The Pine Ridge Association at Henry W. Coe State Park

Dowdy Ranch Open


Dowdy Ranch Visitors Center has year round treated running water, and flushing toilets. Its off grid solar electric system has just been revived. For the first time in about 15 years, Dowdy Ranch Visitors Center once again has electricity!

During May 11 through October 31st (8am - 6pm), Henry W. Coe State Park will open the gate at Bell's Station on Highway 152 east of Gilroy and allow visitors to drive along Kaiser-Aetna Road to the Dowdy Visitor Center. For more information, see the State Park website.

The opening of this area allows for backpacking, bikepacking, horseback riding, general day use hiking or mountain biking. The Bell Station entrance gate will be open May 11th through October 31st, during the hours of 8am to 6pm. Shaded tables at Dowdy have great views of the expanse of the park, including Tie Down Peak, and are a great place to have a fall picnic. Bura Bura Peak is a short hike away, with great 360 degree views of the park and surrounding areas.

Depending on the season, the rest of the park can be very dry, so plan your trips and water storage accordingly. There is a map with all the possible water sources here: https://coepark.net/map/water.php . Water from springs, ponds, streams or lakes should be filtered or treated.

There are many backpacking destinations that are possible from Dowdy Ranch. One such destination is Purple Pond (about 7 miles each way). Information about backpacking to Purple Pond can be found https://coepark.net/backpacking-from-dowdy-ranch/purple-pond . Camp sites must be at least 1/2 mile from Dowdy, (similar to the rules for Hunting Hollow).

For bikepackers and backpackers staying overnight, Dowdy Ranch has excellent night sky seeing conditions, for objects including the Milky Way galaxy. For details on the night seeing forecast (specifically for Dowdy Ranch), check out https://coepark.net/ds-dowdy .

The printable PDF handout map for Dowdy Ranch can be downloaded here: https://coepark.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Dowdy-Ranch-Entrance.pdf . And a PDF handout for a short geology hike around Burra Burra Peak can be found here: https://coepark.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Burra-Burra-Geology-Guide-2006.pdf . For other hikes from Dowdy, see the Dowdy Loop Hikes handout.

Note: Dogs only allowed on leash only at Dowdy Ranch Day Use Area buildings and parking lot. No Dogs allowed on trails or roads in park.