Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area

  • COVID GUIDELINES/REGULATIONS
    • To promote physical distancing, the AMOUNT OF VISITORS ALLOWED IN THE PARK IS REDUCED. When park reaches full capacity, the main gate will be closed.  Do not park on Cienega Road to wait for availability. Please follow us on social media (see icon links above) for the latest updates before coming.
    • Camping and day use is seperate in the Lower Ranch. Camping is ONLY permitted in Madrone, Walnut, and Bee Campgrounds. Day use parking ONLY in Radio Ridge and Lodge.
    • Camping and day use is first come, first serve.
    • No bike/ATV pick ups.

 

Phone Number

(831) 637-3874

Park Hours

Red Sticker Operation: OPEN October 1 through May 31. Closed June 1 through September 31.
Hours: Open 365 days a year. Vehicle operation and day use is from sunrise to sunset
Fees: Day Use $5 per vehicle. Camping $10 per vehicle per night

Dogs Allowed?

Yes
Dogs allowed in the Nature Area and Mudstone Ranch. Dogs, other than service animals, not allowed on all motorized trails.

Driving Directions to Hollister Hills SVRA

Hollister Hills SVRA has multiple entrances located along Cienega Road in Hollister – the main entrance to pay fees and receive a gate combination if needed is at 7800 Cienega Road, Hollister CA 95023. (To read more about the 4x4 park and how the gates work, visit our 4x4 Recreation Page.)

The park 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.

Camping and Lodging

Camping Reservation System coming SOON. To learn more, visit our camping site.

No online brochures available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Family Campsites
Group Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
RV Access
TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Exhibits and Programs
Fishing
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Off-Highway Vehicles
Vista Point
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Camp Store
Parking
Restrooms / Showers
Drinking Water Available

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Current Trail/Weather Conditions

Hollister Hills Weather Monitoring Station

OPEN

  • Lower Ranch (motorcycle & ATV) - Granitic, Adobe, Renz (See map)
  • Tracks Lower Ranch - TT, MX, Vintage, Minibike, Beginner, and Intermediate
  • Upper Ranch (4x4)
  • Hudner Ranch (4x4)
  • Mudstone Ranch (hiking, bicycling, equestrian)

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.