Pacheco State Park

UPDATE (June 23, 2020) - As California State Parks begins working with locals on a phased and regionally-driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved, it is important for visitors to continue to practice physical distancing and avoid congregating with people outside their immediate household. Everyone has the responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Here are some guidelines for people visiting Pacheco State Park:

What is open now?
The following is open at the park:
  • Day Use Parking.
  • Trail Access.
  • Covered Ramadas.
  • Equestrian Activity.
  • Horse campground will open June 22. For more information about camping, visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping. To make a reservation, visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com or call 800-444-7275. Reservations must be made 48 hours in advance of arrival date.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
  • Special events and public gatherings continue to be canceled until further notice.

Statewide:
  • Many campgrounds across the state remain closed until further notice. Some campgrounds have started to reopen with modifications. For more information, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping.
  • Many high public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?

Yes, please see below:
  • Stay Local: Stay close to home. Walk or bike into the park. Parking is very limited. Do not take road trips to parks and beaches or to neighboring states.
  • Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails.
  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park, beach or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
  • Stay Covered: The state now requires you to wear a face covering in most indoor settings and public outdoor spaces when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more from people outside of your immediate household. For details, please visit CDPH’s guidance here. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.

Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(209) 826-1197

Park Hours

Year Round Day Use 8:00am to Sunset

Dogs Allowed?

No

Driving Directions to Pacheco SP

24 miles west of Los Banos and 20 miles east of Gilroy on Dinosaur Point Road off of Highway 152. The park is located along the scenic, historic Pacheco Pass; on the west side of San Luis Reservoir, east of Hollister.
Address:
38787 Dinosaur Point Road, Hollister, CA 95023

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Primitive Camping
TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
Horseback Riding
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms

STUDENT CLASS FIELD TRIPS TO PACHECO STATE PARK

Teachers are invited to bring their classes to explore this beautiful wilderness state park which is at the top of the Coast Range.  We’ll take them on the Wildflower Hike and History Walk as well as play Indian Games.   Students will learn about the natural and cultural history of this famous area including the animals that call it home.

There is no fee charged for school field trips and all ages are welcome.  Spring is the best time to visit Pacheco State Park.  We look forward to discussing your class visit.

For more information see www.parks.ca.gov/events, or call (209) 826-1196/1197.

Pacheco State Park is the last remaining portion of the Mexican land grant, El Rancho San Luis Gonzaga. Francisco Pacheco and his son Juan were granted the property and built the first house in Merced County on this land in 1843. The land remained in the Pacheco family through five generations until Paula Fatjo, the great-great granddaughter of Francisco Pacheco, donated the land in 1992 to be a park for future generations who share her love of animals, horse back riding, history, and unspoiled land. This land has been a horse and a cattle ranch since 1843 and has breath taking views of the Central Valley to the east and the Santa Clara Valley to the west.

The park has beautiful displays of spring wildflowers, scenic vistas, and outstanding trails for horse-back riding, hiking, and mountain biking. The 28 miles of trails offer several loop options to give visitors the choice of a hike or ride of from one to twenty miles or more. During the spring the park's grassy slopes abound with blossoming wildflowers. The park is home to tule elk, deer, bobcat, coyote, fox, several hawks, golden eagles and many other smaller animals. Cattle continue to graze on the ranch in the winter and spring months.

Among the historic features of the park are an old line shack used by Henry Miller's cattle company in the 1800s, part of the old Butterfield Stage line route, and the remains of the original Pacheco adobe. There is also a wind turbine farm which generates enough clean electrical power for 3,500 homes.

Although the total park area is 6,890 acres only the western 2,600 acres are open for public use at this time.

Location/Directions: Pacheco State Park is located 24 miles west of Los Banos or 20 miles east of Gilroy off Highway 152 on Dinosaur Point Road.

Address:
38787 Dinosaur Point Road
Hollister, CA 95023

Telephone: (209) 826 6283 Fax: (209) 827 3704

Operation Hours: All year. Day use hours are 8:00 a.m. until sunset.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended Clothing: The area is semiarid, with daytime temperatures ranging from 80 to 100 degrees in the summer and 45 to 65 degrees in the winter. Evening are quite cool all year due to coastal marine air moving eastward across the Pacheco Pass. Remember to bring a hat, sunscreen, and a lot of drinking water especially in the summer months.

Primitive Horse Camping: There are no facilities for camping except for special events. There is no potable water for human consumption at this time but there is water in the park's several lakes for horses. Camping is available at nearby San Luis State Recreation Area.

Recommendation: During the mild spring and fall months, visitors are encouraged to roam the hills that have been traversed by Central Valley Yokut Indians, Spanish missionaries and soldiers, Mexican vaqueros, gold seekers and bandits.

Currently there are no guided rides at Pacheco.

Special Events/programs: 
Springtime guided walks and rides highlight park history and wildflower displays. Call the park for dates and times.

Fees: $10 day use fee per vehicle

NOTE: No Dogs allowed on the trails

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