Henry W. Coe State Park

EFFECTIVE (November 17, 2020) - 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.

Parts of the park are now reopen following the SCU Lightning Complex Fire. The area around the Coe Ranch Entrance, including the Coe Ranch Campground, is open.  The Hunting Hollow Entrance will be open for day use only.  The park will remain closed to backpacking until further notice. If you have any questions, contact the park at (408) 779-2728 or email John.Verhoeven@parks.ca.gov

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be dynamic and fluid. As such, information on this webpage may change. Prior to visiting us, please check this webpage again right before you visit the park to find out if new guidelines are in place.

As a reminder, Californians are encouraged to avoid road trips and stay close to home, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering when a physical distance of six feet cannot be maintained from others, and avoid congregating. Everyone has the responsibility to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.

Here are some additional guidelines for locals visiting Henry W. Coe State Park:

What is open now?
  • Very limited parking is now available to the public. Once the park has reached its safe parking capacity, the park will be closed to vehicle entry.
  • Coe Ranch Entrance day use area.
  • Hunting Hollow.
  • Parking lots and some trails.
  • Camping is now available at Henry W. Coe State Park. Group campsites and backcountry camping will remain closed. For more information about camping, visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping.  To make a reservation for a site at the Coe Ranch Campground, visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com or call 800-444-7275.

What is currently closed?
Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, please see below:
  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. No more than three households in a group is permitted. Mixing between group gatherings, large gatherings or parties is not allowed. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash. Restrooms will be temporarily closed in order to keep up with cleaning schedules.
  • Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more. For details, please visit www.covid19.ca.gov.

Statewide, California State Parks continues to work 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. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. The need for Californians to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the outdoors remains critical.

For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(408) 779-2728

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: 20 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: 22 Feet

Park Hours

Park entrances are always open, 365 days a year including holidays.

Dogs Allowed?

Dogs allowed only at the Coe Ranch Entrance in the Coe Ranch Campground, paved areas, and the ½-mile Live Oak Trail that connects the visitor center to the Entrance Parking Lot. If camping in the Coe Ranch Campground, dogs must be with you in your tent or vehicle at night. Dogs not allowed anywhere else inside the park, which includes the Manzanita Point Hike-In Group Camps, Blue Oak Equestrian/Hike-In Group Camp, Poverty Flat Hike-In Group Camp, Hunting Hollow Entrance, and Dowdy Entrance.

Driving Directions to Henry W. Coe SP

13-miles east of Morgan Hill on East Dunne Avenue. From Highway 101 in Morgan Hill (1/2 hour south of San Jose), take the East Dunne Avenue exit and go east past Anderson Lake to the end of the county road to the park headquarters. The road to the park beyond Anderson Lake is 10 miles of narrow winding road. The trip will take about 30 minutes.

Camping and Lodging

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

En route Campsites
Environmental Campsites
Family Campsites
Group Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
Primitive Camping
RV Access
Bike Trails
Hiking Trails
Horseback Riding
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Vista Point
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Family Programs
Camp Store
Drinking Water Available

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Welcome to Henry W. Coe State Park

scenic view

Henry W. Coe State Park is the largest state park in northern California and protects and preserves 87,000 acres of scenic hills and mountain ridges in the Diablo Mountain Range. This largely undeveloped park welcomes backpackers, equestrians, mountain bikers, day-hikers, and anyone seeking solitude in a nearly untouched setting.

After a rainy winter, wildflowers bloom in profusion from February through March; by April the color is rampant. The landscape is rich with blue lupine and orange-yellow California poppies, bright yellow gold fields and delicate baby blue eyes. Mariposa lilies, larkspur, wild hyacinth and Ithuriel’s spear show themselves in late April and May. The variety and richness of the flora attract visitors from miles around.

Hot, dry summers bring highs above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, cooling to the 50’s at night. Hikers should carry, and drink, plenty of water, even on less-strenuous trails. Winter is wet, with highs in the 50’s and lows in the 30’s. In winter, seasonal creeks can overflow and become dangerously impassable. Spring and fall are the most temperate and enjoyable times to visit. Prepare for the variable climate and rugged landscape by dressing in layers.


Things to Do by Location

There are 3 main entrances:

  1. Main Coe Ranch Entrance/Visitor Center in Morgan Hill
    9000 East Dunne Avenue., Morgan HIll, CA 95037
    Latitude/Longitude: 37.2110 / -121.5141

  2. Hunting Hollow Entrance in Gilroy (*not staffed - day use fee is self-registration envelopes)
    4826 Gilroy Hot Springs Road, Gilroy CA 95020
    Location: 37.076211, -121.467091

  3. Dowdy Ranch Entrance is located in Hollister off of Highway 152, and is open with limited days/hours.

Things to Do by Activity

Frequently Asked Questions

Day Use Fees
Coe Ranch Entrance $8
Dowdy Ranch Entrance $8
Hunting Hollow Entrance $6
Senior Rate is $1 less

Camping Fees
Drive in campsite $20 per night, which includes 1 vehicle. Additional Vehicle Fee is $8 per night.
Senior Rate is $2 less per night.

Manzanita Point Group Camp $75 per night, which includes 2 vehicles. Additional group vehicles is $8 per night. Total 5 vehicles maximum.
Backpacking is $5 per person per night. Hike/Bike (backpack) Vehicle Fee $8 per night at Coe Ranch and Dowdy Entrances. Hunting Hollow Entrance is $6 per night.

Horse Camp $25 per night, which includes 1 vehicle and 2 horses. Additional vehicle fee is $8 per night. Additional horse fee is $5 per night.

You may reserve a specific campsite at the Coe Ranch Campground (drive-in), Manzanita Point Hike-In Group Camps, Poverty Flat Hike-In Group Camp, and Blue Oak Equestrian/Hike-In Group Camp through ReserveCalifornia or by calling 1-800-444-7275.

Where and when may I have a campfire?
When conditions allow it, wood and charcoal campfires are permitted in the park-provided campfire rings at the Coe Ranch Campground, Manzanita Point Hike-In Group Camps, and Blue Oak Equestrian/Hike-in Group Camp. Wood and charcoal campfires are usually banned during wildfire season between the months of June and November. However, campfires may be banned at any time and without advanced notice when conditions become dangerous. Be prepared to cook food with a gas stove. Ground fires are never allowed.

Why do you ban wood and charcoal campfires?
Hard fuels such as wood and charcoal create hot embers when they burn, which can travel through the air up to a mile and start wildfires. Dry vegetation, high winds, heat, and low humidity only increase wildfire danger. Gas stoves do not produce embers and thus are ok to use if operated safely.

May I have a fire in the backcountry?
No. Wood or charcoal fires are never allowed in the backcountry. You may cook with a gas stove.

Collecting downed wood is prohibited as it is part of the natural condition. Decayed vegetation forms humus and assists the growth of trees and other plants.

Fireworks are prohibited.

When is the latest time I may check in to my campsite if I have a reservation at the Coe Ranch Campground?
You may check in any time until 12 pm the day following your check-in date. There is no gate that closes at the Coe Ranch Campground. If you reserved more than one night in a row and plan to arrive after 12 pm the day following your check-in date, please contact the park office at (408) 779-2728 to let them know you will be late. Failure to do so may result in the forfeiture of your campsite. For more detailed reservation policy information, please refer to this page: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1029

How do I check in to my campsite if the Visitor Center is closed?
If the Visitor Center is closed when you arrive, drive straight to your campsite. You may register in the Visitor Center the next morning.

How many people and vehicles do you allow at the drive-in campsites?
Drive-in campsites allow up to 8 people per campsite. 1 vehicle is included in the camping fee. Additional vehicles must pay a fee of $8 per vehicle, per night. Some campsites may have parking for an additional vehicle. Otherwise, additional vehicles may park in the Visitor Center parking lot approximately 100 yards from the campground. Parking is limited, so we encourage you to carpool.

How many tents can fit in a drive-in campsite?
Campsites vary in size, but most have limited tent space due to the campground’s location on a narrow, steep ridge. More information on tent pad sizes for individual campsites is available under “amenities” when you click on a specific campsite at ReserveCalifornia.

Are there flush toilets, showers, or potable water at the Coe Ranch Campground?
There is potable water available in spigots in various locations around the campground. There are vault toilets available in the campground and flush toilets open 24 hours behind the Visitor Center. However, there are NO showers.

Do I need a permit to backpack in the park?
Yes. You may register for a permit at the Coe Ranch and Hunting Hollow Entrances, as well as the Dowdy Entrance when it is open for the season.

May I reserve a backpacking permit?
No. Backpacking permits are first-come, first-served.

Is it difficult is it to get a backpacking permit?
No. Backpacking permits are usually available. Spring is the busiest time for the park. So if you plan to backpack on a busy spring weekend, arrive early to secure a parking space and for the best selection of campsites. We also recommend being open to alternate backpacking destinations in the park depending upon what is available.

What are the fees for backpacking?
$5 per person, per night. $8 parking fee per vehicle, per night ($6 at Hunting Hollow). Bring exact change. If the Coe Ranch Entrance Visitor Center is open for business, you may pay by credit card.

Do you have any recommendations for backpacking routes?
There are a few popular destinations described on this page, as well as some brochures you may download to the right of the page: Backpacking Recommendations

Where may I find information on trail conditions and water sources in the park?
The Pine Ridge Association website coepark.net maintains trail and water resource information here: https://coepark.net/planning-your-visit

Do you ever run out of parking?
Yes! Parking availability is limited during the spring months and on some holiday weekends. If you are backpacking, group camping, or just visiting for the day on a busy spring or holiday weekend, we recommend you arrive early and carpool. Weekdays are usually much less busy.

Is fishing allowed in the park?
Yes. The park features pond and lake fishing for the most part, but there may be stream-fishing opportunities depending upon the time of year. The best fishing in the park is located in lakes that are best suited for multi-night backpacking trips over rugged terrain inside the park. State and federal fishing regulations are enforced in the park. It is your responsibility to know and obey the current regulations. For more information, visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website: wildlife.ca.gov/Regulations.

Is hunting allowed in the park?
No. Please visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website for more information on hunting in California: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/

May I swim in the park?
Yes, but you must hike, mountain bike, or ride your horse to a water source. The nearest ponds are about 4 miles round trip, but the best swimming is 10-25 miles round trip over rugged terrain. Popular hiking and swimming destinations include China Hole, Coit Lake, Kelly Lake, and Mississippi Lake. Keep in mind that creeks stop flowing and dry up for the most part during the summer months.
Is there a place I can drive to and swim?
Not inside the park. Adjacent county parks such as Anderson Lake and Coyote Lake also do NOT allow swimming. For a modest fee, the Morgan Hill Aquatics Center has swimming pools and water slides that may provide some relief from the summer heat. More information here: https://www.morgan-hill.ca.gov/189/Aquatics-Center-AC
May I fly a drone inside the park?
No. Unmanned Aerial Systems, or drones, may not be flown inside the park.
May I ride my eBike inside the park?
Class 1 eBikes that are pedal assist only are allowed on trails where bicycle riding is permitted. Several trails near the Coe Ranch Entrance, as well as the Orestimba Wilderness, are closed to all bicycles.
What number do I call if I have an emergency in the park?
9-1-1. Cellphone reception is variable depending upon your provider and location inside the park. There is a pay phone outside next to the Coe Ranch Entrance Visitor Center. The park office is NOT an emergency number.

I want to have a special event at the park. How do I get permission to do that?
Special events that use facilities, impact the park, have large groups of people, or are not usual park activities require a permit. Examples include weddings, timed event, for pay outings and commercial photography.

Permit applications must be turned in at least 30 days in advance of the event date.

Fees vary depending on the amount of people and how many facilities are used at the park during your event and the duration of your event. You are required to submit a $50 non-refundable fee with your special event request. Insurance coverage may be required for your event.

To find out if your event would require a Special Event Permit please contact Ranger Jennifer Naber at 408-842-9257 or jennifer.naber@parks.ca.gov.

To receive a speical event permit application please contact Christina Silverberg at christina.silverberg@parks.ca.gov or 831-636-5560.