Coe Park is the largest state park in northern California of wild open spaces. The terrain of the park is rugged, varied and beautiful, with lofty ridges and steep canyons.
Once the home of Ohlone Indians, the park is now home to a fascinating variety of plants and animals, including the elusive Mountain Lion. Within Coe Park are the headwaters of Coyote Creek, long stretches of Pacheco and Orestimba creeks and a wilderness area.
The park is open year-round for hikers, mountain bikers, backpackers, equestrians, car campers, picnickers, photographers, and people who simply like to visit parks.
Camping—Headquarters Campground is near the top of Pine Ridge and the visitor center. Some sites have panoramic views; others are beneath shady oaks. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring. Sites not located beneath trees have shade ramadas. Considered primitive, the campground has piped spring water and nearby pit toilets, but no showers or hookups. Fires are allowed only in the fire rings in the campground; purchase firewood at the visitor center. Other supplies are not available in the park; the nearest town is Morgan Hill, 13 miles west of the park. For camping reservations, call 800-444-7275. First-come, first-served sites are often available; if no staff is at the gate, register and pay at the “iron ranger.”
Day use—Coe Headquarters features early Pine Ridge Ranch buildings. The visitor center has ranching life exhibits, a bookstore, and a registration/information desk.
Hunting Hollow is a self-registration entrance with access to the southwest part of the park.
Dowdy Ranch offers access to the eastern part of the park and is open seasonally on weekends. Contact Coe Headquarters at (408) 779-2728 for information. Gilroy Hot Springs was a place of healing. From the 1860s through the 1920s, the resort attracted San Francisco Bay area business leaders. In 1938, H.K. Sakata opened it as a respite for Japanese and Japanese Americans to heal from the stress of hard work and social pressures. This State Historic Landmark is isted on the National Register of Historic Places. Call (408) 779-2728 to arrange a tour.
Hiking/Mountain Biking—The park’s 250 miles of dirt roads and trails are in various states of development; a few are off-limits to mountain bikes. Some are wide and relatively smooth; others are narrow and rutted. Trails are generally well maintained, particularly near headquarters, and are well signed. Call for trail conditions.
Backpacking—The park has exceptional opportunities for backpackers. The Orestimba Wilderness is a very popular destination for multi-day trips. Water sources may be far apart, depending on the season. Inquire at the visitor center about which springs are running, and purify all water. Backcountry permits are required and are printed on the back of entry fee receipts.
Fishing—Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and green sunfish is excellent, though none of the park’s lakes, streams or ponds can be reached by vehicle. Round-trip hikes can be 10 miles or more.
Horses—The backcountry provides serene, peaceful rides and beautiful views. Longer trips or horse camping involve rugged and steep terrain.
En route Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
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