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Desert Orienteering Festival - San Diego Orienteering Club

Our friends from the San Diego Orienteering Club are hosting a weekend of 5 events over 2 days in sunny Anza Borrego State Park, Jan 19-20.

Details are pasted below, and here:

This January 19-20th, San Diego Orienteering presents the 2019 Desert Orienteering Festival, a weekend of unique navigation competitions in the beautiful Anza-Borrego Desert State Park near Borrego Springs, CA. Come join us for a thrilling event, packed with 5 different races in 2 exciting days.

Located 90 miles east of San Diego, this rugged, open desert terrain is like nothing else in the world. Sunny, warm winter days attract competitors from around California and beyond looking to kick start their spring season and enjoy the region’s many attractions.

We are honored that this year’s event will act as a destination training competition for the US junior and senior orienteering teams!

Attendance is limited due to permit. Early registration fees through Nov 15th.

Registration and latest details are available at


Saturday 10am: A mass-start race with a few twists. Long "Goat" (10k) and Short "Lamb" (5k). Race briefing at 9:45, Mass Start at 10:00, individual starts until 11:00, course closes at 3:00

Saturday, 1pm: Trail Orienteering. Slow down and test your precision map reading skills. Starts 1:00 to 2:30. Course closes at 4pm. Classes: Open, Paralympic

Saturday, 5:30pm: Night-O Motala Sprint. Experience the desert under the full moon! Bring a headlamp. Three short loops. Starts 5:30 to 6:30, course closes at 7:30. If you get lost, head toward the bonfire.

Sunday, 9am: Traditional point-to-point orienteering courses, starts at 9am to 11am, course closes at 1:00. Classes: Beginner (Yellow), Intermediate (Orange), Advanced - Brown, Green, Red, Blue.

Sunday 2pm: One hour to choose your own route (aka Score-O) through the famous slot canyons in the desert "maze". Starts from 1:00 to 2:00, course closes at 3:00


Camping is available at the site for free. Bring water. The quaint hidden gem of Borrego Springs, CA is nearby and the tourist mecca of Julian, CA is just up the hill. Reserve soon as rooms fill up this time of year.


Borrego Springs is a gorgeous 2-3 hour drive from San Diego, Ontario, and Palm Springs airports. Broader itineraries could make use of Orange County, Los Angeles, or Burbank airports. We regularly have competitors drive from Phoenix, Tucson, and San Francisco.


Event HQ is at 33.173267, -116.206089.

From the West: Take Highway 78 through Julian and go 10.5 miles past the junction with S-3 (Yaqui Pass Road) and 1.5 miles past the junction of Highway 78 with Borrego Springs Road. Look for the brown Buttes Pass and Orienteering signs on the left. Turn off Highway 78 onto the dirt Buttes Pass Road and go 1.6 km (one mile) to the junction and go right 0.7 km (0.4 mi.) to the camping area and Competition Center on the broad saddle.

From the East: Take Highway 78 about 7 miles past Ocotillo Wells and look for the Buttes Pass and Orienteering signs on the right and follow Buttes Pass Road as described above.

The route will be signed from Route 78. Expect sand and no cell service.

Earlier Event: December 9
The Computer Side of Map Making
Later Event: January 19
Multnomah Village Urban Night-O