Path of the Padres

Public Boat and Hiking adventures at San Luis Reservoir

The California State Parks staff at the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area will again be leading the popular "Path of the Padres" hikes for the public on Saturdays and Sundays starting March 2nd and will run through April 7th,  2019, excluding holidays. These hikes are open to the public, ages 6 years and older, by advance reservation only. Call 209-826-1197 Monday-Friday from 9-3 for reservations. There is a fee of $20.00 per person which includes the park entry fee. Space may be limited, so early reservations are recommended. Scheduled hikes may be canceled if minimum number of hikers is not met. The hike begins at the Los Banos Creek Reservoir boat launch ramp at 8 a.m. and returns to the ramp about 3:30 p.m.

Public and School tours may be canceled due to weather on a day to day basis.

A pontoon boat carries passengers for about 30 to 40 minutes to the west end of the reservoir. Along the way, short stops are made so the hikers can observe wildlife along the shore.  This 5 mile hike is moderately strenuous and will take approximately five hours. Because Los Banos Creek is crossed several times during the hike, footwear may get wet.   Please prepare for your adventure by bringing layers, a hat, sunscreen, a lunch and a minimum of two quarts of water.

The "Path of the Padres" got its name because it was the path through the Diablo Mountain Range taken by the padres as they came from Mission San Juan Bautista, 35 miles along Los Banos Creek and into the Central Valley in the early 1800s. Later travelers along the same route were the Spanish missionaries, Californios, miners and ranchers. As early as 1805 the mission padres and accompanying soldiers washed and rested here at Los Banos del Padre Arroyo, now simply Los Banos Creek. The lunch stop is near the historic "baths," deep pools in the creek, carved in bedrock, which gave Los Banos its name. Help us find clues from the past which indicate the early existence of the Yokuts, who lived along the creek. Visitors will have the opportunity to walk in their footsteps, and see some of the special plants that grow along the creek, including beautiful displays of wildflowers. You may be lucky enough to site animals that have been drawn to its waters, such as wild pigs, deer, coyotes, pond turtles, and even bald eagles.

Throughout the hike, the natural and historic features of the area are pointed out and discussed by the hike leader. Participants have the option of taking a side trip through a canyon floor covered with 576 acres of old-growth Sycamore forest and up a steep hill for a spectacular view of the Menjoulet Canyon and the proposed site of the Los Banos Grandes Reservoir. Join us for this epic adventure and discover a part of San Luis Reservoir that most people do not get to see.

 

Path of Padres Hike

FREE 2019 ''Path of the Padres''- School Tours

School Tours for the Path of The Padres are weekly on Monday’s and Tuesdays and will start March 4th and continue through April 9th, 2019.

School tours are offered for 4th- 8th grade students free of charge.  These tours start at Los Banos Creek Reservoir boat launch at 8:00 am. and returns to the ramp by 1:30 pm.

A pontoon boat carries passengers for about 30 to 40 minutes to the west end of the reservoir. Along the way, short stops are made so the hikers can observe wildlife along the shore.  This 5 mile hike is moderately strenuous and will take approximately five hours. Because Los Banos Creek is crossed several times during the hike, footwear may get wet.   Please prepare for your adventure by bringing layers, a hat, sunscreen, a lunch and a minimum of two quarts of water.

The "Path of the Padres" got its name because it was the path through the Diablo Mountain Range taken by the padres as they came from Mission San Juan Bautista, 35 miles along Los Banos Creek and into the Central Valley in the early 1800s. Later travelers along the same route were the Spanish missionaries, Californios, miners and ranchers. As early as 1805 the mission padres and accompanying soldiers washed and rested here at Los Banos del Padre Arroyo, now simply Los Banos Creek. The lunch stop is near the historic baths," deep pools in the creek, carved in bedrock, which gave Los Banos its name. Help us find clues from the past which indicate the early existence of the Yokuts, who lived along the creek. Visitors will have the opportunity to walk in their footsteps, and see some of the special plants that grow along the creek, including beautiful displays of wildflowers. You may be lucky enough to site animals that have been drawn to its waters, such as wild pigs, deer, coyotes, pond turtles, and even bald eagles.

Please let us know what curriculum you are currently covering so our guides can make your tour experience as relevant to your group as possible. Call 209-826-1197  Monday-Friday from 9-3 for information and reservations.


Path of Padres Hike