8am to Sunset
Camping is not available at this park.
Burleigh H. Murray Ranch Park Property
8am to Sunset
Dogs are allowed on a 6 foot leash on the service road only.
Driving Directions to Burleigh H. Murray RanchThe park is on the San Mateo Coast near Half Moon Bay, just over a mile south of the intersection of Highways 1 and 92.
Turn east off Highway 1 onto Higgins-Purisima Road. Proceed just over one-and-a-half miles to the park. A small graveled parking area is set aside for visitors just inside the park gate.
Online reservations are not available for this park.
Upcoming Park Events
No events scheduled at this moment.
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Winter Storm ClosureDue to damage from high winds and heavy rains, Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park is currently closed.
Looking for your next adventure?
California State Parks Backpacking Adventures offers naturalist-led backpacking trips through the Santa Cruz Mountains each summer. Online registration opens March 1 at 9am.
Artists, we have a special backpacking trip option for you: the Big Basin Artabout! Ten artists will be chosen to particpate in the first backpacking trip in Big Basin since the CZU Lightning Complex Fire on June 3-4, 2023. Artists will recieve a $2500 stipend and will create an artistic piece in the medium of their choice inspired by the trip to be displayed in the park! The deadline to apply is April 28, 2023. For more information, visit the Big Basin Artabout website.
To sign up for guided hikes and other park programs in Santa Cruz-area State Parks, visit www.santacruzstateparks.as.me to see the schedule and make reservations.
Visiting Burleigh H. Murray Ranch
Purchased by the State of California in 1983, this historic ranch property is hidden in a pristine valley south of Half Moon Bay. The area offers solitude, as well as groves of mature eucalyptus and a rich assortment of wildlife. With the addition of Rancho Raymundo, the park property extends from Higgins Purisima Road up to Skyline Boulevard.
Burleigh H. Murray, for whom the acquisition is named, was born on the ranch July 19, 1865. His father, who founded the ranch, came to California from Vermont in 1852 following the cry of gold. He worked in the mines near Auburn in Placer County until 1857 when he settled at the present Murray Ranch with some sheep and cattle and began a successful dairy farm.
The Mills Barn and surrounding outbuildings are maintained in a condition of arrested decay. Mills Barn hugs the hill beside perennial Mills Creek. This historic structure dates back to the late 1800s.
Originally 200 feet in length and capable of housing 100 dairy cows, the Mills Barn is one of two known examples of a bank barn in California. Bank barns are named based on their construction, typically built into the side of a hill or a bank which allows the two-story structure to be accessed via the bank. The foundation of the barn and other buildings, including an unreinforced arched stone bridge, rely on Italian masonry techniques dating back to Roman times.
The current trail follows the old ranch roach winding its way alongside Mills Creek for about one mile up to a 1930s bungalow.
At this point, the trail veers off the road and bends down to cross the creek allowing visitors to look back in time while viewing the Mills Barn and surrounding outbuildings.
Basic Park Information
WATER is NOT available in the park.
DOGS are permitted on the service road only and must be controlled with a leash of no more than six feet at all times.
FIRES are not allowed.
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.
CAMPING is not available at this park. Nearby state park campgrounds include Half Moon Bay State Beach and Butano State Park.
PERMITS are required for all events and weddings. A photography permit is required for all commercial photography.
- Wedding & Special Events Permits:
- Film & Photography Permits: