Dowdy Entrance

Closure Notice due to the SCU Lightning Complex Fire:
As of 08/18/2020 the park is closed to all activity until further notice due to the SCU Lightning Complex Fire burning in the park. If you have a reservation in our campground you will receive a refund due to the park closure. If you have any questions contact the park at (408) 779-2728 or email John.Verhoeven@parks.ca.gov

This entrance is currently closed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Please note that the Dowdy Ranch Entrance has limited hours, and is ONLY open seasonally in the summer.

*This is a remote entrance located 7 miles from Highway 152 along a dirt road.

Entrance Open: Memorial Weekend (last Monday in May) through Labor Day Weekend (first Monday in September) from 10am-6pm. *Any day use vehicles parked in the Dowdy parking lot after 6pm can be ticketed and locked in overnight. Hours are subject to change based on road conditions, extreme temperatures, staffing levels or visitor attendance.

Entrance Closed: September through May, and weekdays in the summer.

Visitor Center hours: vary depending on staffing levels.

Directions

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. 

Location: 37.112289, -121.356932

Hours

Bell's Station Gate will be open from 10am to 6pm Saturday, Sunday and Monday Holidays ONLY (Memorial Day and Labor Day) during the operating season. 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. 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.


Camping

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

Weather conditions at this entrance vary throughout the year.  During the dry season temperatures may reach over 100 degrees Farenheight.  Creeks and springs in the area are seasonal and most dry up causing water sources to become unreliable.  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