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Pacheco State Park
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38787 Dinosaur Point Road
Holllister, California   95023

Phone: 209-826-6283
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.

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.
Nature of the Area
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.
History of the Area
The park was originally part of a Mexican land grant given to Francisco Pacheco in 1843. His son Juan inherited it and built an adobe home there around 1850. The family used the area for cattle ranching until Paula Fatjo, great-granddaughter of Francisco Pacheco donated nearly half her property to create a public space.

The donation occurred after her death in 1986 with stipulations that horseback riding be allowed and wind turbines remain operational. Officially opened as a state park on Earth Day (April)1997, today it spans over 6600 acres offering hiking trails while preserving historical landmarks from its ranching past.

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.

Pacheco State Park is located near Hollister, Los Banos and Newman

Pacheco State Park offers scenic picnic areas with tables and grills, overlooking rolling hills and wildflowers in spring. No reservations needed; first-come, first-served basis. Bring water as resources are limited; enjoy hiking trails nearby after your meal.
When considering cycling here, it's important to be aware that the terrain can be challenging. The park offers several trails suitable for mountain biking; however, riders should prepare for steep and uneven surfaces.

The South Boundary Trail provides a long ride with significant elevation changes-caution is advised due to potential loose gravel. Crest Trail also presents an opportunity for experienced cyclists looking for demanding climbs and descents.

For those seeking less strenuous options, Grasslands Trail may offer a more moderate experience but still requires vigilance as conditions vary. It's crucial to check weather forecasts before visiting since trails can become hazardous after rain or during high winds.

Always wear appropriate safety gear including helmets when riding on any trail within the area. Also ensure your bike is in good working order given the rugged nature of these paths which are not suited for casual street bikes or inexperienced riders.
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.
NOTE: No Dogs allowed on the trails.

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Area Campgrounds
Casa de Fruta Orchard Resort
10031 Pacheco Pass Highway
Hollister, CA
Nearby Hotels

Pacheco State Park is located 24 miles west of Los Banos or 20 miles east of Gilroy off Highway 152 on Dinosaur Point Road.

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California State Parks