The 1st event in the 2017 Map Trek / Navigation Race Challenge series brings us to a beautiful-but-rugged primitive area just 45 minutes from central Tucson.  Box Canyon is a wild area with oak studded hills, complex canyons, and grassy valleys along the Arizona Trail near the ghost town of Greaterville, AZ, adjacent to the proposed Rosemont Mine area.  Using a map produced by the Tucson Orienteering Club under the direction of Ludwig Hill, course setter Jeff Brucker will be treating us to a Map Trekking adventure sure to please any navigation sports enthusiast, whether you are looking for a scenic 1 hr hike in the hills, or a 3 hr endurance race against some of the best athletes in Southern Arizona.


Welcome to the Southwest

Rolling Foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains Near Box Canyon (Photo by Max Suter)


Updates:  Check here for a list of updates:

  • Changed: Pre-registration extended (3/30).
  • Added: Course setter notes (3/5).

On-Line Pre-Registration Deadline: Online pre-registration has been extended - it will now close at 8pm March 30th. After that, you must register on day of event ($2 late registration fee).  We encourage pre-registration so we know how many maps to print. We will make a few extra maps, but to be sure you have a map reserved, please pre-register. If you are unsure if you will be able to come, pre-register anyway. We would rather have a few unused extra maps than have someone show up and we are out of maps.  To see the list of pre-registrants, click hereNote:  Pre-registration is now closed; please register when you arrive at the event.

Late-Registration on Day of Event: You can register on-site the morning of the event, but there will be a $2 late-registration fee.

Course Information:  To see the course setter notes, click here.

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.

Administration:  Claudia Rickel will be the meet director for this event.  She can use some help at registration from 7:45 to 8:45 for the Navigation Race. So if you are going to do the 10:00am Map Trek and can come early to help, please contact Claudia at 520 five four four 9436 or crickel07 at gmail dot com .  If you have questions about the course, contact Jeff at 520 eight eight six 2528 or b48jeff at gmail dot com.

Fees:  The event costs are as listed in this chart.  Every person (all courses, all meets) is required to carry some type of safety whistle so please bring a whistle or purchase one when you arrive.  There will be an additional $2 late-registration fee if you register after pre-registration closes.

New to Map Trekking or Navigation Racing?  Map Trekking is a “Navigation Sport” that has elements of a few other sports and activities like Trail Running, Adventure Racing, Fell Running (XC hill running), Hiking, Orienteering, Rogaining, and Geo Caching.  More specifically, Map Trekking is a time-based challenge, usually 2 hrs or more in length (1-hour for beginners), 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).  There are trails, but much of the travel is off-trail, except for the beginner course. 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.

Directions:    The GPS coordinates for start/finish are 31.792805, -110.747214.  From I-10 (Exit 281), take State Road 83 south for 17.0 miles where you turn right onto Greaterville Road (which leads to Madera Canyon and Continental).  After about 3 miles you reach a junction where you take the right fork (Box Canyon Road, improved dirt road).  Follow the orange and white signs to the meet site.

Schedule - Navigation Race:

  • 7:45AM-8:45AM check-in (and late-registration)
  • 8:45AM map handout and briefing
  • 9:00AM mass start
  • 11:00AM 2-hour finish (if overtime, you are automatically in 3-hour)
  • 12:00PM 3-hour finish (10 point overtime penalty per minute, or partial minute)
  • 12:15PM Overtime Disqualification
  • 12:45PM Awards
  • 1:00PM Control retrieval

Schedule - Map Trek (Non-Competitive, Recreational):

  • 8:15AM-9:45AM check-in and late-registration (if taking clinic be sure to register by 9:15)
  • 9:15AM Land Navigation clinic for beginners
  • 10:00AM mass start
  • 12:00PM finish
  • 12:15PM we send out grumpy search teams for anyone not yet back

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/Free Land Nav Clinic: Go directly to Registration.  Ask for instructions and introductory information.  To attend the free land navigation clinic, arrive before 9:15 AM, when the clinic starts.

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.