For Immediate Release: 7/12/2022

Hearst Castle Activates Severe Drought Contingency Plan

Contact: Dan Falat, District Superintendent I (805) 927-2065

Restrooms will be closed, portable toilets will be available

California State Parks will close the restrooms at the Hearst San Simeone Historical Monument (Hearst Castle) Visitor Center beginning Wednesday, July 13, 2022, as part of its Drought Contingency Plan. Portable chemical toilets will be available to the public at the Visitor Center.

As part of the plan, the castle will also cease irrigation at the Visitor Center, stop bus and vehicle washing and activate additional water sources. These water conservation efforts are due to the continued declining water production and for the need to maintain sufficient fire-fighting water reserves at the Hearst Castle. The plan will also impact the restrooms at the Hearst Beach where portable chemical toilets will also be available.

State Parks apologizes for the inconvenience this may cause visitors.

Hearst Castle began to activate water restrictions in May in accordance with its Drought Contingency Plan as a result of declining spring production. To date, Hearst Castle has limited irrigation of the historic gardens, prohibited new plantings, added mulching, repaired leaks, and implemented other conservation measures.

Hearst Castle will continue to operate and provide the public with a full menu of tour options, including the new Julia Morgan tour during its 100th anniversary of the beginning of construction. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by contacting ReserveCalifornia at (800) 442-7275 or

Located in San Luis Obispo County, La Cuesta Encantada, "The Enchanted Hill" high above the ocean at San Simeon, was the creation of two extraordinary individuals, William Randolph Hearst and architect Julia Morgan. Their collaboration, which began in 1919 and continued for nearly 30 years, transformed an informal hilltop campsite into the world-famous Hearst Castle – an estate that comprises the magnificent 115-room main house plus guesthouses, pools, and 8 acres of cultivated gardens. The main house itself, "La Casa Grande," is home to Hearst's extraordinary art collection and has hosted many influential guests, including President Calvin Coolidge, Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, Charlie Chaplin, and a diverse array of luminaries from show business and publishing industries.

Tips, videos and more information about using less water at home can be found at

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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.