Year Round Day Use 8:00am to Sunset
Pacheco State Park
As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over.
Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.
What is open now?
- Day-Use Areas.
- Trail Access.
- Covered Ramadas.
- Equestrian Activities.
Closed at this park:
- Special events and public gatherings.
- Group campsites.
- Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
- 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?
State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:
- Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time.
- Plan Ahead:
- The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.
- Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
- SNO-PARKS: Make sure your vehicle is snow ready. A permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site. Parking is on a first come, first-serve basis at all SNO-PARK sites. The public is advised that parking lots are filling up early in the day. Illegal parking is prohibited. More information can be found at ohv.parks.ca.gov/SNOPARKS.
- Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day.
- Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
- Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
- Keep Clean: Be prepared as not all services may be available. Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
- Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.
Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.
California State Parks continues to work with local and state officials 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. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
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.
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