4x4 Recreation - Hollister Hills

  • All vehicles are required to check in at Lower Ranch Main Entrance (7800 Cienega Road, Hollister CA 95023) to purchase day use pass, and receive gate combination for Upper Ranch and Hudner Ranch entrances. (If arriving before/after kiosk is open, use the automatic pay maching to recieve combination.)
  • Please note that on occasion, the Upper Ranch may be partially or entirely closed for special events. View a List of Current Special Events and Corresponding Closure
  • Hudner Ranch is subject to seasonal closures due to the unique adobe clay soil for public safety and natural resource protection. Always check conditions on our webpage before arriving.

Welcome to the Upper Ranch & Hudner Ranch

Four-wheeled vehicles include jeeps, trucks, and side-by-sides/ROVs.
(ATV’s or motorcycles are not allowed in these areas, only in the Lower Ranch.)

Upper Ranch

Upper Ranch - This 800-acre area offers 24 miles of trails for four-wheel drive recreation. There is three specialized areas (McCrayZ, 4x4 Obstacle Course, and Adventure Track) that provide a range of challenges and obstacles.

There are two campgrounds, Sycamore and Obstacle Course in the Upper Ranch. More information on Camping

The San Andreas Fault divides the park into two different landscapes. The Upper Ranch is entirely on the Pacific Plate, characterized with sandy granitic soil and steep terrain covered in chaparral plants like pine, sage, and sticky monkey flower. In contrast, the North American Plate has clay-rich adobe soil with rolling hills covered in grasslands and oak woodlands.

Hudner Ranch

Hudner Ranch - This 1,500-acre area offers trails that wind through rolling hills and oak grasslands with panoramic views. Please note the majority of these trails are narrow (except Hudner Pass and Valley Vista) and are recommended for shorter vehicles such as Jeep, Land Rover, Toyota and ROV’s/Side by Sides.

The San Andreas Fault divides the park into two different landscapes. Hudner Ranch is entirely on the North American tectonic plate, which is characterized by it's clay-rich adobe soil with rolling hills covered in grasslands and oak woodlands.

*Hudner Ranch is subject to seasonal closure due to the unique adobe clay soil for public safety and natural resource protection.

 


 

Directions/How it Works

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 5 miles, the main entrance is on the right at 7800 Cienega Road, Hollister CA 95023.

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.

To access the Upper Ranch and/or Hudner Ranch

  1. Pay park fees at Lower Ranch Main Entrance (day use is $5 per vehicle, camping is $10 per night per vehicle)
  2. After payment, you will recieve a gate combination.
  3. Use gate combination to enter Upper Ranch or Hudner Ranch. Upper Ranch entrance is located approximately 1 mile south on Cienega Road (look for the blue gate). Hudner Ranch entrance is located approximately 0.5 miles north of the main entrance on Cienaga Road.

*Obstacle Course Campground Directions - if you are towing a trailer or driving a RV, the recomended route to the Obstacle Course campground is to take the second right onto Foothill Road and follow to the campground.

 


 

Off Highway Vehicle Regulations

  • Trail are TWO-WAY. Slow around blind corners.
  • DO NOT DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE. All California Vehicle Code laws pertaining to driving under the influence or open containers of alcohol and marijuana apply to off-highway.
  • Vehicle registration is required. Funds generated from OHV registration are used for acquisition, development, and operation of OHV areas.
  • Driver must be 16 years or older, OR be able to reach/operate controls and directly supervised in the vehicle by a parent/guardian.
  • Off-highway vehicles are not allowed on Cienega Road.
  • Adequate muffler required; sound must be under 96 decibels.
  • Out of state Off-highway vehicle: If you are visiting California from another state and your vehicle does not have a current registration from your home state, you must purchase a California Nonresident OHV Use Permit before you recreate on public lands. A title sticker or title plate is not registration. More Information about Out of state Off-Highway Vehicles
  • To read more about OHV laws and safety, please visit our California State Parks OHV Laws/Safety page here.

 

Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROV) Specific Regulations

  • Department of Transportation approved helmet is required for driver and passengers.
  • Seat belt/shoulder belt is required.
  • Passengers are not allowed to occupy a seat not designed for a passenger. Passengers are required to have their back against the seatback and can grasp handhold with the seatbelt/safety harness properly fastened.

 

Park Regulations

  • Fireworks are prohibited.
  • Drones are not allowed in the park. To protect wildlife and cultural resources, and for the safety and welfare of visitors and staff, the park is closed to the use of Model Aircraft, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and Gliders in flight.
  • Motor vehicles must stay out of vegetated areas. Stay on designated trails and obey all signs.

Is the park open?
The park is open 365 days a year including holidays.

The Upper Ranch may be partially or entirely closed for special events. Click here to view the Current Special Events and Corresponding Closures.

Hudner Ranch is subject to seasonal closures due to the adobe soil for safety and to help prevent erosion. Always check conditions on our webpage before arriving. 


Does the park have wifi?
The park offers free wifi in the Lower Ranch campgrounds - Bee, Lodge, and Madrone.


What happens if I arrive after or before the kiosk has closed/open?
There is an automatic pay machine located in the Lower Ranch at the Ranger Station.


Can I reserve a camping space?
Camping is first-come, first-serve. Saving spaces is prohibited.


What are your busiest weekends?
Thanksgiving week (fourth Thursday of November) and Easter week. The earlier you arrive, the more likely you will find a camping space or day use parking. During these weeks the park usually reaches capacity and you may be turned away at the gate. Availability of parking is determined by park staff and reserving of spaces is not allowed. Camping and day use is first-come, first serve.  We appreciate your patience during this hectic time of year.


Are there any speed limits for OHVs?
Yes. The off-highway speed laws are similar to on-highway speed laws in that your speed must be reasonable and prudent for the situation. In addition, you are limited to no more than 15 mph within 50 feet of campsites, animals, or groups of people.


Is a driver's license required to operate a vehicle off-highway?
No, but if your driving privilege is suspended or revoked, you cannot operate any vehicle either on or off-highway in California.


Is there a size or age limit to operate a vehicle off-highway?
There are specific ROV laws pertaining to ages of operators (ROV FAQ). There is no law that specifies a minimum age to operate other OHVs, but operators of all OHVs must be able to reach and operate all controls. There are safety training and supervision laws for youth operating ATVs that are age specific. Please refer to the ATV Laws section listed below.


Can I be arrested for DUI when driving my OHV off-highway?
Yes. The laws regarding driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs apply throughout California, both on and off-highway. The California Vehicle Code prohibits open alcoholic beverage containers in OHVs, including passengers.

More FAQs