Pacheco State Park

Quick Facts

Pacheco State Park


(209) 826-6283

Map Directions

Things To Do


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.

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 20 miles or more. 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.

Although the total park area is 6,890 acres only the western 2,600 acres are open for public use at this time.

Map of Pacheco (CA)

Latitude, Longitude: 37.065294, -121.214004



  • Bicycling

    All park trails currently allow bicycles and offer beginners and skilled riders a challenging and enjoyable ride over gentle slopes and steep hills. Riders can create a route from one mile to over 20 miles.

  • Hiking

    The park's 28 miles of trails offer numerous options for hiking. Check the park map for information on specific trails and contact the park office for recommended routes.

  • Historic Sites

    Springtime guided walks highlight the park's fascinating history, and wildflower displays showcase its natural features. 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.

  • Horseback Riding

    Paula Fatjo donated the property to promote a love of horses and of undisturbed land. Scenic equestrian trails wind throughout the park, and several small lakes provide drinking water for the horses.

  • Picnicking

    The park has two picnic areas. One is in the day use area near the park entrance and the other is on the South Boundary Loop Trail.


The area is semiarid, with daytime temperatures ranging from 80 to 100 F in the summer and 45 to 65 F in the winter. Evenings are quite cool all year due to coastal marine air moving eastward across the Pacheco Pass. Remember to bring a hat, sunscreen, and a lot of drinking water especially in the summer months.

Park Partners

Four Rivers Association

The Four Rivers Association funds and supports educational and resource projects and programs in state parks near Los Banos including San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, Pacheco State Park, George J. Hatfield State Park, McConnell State Recreation Area, Turlock Lake State Recreation Area, Great Valley Grasslands State Park and Caswell Memorial State Park.

The Association publishes and sells books, pamphlets, maps and other aids that represent parks and their resources. They also provide funding for special events, guided tours, and other programs. The association also furnishes equipment and supplies to help park staff and volunteers tell the parks' story to visitors; and provides research funds. Four Rivers Association is currently building a reference library. The San Luis Sailboard Safety Patrol is one of the many volunteer programs sponsered by the association which offer assistance and information to visitors.

(209) 826-1196



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


The closest major airport to Pacheco SP is San Jose International Airport, approximately 46 miles away. From there, myriad car rental services are available, ranging from Alamo to National and beyond. For more information, call 408-392-3600.

Phone Numbers


(209) 826-6283