Hollister Hills SVRA
- Upper Ranch is under PARTIAL CLOSURE (view map) from Wednesday, October 6 through Sunday, October 10. To view a complete list of events, click here.
Red Sticker Operation is from OCTOBER 1 through MAY 31. Click here to learn more about red sticker riding season.
- Five Fingers in the Upper Ranch is CLOSED for the season for dust mitigation.
Click here to learn more about red sticker riding season.
Park Hours/ Vehicle Operation Hours: sunrise to sunset. Park is open 365 days a year including holidays.
Current Conditions (Updated Daily) Hollister Hills Weather Monitoring Station
Fees: day use is $5 per vehcicle. 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: We offer a variety of activities and special events. For a list of upcoming events, click here.
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 seperate entrance located along Cienega Road. Everyone must check in at the Main Entrance to pay entrance fees and recieve gate combinations if needed at 7800 Cienega Road, Hollister CA 95045.
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.