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Catherine Creek

Event overview

Catherine Creek, located in the sunny eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge near Hood River, offers superb orienteering terrain.  Along with some ankle twisting rocks and enthusiastic patches of poison oak, you can experience lots of micro terrain features, steep hills, depressions, sparse oak woodlands, and an ability to travel in almost any direction. 



Maps will be handed out from 10am until noon. Persons participating will start as they are ready.



As with all CROC meets, beginners are welcome.  Beginner clinics will be offered as needed.


Registration and other costs

The event is is free and open to the public.

Everyone needs to check in and out at the start and finish for safety reasons.


Course Setter's Notes


Poison oak is present at Catherine Creek.  Stream areas may have patches of poison oak which is also found around many trees. We will place controls in places where they are not directly in contact with poison oak. It is best to wear long pants to prevent allergic reactions.

Water: We will have a water stop at a distant control on the longest course, as we anticipate the weather will be hot.

Toilets: The Forest Service sometimes puts a port-a-potty at Catherine Creek during the summer. Best to bring your own TP in case they have run out. Stop in Bingen, WA for a bathroom stop just in case.


Controls will be orange and white orienteering bags with a punch to mark your card.


Beginner Training Short Course:  (1.2km) This course will use the developed path area S. of the highway. Map is 1:5,000 with 5m contours. The paved trails pass through an area of rough open land with patches of trees and in the lower section though two areas of thicker forest (there is some poison oak in large bush clumps). Details: Straight line distance is 1.5 km. Altitude gain is 30 meters. There are a total of 7 controls with the longest leg between controls being about 250m and the shortest leg about 75m.

Beginner Longer Course:  (2.2km) This course continues beyond the above course for another following some of the clear, but less developed trails north of the road. Controls are on features designed to give participants a good sample of the basic orienteering symbols and placement of the controls. Total straight line distance is: 2.5 km Altitude gain is 65 meters and there are a total of 12 controls with the longest leg being about 250m and the shortest 75m.

Intermediate/Advanced Training Courses:

These courses will cover the rough open land N. of the Highway, on both sides of Catherine Creek. This is an area with patches of open trees, broken ground and a number of low cliffs. The controls are such that in some cases you will have to choose your trail to go around the cliffs. The large cliffs are impassable and are off limits! There are trails on the maps showing definite game trails that will take you safely through gaps in the cliff areas. Maps are: 1: 10,000 scale with 5m contours.   There will be 3 course choices:

    •    Short Course (Yellow to Orange): About 3.4km, altitude change about 130m, with 12 controls, longest leg about 300m. One water stop is shown on the map.
    •    Medium Course (Green): About 4.4km, altitude change about 130m, with 15 controls, longest leg about 400m. One water stop is shown on the map.
    •    Long Course (Red): About 6 km, altitude change about 120m, with 17 controls, longest leg about 400m. One water stop is shown on the map.

Punch Cards: Although this is not an officially timed event, we will place your start time on the punch cards to post informal times for those who wish. Times will be posted on the CROC website.

Post event camping and BBQ potluck

Meet directors Jill and Rick McBee will generously open their home and property to host a Saturday night camp out and barbecue potluck. Please give them an RSVP at the email below if you would like to attend.


Sunday Hood River street Score-O

On Sunday, maps of the Hood River Score-O will be available for a “see Hood River” on your own tour. We will have an informal urban score-O on the hilly streets of Hood River.



Meet directors: Jill and Rick McBee

Map and Directions

  1. Catherine Creek is located 7 miles east of Hood River on the Washington side of the Columbia River, just off Highway 14.
  2. Take Interstate 84 from Portland to Exit 64 at the town of Hood River.
  3. Once off the exit, turn left under the freeway and cross the toll bridge (75 cents toll each way).
  4. On the Washington side of the Columbia River, turn East (that will be to the right) onto highway 14 and follow the road straight through the next small town, which is Bingen.
  5. Continue on east along Highway 14 for about 5.8 miles and you will see a sign that says “Old Highway 8”. Turn left at this sign and follow the road as it winds past a small lake and then goes upwards along the cliffs above Highway 14.
  6. In about 1.4 miles you will come to a parking area on the left hand side of the road. The orienteering tent will be there and should be obvious.


Earlier Event: August 27
24 hour Rogaine, Sierra Nevada
Later Event: August 30
Zer-O Series - Hoyt Arboretum