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 an 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 daily from 8 am to 6 pm through the operating season, weather conditions permitting. The gate at Bell's Station and at the Visitor Center will be locked every night, so there is no nighttime access. There is no parking allowed on Kaiser-Aetna Rd. The Dowdy Ranch Entrance may be closed at any time due to lack of staffing, extreme weather conditions, or poor road conditions.   We strongly recommend you call San Juan Bautista SHP and speak with Park Staff before you go.   You can reach park staff every day between 10:00am to 4:30pm at 831-623-4881.

The Dowdy Ranch Entrance will be closed during Coe Backcountry Weekend on April 26-28.

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.

 

Hiking

 

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