• GWG7+J4 Rancho Murieta, California

2019 Nav-X Challenge @ Deer Creek Hills



Quick Info

  • Date: Sunday, May 19th, 2019

  • Location: Deer Creek Hills

  • Event Director: Vicki Woolworth (contact)

  • Course Director: Mats Jansson

  • Courses: 2 & 4h Map Trek

    If you prefer to stay mostly on trails, or would like less difficult navigation, check out our Adventure Run (same place and date)

List of Registered Entrants

Follow this link to an updated list of entrants.

Event Summary

The 2nd event in the 2019 Nav-X Challenge Series brings us back to the oak studded hills and prairie of Deer Creek Hills Preserve. The event will be held in the expansive and wild preserve just North of Rancho Murieta, 30 minutes East of Sacramento. This is a park with very limited access to the public - seize the opportunity to experience it! Using a 4,500 acre map created in 2016 and further improved in 2018, local Mats Jansson is designing the courses. It should be a real treat whether you are looking for a scenic hike or an endurance race against some of the best in the West. Make a weekend of it - attend Gold Country Orienteer's classic 7-course orienteering event (National Ranking Event = NRE) on Saturday May 18th in the early afternoon (allows Saturday morning drive for bay area folks).


Time Long Course - 4h Short Course - 2h
8:30 Event Check-in (and Day of Event Registration)
9:30 Event Check-in (and Day of Event Registration)
9:45 Event Briefing
10:00 Mass Start First timer Clinic
10:45 Event Briefing
11:00 Mass Start
13:00 Finish
13:30 2h Awards
14:00 Finish
14:30 4h Awards

New to Map Trekking or Rogaining?

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

Deer Creek Hills' 4,500 acres of rolling grasslands and oak woodland preserves the heritage of working ranches and provides endless opportunities for public recreation. The oaks and grasslands also provide habitat for approximately 170 species of birds, 105 mammal species, 58 amphibians and reptiles, and an estimated 5,000 kinds of insects.

The town of Michigan Bar numbered about 15,000 people during the Gold Rush period. The town site (near the Deer Creek Hills Preserve) now hosts only a few stone chimneys. Evidence of small mining operations abounds on the preserve. Basque sheep ranchers ran their livestock here in the 1800’s.

The landscape around you is a typical, extremely scenic low foothill California landscape. The native blue oaks provide important cover for deer, coyotes, bobcats, burrowing owls, mountain lions between the valley and the mountains. Hawks, falcons, eagles, kites, owls, red-winged blackbirds, acorn and Lewis’ woodpeckers abound here.

The preserve is managed by the Sacramento Valley Conservancy.

About the Map

The map was first created in 2016 and then improved for the 2018 California Orienteering Week. The map was produced by the Gold Country Orienteers, enlisting the help of Bill Cusworth. The map S part of the map does NOT include orienteering level detail, but the contours are derived from LIDAR so they are quite accurate. The North side is very detailed and accurate. There was a fire in 2017 that is still recovering, so a small portion of the South area will be out-of-bounds and marked so on the map. The preserve is grazed, so many smaller animal trails may not be on the map, and change from year to year. Map scale is 1:15,000, meaning that 1 cm on the map is 150 m in the terrain. The contour interval (elevation between two contour lines) is 2.5 m (~8 ft).

The terrain is similar to the open terrain at Pacheco, except it is less steep. It is very runnable, and the ability to climb hills will not be the determining factor at this event. There are rock features all over, most of which will not be mapped in the Southern part. Large rock features will be mapped, and used for control locations. It is quite open with typical coastal range oak studded hills. Creeks, ponds and vernal pools will likely have water in themt. We will provide water out on the course in one or two locations.

Courses & Divisions

There will be two courses offered:

  • 2 hr Map Trek

  • 4 hr Map Trek

Participants can compete in the following divisions:

  • Junior (19 & Under, 1-5 person teams)

  • Open Female (20-49, 1-5 person teams, All-female)

  • Open Male (20-49, 1-5 person teams, All-male)

  • Open Mixed (20-49, 2-5 person teams, mixed Male-Female)

  • Masters Female (50 and up, 1-5 person teams, All-female)

  • Masters Male (50 and up, 1-5 person teams, All-male)

  • Masters Mixed (50 and up, 2-5 person teams, mixed Male-Female)

  • Family - Adults (20+) + children (12 & under)

Results from this event count toward the 2019 Series Championship.


Early fees (20% off) through March 24th (via online registration). Regular fee is March 25th - May 15th (via online registration). Day of Event Registration is cash or check only.

Discounts for orienteering club members (BAOC/GCO/etc...), $3 for adults (no member discount for juniors).  Discount applied during online registration process.

For family teams (2-hr course only), it is required to have at least one adult (20 & over) and at least one child (12 & under).  Children 12 & under race free.  Children must be registered and accompanied by an adult.

Additional fees to rent an e-punch ($5) and/or compass ($2).  Only one e-punch number or rental request is required per team.  On the registration page, please enter "0" for e-punch number if you are not the first person registering for your team. No e-punch trade-ins allowed (ie. to get a higher punch count e-punch).

Early Registration Regular Registration Day of Event Registration
Course Length 2h 4h 2h 4h 2h 4h
Junior (19 & Under) $14 $20 $16 $23 $18 $25
Adult (20+) $28 $40 $32 $45 $35 $50

Refund Policy

Refund policy: 100% refund up to 10 days before event. Future race credit 1-9 days before event. No refunds for no-show.

What to Bring

Wear what you would normally wear for a strenuous hike 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 $2)

  • ePunch (SI stick with 50 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 (enough for the time you will be out on the course)

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

Map and Directions


From Sacramento:

Take Hwy 50 to Bradshaw Exit, turn right (South) onto Bradshaw, turn left (East) onto Jackson Rd (Hwy 16), continue East, past Slough House, turn left (North) onto Latrobe Rd. Proceed about 1/2 mile east on the dirt portion of Latrobe Road, until you arrive at the corral parking area, where you will see our event flags.

From Folsom:

Take Hwy 50 to Scott Rd. Exit, turn left (South) onto Scott Rd., turn right (West) onto White Rock Rd., turn left (South) onto Scott Rd., turn left (East) onto Latrobe Rd. From Rancho Cordova – Take Jackson Rd (Hwy 16) east, turn left (North) onto Latrobe Rd. Proceed about 1/2 mile east on the dirt portion of Latrobe Road, until you arrive at the corral parking area, where you will see our event flags.

From Elk Grove:

Take Grant Line Road to Jackson Rd (Hwy 16), turn left (North) onto Latrobe Rd. Proceed about 1/2 mile east on the dirt portion of Latrobe Road, until you arrive at the corral parking area, where you will see our event flags.