Orienteering in the wild west!  Tucson O Club is hosting a fun-filled morning of orienteering in Slavin Gulch, near Tombstone on SATURDAY, April 19, 2014.  All skill levels will be represented on classic style point-to-point orienteering courses.  There are nice views and great terrain for navigating with wonderful opportunities to hike or run along sandy washes. Enjoy the beautiful rock formations that you can travel through, around or over.  Be sure to  sure to bring water and snacks to round out your enjoyment.  After the meet, you can stop at Old Tombstone to see the sights and have a beer or sarsaparilla. And don't forget - you can bring a friend for free if they are new to orienteering!

Rock Pillars

Rock Pillars at Slavin Gulch - Photo by Larry Petersen

Several volunteers have come together to make it all happen.  Peg Davis and Nancy Coker have volunteered to co-direct the meet.  Larry Pedersen has set the courses and Jeff Coker has volunteered to vet them.

Courses and Map:  The Slavin Gulch map is a full color, 1:10000 scale, with 20 ft. contours. The courses will cover all skill levels and include White (1.5 km), Yellow (3.0 km), Orange (4.0 km), Green (5.0 km), and Red (5.3 km).  Courses will be offered both competitive or recreational, and you may go out on a second course for free after finishing your first course.  Water will be available on the orange, green and red courses, but please bring your own water if going on the white or yellow courses. 

Large Groups:  If you are planning to bring a large group of more than five people, please let the course setter, Larry Pedersen, know so that we can reserve enough maps for you. Larry’s phone number is 570-690-6638.

Youth Groups: All participants under 18 must provide a waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian.  If your group plans to bring a minor without their parent/guardian, then please download a copy of the Waiver and Permission to Participate form from our Documents, Guides, and Forms page (look for it under the "For Orienteers" section) and have it completed and signed by a parent/guardian before you bring it with you to the event.  For more details, see our article about the waiver form for minors.

Directions:  Take I-10 eastbound from Tucson to exit 303, a brown sign marked Benson/Tombstone.   Take Highway 80 southeast towards Tombstone, with the Dragoon Mountains on your left.  Go approximately 20 miles, turn left (east) at Middlemarch Road, at milepost 315.  You are just short of Tombstone.  Go 10 miles (6 cattle guards), and Middlemarch becomes forest road 345.  Turn left when you see the 345 sign.  Cross another cattle guard and you are now on road 687 heading north.  Follow the orienteering signs to the event area.  Allow two hours from Tucson.  There is a big Safeway on your way in Benson.  Tombstone offers a number of family-owned motels plus a new Holiday Inn Express conveniently located just south of Middlemarch Road, on Highway 80.


Parking: Park in established camping areas, along roadway shoulders, or perpendicular to and within one car-length of the road.  This is a heavy-use area and is regularly patrolled by USFS enforcement personnel.


  • Classic courses - members of any recognized orienteering club: $5/individual, $8/team.
  • Nonmembers: $10/individual, $15/team.
  • For motala fees, see the special section above.
  • Compasses rent for $1.
  • Safety whistles sell for $1.  Every person, all courses, all meets is required to carry some type of safety whistle.

Friend-For-Free: Members may invite one guest for free to this event.  For details and restrictions, click here.


  • 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.  Registration.  Express check-in for members.
  • 9:00 a.m.  Courses open.
  • 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Route choice reviews.
  • 12:00 p.m.  Courses close.  Everyone must be back by then.  Begin control retrieval (orienteering practice).

Check-In: To insure that all are safe, everyone, whether finished with the course or not, must check in formally at Start/Finish before courses close and before leaving the meet site.

Newcomers: Go directly to Registration.  Ask for instructions and introductory information.

Route Choice Reviews: Orienteers love to talk about alternate routes and their advantages and disadvantages.  If you would like to discuss your choices after you do the course, there will be advanced orienteers near the Start/Finish area who would enjoy going over your route with you.