PRA Event


Backcountry Weekend
April 24, 2015 - April 26, 2015  
Pine Ridge Association Events


GreyFoxKit_320x214 For one spectacular weekend this spring, Henry W. Coe State Park will again open the gate at Bell's Station on Highway 152 east of Gilroy.

The Coe Backcountry Weekend, held in the little-traveled east side of the 87,000 acre park is scheduled for April 24th - 26th, 2015.

This event, sponsored by the Pine Ridge Association and the California Department of Parks and Recreation, allows visitors vehicle access to a remote and beautiful area.

Hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians have a unique opportunity to see and enjoy an area isolated from the park's Morgan Hill entrance by long distances and rugged terrain.

The east side of the park has beautiful spring wildflowers, great fishing, and scenic trails, some with breathtaking panoramic views of the Diablo Range. The ridges and valleys are broader and easier to travel than the steep terrain in the western part of the park, and you can plan day trips to areas that normally require several days of strenuous backpacking, places like Mississippi Lake and thte Orestimba Wilderness.

During the weekend, you can explore on your own or you can participate in group activities, such as guided hikes and horseback rides, wildflowers walks, and bird watching strolls. To help you make the most of your visit, we'll provide brochures, park maps, and all sorts of information at visitor booths near the Pacheco Creek crossing, County Line Road, and the Orestimba Corral.

Two Night Camping Option

Two night camping option: Campers, backpackers, equestrians and backpackers - all visitors are eligible! If you are selected for this option, you will be allowed to enter between 1:00 and 6:00 p.m. (gates will close promptly) on Friday afternoon. Registration will be at the Bell’s Station entrance gate. Backpackers and car campers may park anywhere along the Kaiser-Aetna Road between Center Flats Road and County Line Road. Equestrians must drive in to the Oretimba Corral Horse Camp.

Due to ecological concerns and past creek bed damage, only vehicles with high clearance (8” or higher) will be allowed in to the Orestimba Corral area. Standard passenger vehicles will be parked along County Line Road.

The gate will open for all others at 8:00am on Saturday and Sunday. As always, everyone must be on their way out by 5:00 p.m. on Saturday or 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Everyone camping overnight Saturday at the Orestimba Corral will be required to park on Kaiser Aetna Road unless their vehicle meets the 8" clearance requirement.

Shuttles Will Be Available

Visitors can take advantage of the free shuttle service along Kaiser-Aetna Road to the Orestimba Corral. In addition to passengers, shuttles will be able to help transport camping gear.

Commemorative T-shirt

The deadline for ordering the commemorative T-shirt has passed.

More Information

Day Users People coming in for the day only on Saturday or Sunday
Car Campers People staying overnight on Friday and/or Saturday nights and camping near their vehicle
Backpackers People hiking into the backcountry to camp
Horse Campers People staying overnight Saturday night near their horse trailer. Extra long horse trailers are restricted

Fees and Reservations

Day Use Saturday, April 25 OR Sunday, April 26 $30
One Night Camping Friday, April 24 OR Saturday, April 25 $55
Two Nights Camping Friday, April 24 AND Saturday, April 25 $65

Because of parking limitations, we can accommodate a limited number of vehicles each day. Please remember that we usually receive more applications than we can accept and must decline some reservation requests.

There is no limitation on the number of people in a vehicle. Carpooling is encouraged.

Rules and Guidelines

  • No tickets are sold at the Bell's Station entrance.  You must have a reservation to get into the backcountry.
  • Only one application is accepted per address.
  • Everyone is strongly encouraged to carpool. You are not limited by the number of people in the vehicle.
  • Vehicles are allowed on the Kaiser-Aetna Road (the main dirt road) between Bell’s Station and County Line Road. All side roads are closed to the public.
  • Please obey all traffic control.
  • You are allowed to camp anywhere along the Kaiser-Aetna Road between Center Flats Road and County Line Road as long as your vehicle stays on the side of the road, and does not block the flow of traffic.
  • Dogs and firearms are not allowed.
  • If you're planning to backpack, you must register first at Bell's Station.
  • Camp trailers and motor homes are not allowed.
  • Rain cancels the event.
  • Open fires, barbecues, and hibachis are not allowed.  Camp stoves are permitted.
  • If you fish, you must have a fishing license and comply with the State Fish and Game regulations.  We encourage catch and release with barbless hooks.

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Become a Volunteer

Coe Park Volunteer Ranger

Are you interested in learning more about Henry W. Coe State Park and sharing your knowledge with park visitors? How about helping out with annual events or maintenance of springs and trails? If so, visit our Volunteer page.

Support Henry Coe State Park


Thank you! We rely on your generous support.