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Making ATV tracks at Hollister Hills California
 Before Hollister Hills was a state park, it was a ranch owned by a man named Howard Harris. It was his opinion that the first rancher smart enough to welcome Off Highway Vehicles onto their property could make a pile of cash.

A man once bet Harris $100 that no one would pay 25 cents to come out this far from anywhere. Two weeks later, 750 people each paid 2 dollars to enjoy the place called Hollister Hills Motorcycle Playground.

In 1975, the State of California acquired the land from Howard Harris and it became Hollister Hills SVRA.

What is an SVRA?

SVRA stands for State Vehicular Recreation Area. Hollister Hills is a type of state park unit that is managed by the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Division. The Division is a part of the California State Department of Parks and Recreation and is funded differently than the other state parks.

What is there to do at Hollister Hills? The park is divided into two areas. The Upper Ranch is an 800-acre area set aside for four-wheel drive recreation. There are about 24 miles of trails, an obstacle course and two campgrounds.

The Upper Ranch is occasionally closed for Special Events, call in advance or check the Hollister Hills website to make sure it will be open.

The second area is called the Lower Ranch. It is a 2400-acre area that is set aside for motorcycle and ATV use. There are 64 miles of trails, seven tracks, two day-use areas and four campgrounds.

If you plan on riding here at Hollister Hills, your motorcycle or ATV needs to meet a few requirements. They must be currently registered, equipped with a spark arrestor, must be under the 96 decibel sound limit.

Between June 1 and September 30, only Green Sticker motorcycles and ATVs are allowed to operate. Red Sticker as well as Green Sticker motorcycles and ATVs are allowed to operate throughout the rest of the year. If you have any questions about requirements, special events or closures you can always call the park.

Now, we have covered the obvious things to do here at Hollister Hills, but there are things to do here that even the regular visitors might not know about.

One of these activities is hiking. We have about five and one half miles of hiking trails in a nature area that is closed to all motorcycles, ATVs and four-wheel drives.

It’s a great place to hike, observe the wildlife, bird watch or ride a mountain bike. Hollister Hills is also a great place to camp. You don’t need a motorcycle to enjoy a warm evening around a glowing campfire.

If you are not into doing any of these things, you can always just come out and watch. There are Motocross races held at the Hollister Hills Grand Prix Track many weekends throughout the year. There is usually a practice day on Saturday with the race being held on Sunday. These races are always a fun event to attend. Check the calendar of events for the GP Track at

So, now you know a little bit about Hollister Hills SVRA. If you already knew about all of these things, you are probably one of our regulars. If you didn’t know about any of these things, maybe you should come out and see it all for yourself. Our rangers and office staff are ready and able to answer any questions you may have about Hollister Hills SVRA.

Officer David Dennis has been a State Park Peace Officer assigned to Hollister Hills for the three years. If you would like to contact him you can email him at

By David Dennis State Park Peace Officer

Composed: 09/10/2004 | Modified: 09/10/2004

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