Park entrances are always open, 365 days a year including holidays.
Henry W. Coe State Park
As of 08/18/2020 the park is closed to all activity until further notice due to the SCU Lightning Complex Fire burning in the park. If you have a reservation in our campground you will receive a refund due to the park closure. If you have any questions contact the park at (408) 779-2728 or email John.Verhoeven@parks.ca.gov
Here are some guidelines for people 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.
- Headquarters day-use area.
- Hunting Hollow.
- The parking lots and trails.
- Camping is now available at Henry W. Coe State Park. Group campsites will remain closed. For more information about camping, visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping. To make a reservation for a site at the campground, visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com or call 800-444-7275. Back-country sites may be reserved in-person in the park.
What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
At this park:
- Visitor Center
- Dowdy Ranch
- 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.
- 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. 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.
Welcome to Henry W. Coe State Park
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:
- Main Coe Ranch Entrance/Visitor Center in Morgan Hill
9000 East Dunne Avenue., Morgan HIll, CA 95037
Latitude/Longitude: 37.2110 / -121.5141
- 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
- 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
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.
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/
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.
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
No. Unmanned Aerial Systems, or drones, may not be flown 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
To receive a speical event permit application please contact Christina Silverberg at email@example.com or 831-636-5560.