contribute toward the Saturday night dinner (instructions during the online registration process).  Registration closes end of day Wednesday July 19th at midnight.

What to Bring

Because of the length and extreme terrain in this event, certain gear items are required for safety in this event. Required gear for all divisions is:

  • Course map

  • Compass

  • Whistle

  • Watch

  • E-punch stick (may be rented for $5)

  • possibly, cell phone (to be determined depending on coverage)

In addition, the following items are additionally required for the 8 hour division:

  • Working headlamp or flashlight

  • 1.5L (50 oz) water-carrying capacity

  • Emergency blanket

In addition to this required gear, we recommend the following items:

  • Visor hat, sunscreen, and other sun protection as you prefer

  • Pen and/or highlighter marker (for marking up your map and making notes)

  • 3L (100 oz.) water carrying capacity

  • 200-250 calories of food per hour

  • Sturdy trail running shoes with good traction

  • Leg protection (long pants, knee or ankle gaiters)

  • On the go snacks (energy bar, gel, etc.)


We need help - volunteer!

There are two things we need help with.  Saturday night dinner, and control pickup on Sunday morning.  If enough people help with control pickup, each person will only need to get 3-4 each, and you can be on your way home before lunch.  $10 Chipotle gift certificates to each person helping out - there’s your meal for the drive home!  Sign up for a volunteer role here.


Map and Directions

The staging/start/finish area will be just off the Tamarack Sno-park lot on CA highway 168, 11.2 miles east of Shaver Lake, CA. Coordinates for this location are 37.1626, -119.2026.