Hollister Hills SVRA
Here are some guidelines for people visiting Hollister Hills SVRA:
What is open now?
- Hollister Hills SVRA is open to vehicular traffic and parking is very limited at the following areas:
- Upper Ranch (4x4)
- Lower Ranch (dirt bike and ATV)
- Mudstone Ranch (hiking, bicycling, and equestrian)
- Hudner Ranch
- Bring exact Day Use Fee of $5 or ATM/Credit Card for Automated Pay Machine. Please bring your patience as there could be a line.
- There are minimal large parking spaces for trailers – if possible, bring a single vehicle or small trailer
- When park reaches full capacity, the main gate will be closed. Do not park on Cienega Road to wait for availability.
- No bike/ATV pick ups.
- PLEASE NOTE: During busy holiday weekends, it is common for the park to reach full capacity. Availability of parking is determined by park staff. Day use is first come, first service. Please follow us on social media (see icon links above) for the latest updates before coming. We appreciate your patience. Please be safe and have fun.
- Camping is now available at Hollister Hills SVRA. Madrone, Bee, and Walnut campgrounds are open for camping while Lodge and Radio Ridge are open for day use only. Group campsites will remain closed. For more information about camping, visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping. All camping is on a first-come-first-served basis.
What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
At this park:
- GP Track Special Use Area
- Faultline Powersports Store
- Area 5 Special Use Area
- Many campgrounds across the state remain closed until further notice. Some campgrounds have started to reopen with modifications. For more information, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping.
- High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
- Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, please see below:
- Stay Local: Stay close to home. Parking is very limited. Do not take road trips to parks and beaches or to neighboring states.
- Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails.
- Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
- Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
- Stay Covered: The state now requires you to wear a face covering in most indoor settings and public outdoor spaces when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more from people outside of your immediate household. For details, please visit CDPH’s guidance here. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.
Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
Learn more about red sticker riding season.
Park Hours/ Vehicle Operation Hours: day use 8am-8pm; limited camping
Current Conditions (Updated Daily) Hollister Hills Weather Monitoring Station
Fees: day use is $5 per vehcicle. CAMPING is TEMPORARILY CLOSED due to COVID19. Camping is $10 per night and per vehicle. (Camping is first-come/first-serve.)
Lower Ranch (motorcycles & atv's); (Georeferenced pdf map)
Upper Ranch (four-wheel vehicles)
Events: events are temporarily canceled/postponed due to COVID19. View our events calendar.
Dogs are allowed on a tended 6 foot leash or confined in an enclosed vehicle, tent or pen. Dogs, other than service animals, are prohibited on all motorized trails. Dogs are allowed in the Nature area and Mudstone Ranch.
Directions: Hollister Hills SVRA is located approximately 5 miles south of the town of Hollister. From Union Road, head south on Cienega Road. At stop sign, make a right to continue on Cienega Road. Drive approximately 4 miles, the main entrance is on the right. The park is divided into different areas based on the type of recreation (motorcycle & ATV, four-wheeled vehicles, and non-motorized.) Each area has a separate entrance located along Cienega Road. Everyone must check in at the Main Entrance to pay entrance fees and receive gate combinations if needed at 7800 Cienega Road, Hollister CA 95045.
- Lower Ranch (dirt bike & atv area) - Granitic, Adobe, Renz (See map)
- Tracks Lower Ranch: MX, Vintage, Minibike, Beginner, and Intermediate
- Upper Ranch (4x4 area)
- Mudstone Ranch (hiking, bicycling, equestrian)
- Hudner Ranch (4x4 area)
CLOSED - For public safety and resource protection, everything on adobe soil is closed during wet/muddy conditions
Welcome to Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area
Hollister Hills State Vehicle Recreation Area (SVRA) is California State Parks’ first SVRA. Located in the Gabilan Mountains, just an hour’s drive south from San Jose, this unique SVRA features over 6,800 acres of scenic and varied terrain. Visitors are drawn to the natural beauty of the park’s oak woodlands, rolling hills, lush canyons, and seasonal creeks with elevations ranging from 660 feet to 2,425 feet. Hollister Hills SVRA offers numerous off-highway vehicle (OHV) opportunities as well as designated hiking, bicycling, and equestrian trails.
The park straddles the San Andreas Fault. The North American tectonic plate (North East side) consists of clay-rich adobe soil with rolling hills covered in grassland and oak woodlands. The Pacific tectonic plate (South West) consists of granitic soil with steeper terrain with pine, sage, and chaparral taking root in the sandy soil. The Pacific and North American tectonic plates have been sliding past each other for 30 million years at a current rate of about 1.5 inches per year. To read more about this geological gem, click here.
Howard Harris created the foundation of what today is known as Hollister Hills SVRA. Howard’s great grandfather, Jesse Whitton, was a civilian surveyor for the John C. Fremont expedition that traveled through the area in 1846. After the expedition, Jesse Whitton returned to the area and successfully purchased 600 acres for $50 per acre. The land was passed on through the family and finally to Howard Harris in 1959, who became the last private owner of the property. In the following years, Howard purchased more of the surrounding properties and built many of the park’s trails and roads. He used the land for a number of activities including mining, farming, ranching, hunting, scientific studies, and OHV recreation.
OHVs were first used on the ranch in 1947 when Howard established the Bird Creek Hunting Club. Jeeps, motorcycles, and “tote-goats” were used for transportation to get around the ranch. During the 1950s, private OHV activities were held and by 1970, the ranch was officially opened for public OHV recreation. Howard managed the land as a motorcycle park until October 1, 1975, when the land was sold to the State of California and became Hollister Hills SVRA.