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
Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community from COVID-19 by following these prevention measures while recreating in California’s State Park System:
- Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a back-up plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick.
- Plan Ahead – Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer.
- Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. Learn more at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
- Keep Your Distance – Avoid crowds. If there are too many people at a park or beach, please visit on a different day.
Wear a Mask – State Parks continues to follow guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health:
- Everyone: In indoor settings, such as museums and visitor centers, face coverings are required regardless of vaccination status.
- Fully Vaccinated Persons: Face coverings are not required outdoors except when attending crowded outdoor events.
- Unvaccinated Persons: Face coverings are required outdoors any time physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Leave No Trace – Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.
What is open now?
- All day use facilities are now open to the public.
- Camping is open.
- The park’s Visitor Center is now open.
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.