Henry W. Coe State Park

California, United States
provided by
 (22 votes, 22 reviews)
Barely an hour’s drive southeast of San Jose, Henry W. Coe State Park – the largest state park in northern California - protects and preserves 87,000 acres of scenic hills and mountain ridges. This wild, largely undeveloped park welcomes backpackers, equestrians, mountain bikers, day-hikers, and anyone seeking solitude in a nearly untouched setting. Part of the Diablo Range, the park is an amalgam of high ridges, plateaus, and both narrow and open valleys.

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, blue dicks and Ithuriel’s spear show themselves in late April and May. The variety and richness of the flora attract visitors from miles around.

The park is open year-round for hikers, mountain bikers, backpackers, equestrians, car campers, picnickers, photographers, and people who simply like to visit parks.
Park News Alert
Henry W. Coe State Park is open and operating.
Other Park Information
Fires
Campfires are currently allowed at the Coe Ranch and Manzanita Point Campgrounds. You must bring your own wood or purchase it at the Visitor Center. Collection of any wood, leaves or other natural materials is NOT allowed. Fires are never allowed in the backcountry.

Dogs
Dogs are allowed in the main campground, paved roads and one trail that connects the Visitor Center to the parking lot off of E. Dunne Ave. Dogs are not allowed at the Hunting Hollow or Dowdy Ranch entrances or on any other trails within the park.
Park Fees
Current Fees as of August 17th 2009

Day Use Fees:
Coe Ranch Entrance $8.00
Hunting Hollow Entrance $6.00
Senior Rate is $1.00 less Day Use Fee

Camping Fees:
Drive in campsite $20.00 per night.
Includes 1 vehicle per night.
Senior Rate is $2.00 less per night.
Additional Vehicle Fee $8.00 per night
Manzanita Pt. Group Camp $75.00 per night.
Includes up to 2 equipment vehicles.
Up to 5 vehicles total will be included in the camping fee.
Additional Group Vehicles will be charged $8 per night.
Hike/Bike (backpack) Camp $5.00 per person per night.
Hike/Bike (backpack) Vehicle Fee $8.00 per night.
Horse Camp $25.00 per night
Includes 1 vehicle and 2 horses.
Horse Camp additional vehicle $8.00 per night.
Additional Horse Fee $5.00 per night.
Getting There
The main park is located off 101 Avenue near Morgan Hill. Exit 101 at East Dunne Ave and drive east for 13 miles, mostly on a winding park road.

Coe Ranch Entrance/Visitor Center:
The main entrance into the park 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.

Hunting Hollow Entrance:
The Hunting Hollow entrance is located off Gilroy Hot Springs Road. Take Highway 101 to Leavesley Road and go east over the highway. Turn left onto New Rd. and then right onto Roop Road. Roop Road turns into Gilroy Hot Springs Road. The Coyote Creek entrance is 2 miles past the Hunting Hollow Parking lot and does not offer any parking.

Dowdy Entrance:
The Dowdy entrance is CLOSED until further notice.
The Dowdy Ranch/Bell's Station entrance is located off Highway 152, five miles east of the 152/156 Interchange at the Bell's Station Restaurant Road, located on the north side of Highway 152. Turn left and proceed seven miles over unpaved gravel road to the Dowdy Ranch Park entrance.

The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.
Seasons/Climate/Recommended Clothing
Hot, dry summers bring highs above 90, cooling to the 50s at night. Hikers should carry and drink plenty of water, even on less-strenuous trails. Winter is wet, with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. 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.
Operating Hours & Contact
The Hunting Hollow and Coyote Creek entrances are 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Hunting Hollow is staffed during spring and summer.

The Visitor Center is open on weekends from at least 8am to 4pm. In the spring and summer months, hours are 8am to 8pm on Fridays and 8am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday. Please note times may change without notice.

Telephone: 408-779-2728
Camping
Coe Ranch Campground:
Drive in camping is available at the Coe Ranch Entrance campground at the end of E. Dunne Avenue. The campground is located on top of an open ridge at 2,600 feet, has views across the ridges and canyons of the backcountry and into the southern part of Santa Clara Valley.

Each of the 19 drive-in campsites has a picnic table and fire pit with a grill grate. Standard Primitive Sites have a parking spot adjacent to the picnic table. Tent Primitive Sites have a parking spot near where you camp. Vault toilets and potable water are near each site. There are restrooms (with flush toilets, sinks and mirrors) in the Visitor Center a short walk away. There are no showers or RV hook-ups. There is a maximum of eight people per site and one vehicle is included in the camping fee.

We have one ADA accessible site (003) that can be reserved if you are disabled. Sites that haven't been reserved are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Backpacking
You could easily plan an overnight trip or a week-long trip, hiking 10 miles a day and camping at a different site every night. The park has space for over 60 backpacking parties, with a maximum of eight people per party. Sites range from less than a mile to over 20 miles from park headquarters. The campsites are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, but you're almost always likely to get a good campsite, even during the lovely, busy months of spring. For more detailed information and water information please visit this website.

Dogs are not allowed on any trails in the backcountry. Ground fires are not allowed in the backcountry.

Group Camping
Coe Park has eleven hike-in group campsites for groups of 9 to 50 people at some sites. Each Manzanita Point group site is primitive with picnic tables and a nearby vault toilet. The Manzanita Group camps do have fire rings which can be used when fires are allowed. You must bring in your own wood, wood collecting is not allowed. Manzanita Point Group camps are located 2 to 3 miles from the Coe Ranch Entrance. The Poverty Flat hike in group site is located 4 miles from Coe Ranch Entrance; groups of 9 to 25 people can camp there. Poverty Flat has one vault toilet available, and no fire ring as fires are not allowed. Dogs are not allowed at any of the group camps.

Vehicle access to Manzanita Point Group Camps is restricted to driving equipment to your site and leaving the vehicle at the site for the duration of your stay. Plan to have enough water and supplies to last the duration of your stay. More than one trip by a vehicle(s) of people and supplies is not allowed. Group camp vehicles must arrive at the park 1 hour before sunset to gain vehicle access to your site.

When camping at Manzanita Point, you are allowed to drive in one equipment vehicle if you have 9 to 24 people, for groups of 25 and up to 50 you can drive in two equipment vehicles. You are not allowed to shuttle campers back and forth to the campsite; campers must walk or bicycle to the campsite. Campers with special needs can make arrangements with park staff for access. Call park for details (408) 779-2728.

Potable water is NOT available at Manzanita Point or Poverty Flat Campsites.

When group camping at the Poverty Flat site, you cannot drive equipment to the site. The road is not suitable for public driving access. Fires are not allowed at Poverty Flat as well.

Make Campground Reservations

Fires
Wood and Charcoal Fires in provided fire rings are currently allowed.
Ground fires are NOT allowed anywhere in the park. Fires in provided fire-rings are permitted only at Coe Ranch Campground and at Manzanita Point Group Camps. Wood and Charcoal fires may not be allowed in fire-rings depending on fire conditions. Contact park for further details. Wood collecting in the park is prohibited.
Activities
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 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 listed 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. Bikes are not allowed in the Orestimba Wilderness or on Corral Trail, Spring Trail, Forest Trail, Frog Lake Trail, Madrone Soda Springs Trail, and Mile Trail. Trails closed to bikes are marked with the international "no bike" logo. It is your responsibility to know which trails are open to bikes and which trails are closed. Download the Headquarters’ handout map to determine which trails are closed to bicycles. Bikes are to yield the right-of-way to hikers and horses. Motorcycles and motorized bikes are not allowed anywhere within park boundaries.

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 back-country provides serene, peaceful rides and beautiful views. Longer trips or horse camping involve rugged and steep terrain.

Special Events: Many family-oriented walks, programs and events take place in spring, summer, and fall.
Accessible Features
Picnic Area
Bell Station Day Use Area: Located off Highway 152 a few miles east of Casa de Fruta, this trailhead area includes generally accessible picnic tables, parking, and vault restroom. Routes of travel between these facilities are paved and generally accessible.

Trails

Summary
Difficulty
Distance
Ponderosa Loop Trail
2.0 mile trail near Henry Coe State Park Headquarters
Easy
2.0 mi/
3.2 km
Frog Lake Loop - Henry Coe State Park
The best introduction to Henry Coe State Park south of San Jose and Silicon Valley, California
Moderate
4.8 mi/
7.7 km
Valley Oak Trail at Coyote Lake
Shady hike is a great getaway from the campgrounds at Coyote Lake County Park.
Moderate
5.5 mi/
8.9 km
Coyote Creek Loop at Henry Coe State Park
See the Bay Area bloom in a hidden corner of Henry Coe State Park. Strenuous 9-mile hike.
Difficult
8.8 mi/
14.2 km
China Hole Hike - Henry Coe State Park
The essential Henry Coe Hike: 10 arduous miles through the park's demanding mountainous terrain.
Difficult
10.0 mi/
16.1 km
Willson Camp and Peak, Grizzly Gulch at Henry Coe
A lengthy hike or bike in southern Henry Coe. Bring a camera!
Difficult
11.9 mi/
19.2 km
Mount Sizer Loop: Henry Coe State Park
Strenuous 15-mile hike captures the wild essence of Henry W. Coe State Park, southeast of San Jose, California.
Difficult
15.6 mi/
25 km
Backpacking at Henry Coe State Park
The Bay Area's widest array of backpacking options await in the wild hills southeast of San Jose.
Difficult
41 mi/
66 km
Guides
Mount Sizer Loop: Henry Coe State Park
Mount Sizer Loop: Henry Coe State Park
Morgan Hill, California, United States
 
Difficult: 15.6 miles, Full day
Strenuous 15-mile hike captures the wild essence of Henry W. Coe State Park, southeast of San Jose, California.
Coyote Creek Loop at Henry Coe State Park
Coyote Creek Loop at Henry Coe State Park
Gilroy, California, United States
 
Difficult: 8.8 miles, Half day
See the Bay Area bloom in a hidden corner of Henry Coe State Park. Strenuous 9-mile hike.
Backpacking at Henry Coe State Park
Backpacking at Henry Coe State Park
Morgan Hill, California, United States
 
Difficult: 41 miles, Multiple days
The Bay Area's widest array of backpacking options await in the wild hills southeast of San Jose.
China Hole Hike - Henry Coe State Park
China Hole Hike - Henry Coe State Park
Henry W. Coe State Park, California, United States
 
Difficult: 10.0 miles, Full day
The essential Henry Coe Hike: 10 arduous miles through the park's demanding mountainous terrain.
Valley Oak Trail at Coyote Lake
Valley Oak Trail at Coyote Lake
Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park, California, United States
 
Moderate: 5.5 miles, 1-3 hours
Shady hike is a great getaway from the campgrounds at Coyote Lake County Park.
Frog Lake Loop - Henry Coe State Park
Frog Lake Loop - Henry Coe State Park
Henry W. Coe State Park, California, United States
Moderate: 4.8 miles, 1-3 hours
The best introduction to Henry Coe State Park south of San Jose and Silicon Valley, California
Willson Camp and Peak, Grizzly Gulch at Henry Coe
Willson Camp and Peak, Grizzly Gulch at Henry Coe
Henry Coe State Park, California, United States
Difficult: 11.9 miles, Full day
A lengthy hike or bike in southern Henry Coe. Bring a camera!
Best hikes at Henry Coe State Park
Best hikes at Henry Coe State Park
Henry Coe State Park, California, United States
Four excellent hikes plus backpacking destinations at the backcountry park south of San Jose, California
Ponderosa Loop Trail
Ponderosa Loop Trail
Henry W. Coe State Park, California, United States
Easy: 2.0 miles, 1 hour or less
2.0 mile trail near Henry Coe State Park Headquarters
Community Trips
Wild turkey's got game Photo
Carpets of flowers Photo
On a clear day you can see forever Photo
Coe HQ, 11.3mi Photo
Henry Coe: Pacheco falls from Hunting Hollow
by navratil on Mar 19, 2010
Old Gilroy, California, United States
23 miles
After hearing about their beauty on Twitter, I planned an overnight trip to Pacheco Falls in Henry Coe State Park.   The falls are located about ten ("rolling") miles from the nearest trailhead and dry up in late spring, which makes them less-than-attractive to dayhikers -- which is a shame, because I can now say that when they're running, they're spectacular.The plan, such as it was, was to park at the Hunting Hollow...
P1010533.JPG Photo
P1010683.JPG Photo
P1010719.JPG Photo
P1010729.JPG Photo
Mt Sizer, Henry Coe (Plus bonus peak!)
by calipidder on Apr 18, 2010
Madrone Soda Springs (historical), California, United States
15.8 miles
A classic Bay Area hiking loop is Mt Sizer in Henry Coe. This hike is a minimum of 14 miles to do using the in-and-out shortest approach, or you can make a loop and do this loop. At about 16 miles it is just long enough to offer solitude and remoteness, but is easy to do as a day trip from San Jose.Between Poverty Flat and Blue Ridge, don't miss the opportunity...
Hunting Hollow Trail Photo
Hunting Hollow Trail Photo
Sycamore with moss Photo
Windmill!   Photo
A Coe Trifecta
by antonyw on Feb 18, 2010
Old Gilroy, California, United States
15.1 miles
A nice tour of three peaks from the Hunting Hollow entrance. I had intended to only do Vasquez peak today since I'd been to Willson Peak before but when I consulted the map at a decision point I decided to throw in Willson and then added Rock Springs Peak later on so it became a trifecta of sorts.The hike starts along the nice flat Hunting Hollow trail with about four creek crossings,  the...
Woodland Star Photo
Shooting Stars Photo
Saxifrage Photo
Grizzly gulch creek Photo
Kelly Lake Loop
by antonyw on Mar 26, 2010
Madrone Soda Springs (historical), California, United States
12.9 miles
An approx 13 mile hike to check out Kelly Lake and the wildflowers of Coe in March.  The hike starts from free parking at the Coyote Creek entrance.  There's room for about 4-5 cars here.  I've posted a pic of the right side of the road, there's room for one more on the left side.  Never gotten a ticket here despite the No Parking signs about four miles back on the road. ...
Along Coit Road (Madrone Soda Springs (historical), California, United States) Photo
At the start of the Anza trail (Madrone Soda Springs (historical), California, United States) Photo
Anza trail, nicely graded (Madrone Soda Springs (historical), California, United States) Photo
 (Madrone Soda Springs (historical), California, United States) Photo
Kelly Lake and the 7th Tarantula - Henry W. Coe State Park
by Vaudesir on Nov 11, 2009
Madrone Soda Springs (historical), California, United States
10.2 miles
I took advantage of a day off to explore an area of Coe i've never been to before: The area around the Wasno Ridge, easily accessible via the Coyote Creek entrance. The inspiration for this trip came from another trip I saw on everytrail.com (188513 by Tom Mangan). Obviously, I was not going for the flowers (it's November! - although I did see a few blooming poppies) but for something that Tom...
DSC_7967 Photo
DSC_7969 Photo
DSC_7974 Photo
DSC_7980 Photo
Henry Coe Backcountry Weekend 3 day Backpack
by antonyw on Apr 24, 2009
Madrone Soda Springs (historical), California, United States
26 miles
I attended Backcountry Weekend for the fifth year running this year.  Each year we do something progressively more difficult.  On Friday night we hiked from Orestimba Corral to Pacheco Camp and set up camp,  then made a quick side trip to the truly amazing Pacheco Falls.  The night was extremely windy and cold, much more than I had expected so it was into the sleeping bag early to stay warm.  On Saturday...
Bridge on left, trailhead on right Photo
Coyote Creek Photo
Leaf Photo
Ed Photo
Henry Coe - Coyote Creek Loop
by croyle on Feb 20, 2010
Madrone Soda Springs (historical), California, United States
6.2 miles
Coyote Creek trailhead -> Grizzly Gulch  Trail -> Rock Tower Trail -> Jackson Trail -> Anza Trail -> Coit Road -> trailheadThis was a short but very nice hike with what I often refer to as my "muggle friends" or as Dwayne has named us, The Hillside Stragglers. We've been hiking together for several years now but not as often as we used to. We were looking forward to a good hike...
Coyote creek (Old Gilroy, California, United States) Photo
 (Old Gilroy, California, United States) Photo
windmill (Old Gilroy, California, United States) Photo
 (Old Gilroy, California, United States) Photo
Henry W. Coe State Park - Bill's Hill and Osos Ridge
by Vaudesir on Nov 07, 2009
Old Gilroy, California, United States
7.5 miles
For quite some time, I had my eyes on Bill's Hill, a peak in Coe's far South area. On the map, it seems quite a simple hike. You just hike along Hunting Hollow Road and then take Bill's Hill Trail to climb to the Osos Ridge. The trail continues along this ridge until it hits Bill's Hill.I noticed though, that on my GPS, another trail, Osos Ridge Trail, would allow me to...
Creek crossing Photo
Spring Photo
DSC_0139 Photo
Butter And Eggs Photo
WASNO Pond - Henry Coe State Park
by sammydee on Apr 24, 2010
Old Gilroy, California, United States
13.5 miles
This year's Coe Backcountry Weekend was cancelled due to rain earlier in the week...but the weather for the weekend was forecast to be perfect.  So I headed out on my first-ever backpacking trip.  I wanted to take the plunge with a destination that wouldn't be super tiring, and that would let me get used to carrying the extra weight of the backpacking gear.  Since I was going solo I also wanted to...
Low clouds Photo
Waterfalls everywhere Photo
Ancient Manzanita Photo
Nature always wins Photo
Henry Coe: HQ to China Hole and back
by navratil on Feb 06, 2010
Madrone Soda Springs (historical), California, United States
9.4 miles
A medium-length hike from the Coe Park headquarters to China Hole on Coyote Creek.  The weather was pretty variable -- a pretty steady drizzle for the first half, followed by sunshine (enough to fool me into doffing my rain gear) at the turn-around point, shortly followed by brief heavy rain and graupel.  Fortunately, I had a new hard shell (a Marmot Transit jacket, bought on SteepAndCheap less than a week ago) and...

Reviews
MelG
The loop from the Visitors' Center to Frog Lake was nearly desolate (I literally only saw a few others on the trail) -- but it was steeper than I originally thought. I'd put this on the moderate-plus scale. But gorgeous views, feeling like you're on top of the world.
Visited on Nov 29, 2013

by MelG on Nov 30, 2013
pjhiser
Was little warm and quite dry as this time of the year usually is. Wish the roads were not soo dusty.
Visited on Oct 04, 2013

by pjhiser on Oct 06, 2013
returnoftheyeti
Yeah, this is a HARD hike. In the summer heat it would be brutal.
Visited on Jun 22, 2013

by returnoftheyeti on Feb 17, 2014
DestinationIsolation
http://dstisolation.blogspot.com/2013/05/solitude-so-close-to-home.html
Visited on May 04, 2013

by DestinationIsolation on Jun 03, 2013
Nyloncoretransmissionbelting
i just love Henry W. Coe State Park
Visited on Feb 03, 2013

by Nyloncoretransmissionbelting on Mar 27, 2014
tdwright
Great place for hiking, just be prepared for elevation changes.
Visited on Apr 28, 2012

by tdwright on Dec 21, 2013
danpotter
Awesome scenery. Most trails are very strenuous.
Visited on Oct 29, 2011

by danpotter on Nov 01, 2011
Rev.Chuck
Beautiful hike, it was peaceful and quiet
Visited on Sep 30, 2011

by Rev.Chuck on Apr 01, 2012
gymequipment
great memories at this place
Visited on May 05, 2011

by gymequipment on May 20, 2014
ricerubberpolisher
Really Nice Area Dear it
Visited on May 04, 2011

by ricerubberpolisher on Apr 16, 2014
ilya_ktsn
Great local park. Well worth a visit. Just make sure you are prepared for sometimes very hot weather there.
Visited on Apr 02, 2011

by ilya_ktsn on Mar 18, 2013
Touchstone
One of my favorites. Beautiful scenery and great hiking possibilities.
Visited on Jan 08, 2011

by Touchstone on Dec 27, 2011
lmertens
Henry Coe is an amazing place that is so close to the south bay area. It's the largest state park in Northern California, which means if you hike way out you can go days without seeing another person. The trail "campsites" are great because they are far apart and really remote. The only downside is leaving the park, because the hike back to the parking lot is all up hill and very steep(just stay there forever and you wont have this problem ;-). This park is a great place because it's big enough to spend a week backpacking, but it's also close enough to go there for just a day.
Visited on Oct 24, 2009

by lmertens on Apr 04, 2011
paddydehusker
i virtuous would equal to go again
Visited on Apr 06, 2009

by paddydehusker on Apr 16, 2014
Nylonsandwichbelts
the withstand at this site is superb
Visited on Apr 05, 2009

by Nylonsandwichbelts on Mar 27, 2014
multigymequip
great weather very nice place
Visited on Jun 07, 2008

by multigymequip on May 20, 2014
joost
Henry Coe is less than an hour drive from our house, but once you are there it feels like another world. It's very rugged and remote. We stayed at the campground near the park entrance one night with our small kids. We did a small hike (see here.

I would say Henry Coe is not the best place to camp with kids. The campground is very sandy, and since it was windy too, it was a bit rough on the kids. All in all we had a great experience though!

Visited on Jun 07, 2008

by joost on Dec 16, 2010
ricerubberroll
henry park is best of its kind
Visited on Jun 06, 2008

by ricerubberroll on Apr 16, 2014
fitnessequipments
had great time with all my friends
Visited on May 04, 2007

by fitnessequipments on May 20, 2014
kathy.b.miranda
Nice hike. Very hot though.
Visited on Jun 30, 1995

by kathy.b.miranda on Aug 13, 2012
DestinationIsolation
If you're going in the summer, bring lots, and lots of water. The trails are steep and often exposed. This park is the best gem the Bay Area has to offer.

by DestinationIsolation on Dec 17, 2012
chad.phillips.982
The Trails were fun and well marked. I wished you could hike closer to the river. The backpaking camping sites were nice, and the compost toilets weren't scary at all.

by chad.phillips.982 on Sep 11, 2012

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What people are saying...

Henry Coe, Coyote Lake County Park, Mummy Mountain, Mendoza Trail, Inch, the Narrows, tarantula, backcountry weekend, Sizer, China Hole, Hunting Hollow, Mississippi Lake, Pacheco Falls, henry coe state park, jackrabbit lake, Coyote Creek, State Park, Poverty Flat, Hiking, Harvey Bear

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