By Mark Bristol. Backpackers also have the opportunity to fish while in the park as several of the lakes support large populations of largemouth bass and bluegill. Ponderosa pines dominate parts of three ridges in the west: Pine, Middle, and Blue, usually crowning the summits, but often extending down into cooler canyon slopes. Henry Coe State Park. The second major addition to Henry W. Coe State Park, the Coit Ranch, was acquired in 1980. Both Mustang Peak and Mustang Flat derive their names from the activities of Murrieta and his gang. Depending on rainfall and temperatures, the creeks generally flow from November to May. This was during my spontaneous stargazing outing at Henry W. Coe State Park, located on the Diablo Range, near the city of Morgan Hill, CA... *My outing in summary: I left to head to the park just … Then once skies got dark enough, I started shooting Comet NEOWISE and the Milky Way (with me in the shots as well). The night sky was absolutely amazing! [2], Prior to its use as ranch land, the Diablo Range backcountry now covered by Henry W. Coe State Park was traversed by La Vereda del Monte, a trail between Point of Timber on the Sacramento River Delta and Cantua Creek in the San Joaquin Valley. If not diverted, the waters of Pacheco Creek would eventually reach Monterey Bay via the Pajaro River. The northern part of the park, including the Orestimba Wilderness, was swept by a massive wildfire starting on September 3, 2007. I’m talking about Henry Coe State Park, the largest state park in Northern California. See real-time park photos from Instagram, get information and directions, and make reservations. The North Fork Pacheco Creek also originates within the park, and it is fed by Mississippi Creek. Horses were held at several locations now contained within the park, including Valle Atravesado (now flooded by Mississippi Lake), Valle Hondo, site of Pacheco Camp, Paradise Flat and Mustang Flat. Unlike many other Bay Area parks, there are no large stands of non-native trees or shrubs. They are wheelchair-friendly, but the trails to them are not. +/- 4,000 feet elevation with a starting elevation of 860 feet and a peak elevation of 2,680 feet. Henry Coe State Park is the largest State Park in Northern California with 89,000 acres and the is the second largest State Park in all of California. So awesome! By Mark Bristol. Day 2: Bear Mountain and Mississippi Lake. Coyote Creek is fed by Grizzly Creek, the Little, Middle, and East Forks of Coyote Creek, Kelly Cabin Canyon, Grizzly Gulch (not be confused with Grizzly Creek), and Hunting Hollow. The road was pretty much a one-lane road during the last half of the way. In other areas it may be dominated by other trees, but if the habitat will support trees, blue oak is usually there. It is not unusual for as much as half of park visitors on a given day to be mountain bicyclists, though this is normally closer to 30%. Two paddocks are available for horses and water for horses can be obtained across the access road. Courtesy of Henry Coe Park. The park began as the Pine Ridge Ranch, a private cattle ranch of 12,230 acres (4,950 ha). Besides several historic ranch buildings, there is a visitor center that features exhibits about the old ranch life, a small bookstore, and a registration/information desk. In reality, there is no evidence (stumps, historical accounts) that any significant logging took place, nor does the relatively wide extent of the stands and the great variety of age groups support a tree-planting theory. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. CA. Milky Way gazing tonight up at Henry W. Coe SP. Other prominent shrubs and wildflowers include chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum), toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis), California sagebrush (Artemisia californica), eastwood manzanita (Arctostaphylos glandulosa), yerba santa (Eriodictyon californicum), buckbrush (Ceanothus cuneatus), California gooseberry (Ribes californicum), fuchsia-flowered gooseberry (Ribes speciosum), yellow mariposa lily (Calochortus luteus)[8] and Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus betuloides). I decided that if I were to go to Coe before the mud and swollen creeks became a factor, the time was “soon”. Most visitors at Coe Park hike or mountain bike on the numerous trails within the park. The creeks are all seasonal; none of them flow year-round, though all have holes in which water may be found during all seasons. Map of Henry Coe State Park Trails – Pine Ridge area. There are forested ridge-tops and slopes interspersed with chaparral and grasslands, with some creeks supporting distinct riparian vegetation. The massive Henry Coe State Park has many adventures, but "beginners beware!" [7] All areas affected by the fire were re-opened to unrestricted public access on February 16, 2008. This area is more primitive, with no piped water available and only a chemical toilet. Located in the Diablo Range backcountry east of Morgan Hill, CA - between the San Antonio Valley (north) and Pacheco Pass (south), the park consists of a series of high ridges separated by steep walled canyons, with occasional level valley bottoms and distinct peaks. The area encompasses parts of three major watersheds: Coyote Creek, Orestimba Creek, and Pacheco Creek. No diving is allowed. Currently, it can only be used by arranging to be dropped off by car, or by parking at Hunting Hollow and walking up the road. Some of the dirt roads are wide and designed well, some are narrow and rutted, and some are so overgrown as to be easily missed. The park is so large and there are so many roads and trails, that one could plan a route covering ten miles per day, at a different campsite each night, and go two weeks without ever using the same trail or dirt road. Download PDF. Recreational uses include swimming, fishing and nature observation. Other notables are Coit, Kelly, Jackrabbit, and Paradise lakes. The springs and water troughs have been maintained and improved by park volunteers. +/- 6,000 feet of elevation with a starting elevation of 2,600 feet and a peak elevation of 2,630 feet. The other zones being too dry to venture into in the summertime. The most popular way into the park is by E. Dunne Avenue. The lowest point in the main body of the park is the place where the North Fork of Pacheco Creek flows out, at about 710 feet (220 m) elevation, also in the southeast corner. Additional adjacent lands were added, and for many years, the park's size stood at 13,000 acres (5,300 ha). For more information, please call the park at (408) 779-2728. Town. Size: 87,000 acres, the largest state park in Northern California. Large parts of the park are covered in chaparral and oak woodlands. Our Milky Way galaxy is filled with streams of stars, but one of them appears to be a family that includes nearly 500 relatives, according to a new study. Named the Lick Fire after it was first spotted by nearby Lick Observatory, the fire grew to 27,000 acres (11,000 ha) by the evening of September 6, and ultimately burned 47,760 acres (19,330 ha) by the time it was contained on September 11. Home; Planning Your Visit; Water Resources in Coe Park Coe Park features a variety of water resources including lakes, ponds, creeks and springs. Waterfalls around Henry Coe State Park. About 170 species of birds have been recorded in the park. Since this is a mere strip of land along a road right-of-way, it is often not thought of as an integral part of the state park. Fire officials blamed the fire on burning debris within a barrel at a hunting club adjacent to the park. In the early 1990s the Redfern Ranch added some 11,000 acres (4,500 ha) in the south, and since 2000 lands to the west have been purchased for inclusion. Henry W. Coe State Park was one of 70 California state parks proposed for closure by July 2012 as part of a deficit reduction program. Easy hikes are available from both Hunting Hollow parking lots and the Park HQ on Dunne Road. I arrived to the visitor center safely just after 8:30 p.m. Quite a few people and photographers were already situated in and around the area. The principal donor was businessman J. Daniel McCranie. Most likely, the pines are relicts of a broader distribution during cooler climates. Country. There are about 200 miles (320 km) of dirt roads and trails in the park. Stakes, at 3,804 feet (1,159 m), is the highest point in Stanislaus County). Big-berry Manzanita (Arctostaphylos glauca) reach remarkable size within the park (over 20 feet (6 m) tall) and can grow as either small trees or large shrubs. Cañada de la Dormida independently reaches Pacheco Creek outside of the park boundaries. This entrance is currently open only on weekends during the summer dry season. The highest point in the park is on the northernmost boundary, at about 3,560 feet (1,090 m) elevation. Highlights include rolling hills, large oak … Additionally, there are many ticks of several different species (though Lyme disease is rare in the area), as well as a few venomous rattlesnakes. After a leg-burning trek up to Willson Camp and Willson Peak, you descend gently on a … Your localized Astronomy weather forecast, from AccuWeather, provides you with the tailored weather forecast that you need to plan your day's activities About the only other structures at Coe Headquarters are water tanks and two employee residences. Morgan Hill. This stands out as by far the most impressive mid or late April hike in the bay area (at least in wet years). The latter runs more or less north and, if it were not diverted, would flow out to San Pablo Bay. The South Fork Orestimba Creek originates in the park, and is fed by Red Creek, Pinto and Robinson creeks, and Lion Canyon. This is a good access for spring wildflower viewing. State/Province/Region. The park contains dozens of reservoirs created by the former ranch owners for watering cattle and for recreational fishing and hunting. Further inland than many of the other stargazing spots, Henry W. Coe State Park offers phenomenal nighttime views since it is also further away from any city light pollution. Indeed, many currently available state road maps still show the park in its 13,000 acre configuration. Low clouds and fog was seen rolling over the city of Morgan Hill/Gilroy below. There is a horse camp at Coe Headquarters, but is limited to a single parking space behind the old ranch house. A fourth access area is the Dowdy Ranch Visitor's Center, opened 19 May 2007, with access via the unpaved Kaiser-Aetna Road from Bell Station on State Route 152. They are rarely very dense, and visitors accustomed to seeing ponderosa forests in the Sierra Nevada may come to two opposite, and fallacious, conclusions: 1) That the pines were logged, and all we see left is a small percentage of survivors; or 2) that they were all planted. From West to East, and North to South, they are: The park map also shows 1) Thomas Addition (near Mt. Bikers and backpackers can access the park via this road at any time, provided they are willing to hike or ride the seven steep miles to the park boundary. This area is at the end of East Dunne Avenue, about 14 miles (23 km) east of downtown Morgan Hill. There is a fourth, minor watershed within the park: the small creeks of the Upper San Antonio Valley in the north flow into San Antonio Creek north of the park. Typically, only the Western Zone/Portion of the park is accessible year round. Motorized vehicles are prohibited in the backcountry; exceptions are law enforcement or maintenance staff, and a few dirt roads are designated rights-of-way for neighboring property owners and their guests. This was during my spontaneous stargazing outing at Henry W. Coe State Park, located on the Diablo Range, near the city of Morgan Hill, CA... *My outing in summary: I left to head to the park just after 7:15 p.m. or so. The park protects part of the California interior chaparral and woodlands ecoregion. Equestrians also make use of the trails, though they account for less than 1% of all visitors. The most common danger faced by visitors is exhaustion from attempting to hike or ride too many steep trails in too little time, or with too little water or food. Joaquin Murrieta and his gang used the route to drive wild or stolen horses south from Contra Costa County, picking up more from stations along the way, passing into the area of the park from the San Antonio Valley via a trail that closely followed the route of County Line Road along the divide of the Diablo Range. Spring is the most popular time to visit the park, with its moderate weather, green hillsides dotted with colorful wildflowers, and flowing creeks. Description. Native trees which dominate the park include valley oak (Quercus lobata), blue oak (Q. douglasii), coast live oak (Q. agrifolia), canyon live oak (Q. chrysolepis), interior live oak (Q. wislizenii), gray pine (Pinus sabiniana), ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa), pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii), California laurel (Umbellularia californica), California buckeye (Aesculus californica), white alder (Alnus rhombifolia), California juniper (Juniperus californica), blue elderberry (Sambucus mexicana) and California sycamore (Platanus racemosa). Location: In northern California, Henry W. Coe State Park is off US Route 101, 20 miles southeast of San Jose and 60 miles northeast of Monterey. Then the road got pretty winding as I traveled slowly and cautiously on E Dunne Ave from Morgan Hill to the Coe Ranch Visitor Center. The Coyote Creek entrance is about 2 miles (3.2 km) north on Gilroy Hot Springs Road. There are also mild days between rainstorms in winter at Coe. 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