South of San Jose and southwest of Hollister, the Hollister Hills State Recreation Area in the Gabilan Mountains has two large riding areas, Lower Ranch and Upper Ranch.
The Upper Ranch - This 800-acre area, which has about 24 miles of trails, is used for 4-wheel drive recreation and for 4-wheel drive and motorcycle special events; a fenced motocross track is also located here. Four-wheel drive operators should call before coming, especially on weekends, to make sure that the area isn't reserved for a special event. To use the area for the day, register first at the park office. If your vehicle gets stuck or breaks down, you are responsible for removing it. The Upper Ranch may be accessed for day use from 8 a.m. to sunset. Vehicle operation is allowed only between sunrise and sunset.
The Lower Ranch - This 2,400-acre area, set aside for motorcycle and ATV use only, has about 64 miles of trails and several hill climbs. There are also two picnic areas, a practice Motocross Track, an ATV Track for three and four wheeled vehicles, a TT track, a mini-bike trail, and a mini-track. Washracks are located in Camping, and Day-Use Area. Riding is allowed from sunrise to sunset.
Camping - The Upper Ranch has one family campground, Sycamore, which accommodates about 60 people, and has water and flush toilets. Fires are allowed in fire rings only. Bring your own wood or purchase it at the park store. The Lower Ranch has 4 family campgrounds with water and flush toilets. Dogs must be kept on leashes at all times.
To reach the trailhead from Hollister, head south on SR25 to Cienega Road. Head south on Cienega Road for 6.5 miles to the ranger office.