The Dowdy entrance is open Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, from May through September. Local conditions can close this entrance such as extreme fire danger.
The road will only be open for vehicle travel from 8 am until sunset. Any day use vehicles parked in the Dowdy parking lot after sunset can be ticketed and locked in overnight. Hours are subject to change based on staffing levels. Be aware this entrance is at the end of a 7 mile dirt road that can be closed if conditions are not safe for vehicle travel.
The Dowdy Ranch/Bell's Station entrance is located off Highway 152, five miles east of the 152/156 Interchange at the Bell's Station Restaurant Road, located on the north side of Highway 152. Turn left and proceed seven miles over unpaved gravel road to the Dowdy Ranch Park entrance. For hiking maps for the Dowdy Entrance please go to the Maps page.
This entrance is open only from 8am to Sunset for Day Use. The gate at Bell's Station and at the Visitor Center will be locked every night so there is no nightime access. There is no parking allowed on Kaiser-Aetna road.
Note: Staffing is limited at Dowdy Ranch Visitor Center which can cause the Bell's Station Gate to be opened later in the morning usually 9am. If the Visitor Center is closed you must self-register using the "Self Registration & Fee Payment" envelopes provided. Display the completed permit on the dashboard of your vehicle.
The Dowdy Ranch Entrance does not have any developed camping facilities available. You can leave your car overnight if you register to backpack, bicycle, or horse camp at least 1/2 mile beyond Dowdy Ranch Day Use Area. If you leave your vehicle for an extended period of time you will not be able to leave the park until the entrance facility is open. Dogs are not allowed beyond the Day Use Area and are not allowed on trails.
Weather conditions at this entrance vary throughout the year. During the dry season temperatures may reach over 100 degrees Farenheight. Please be prepared for hot weather by carrying enough water and food for your visit. For local weather conditions go to NOAA Spot Forcast for Dowdy Ranch Entrance