Henry W. Coe State Park, Morgan Hill

4.5
#3 of 9 in Things to do in Morgan Hill
Henry W. Coe State Park (or Coe Park for short) is a state park of California, USA, preserving a vast tract of the Diablo Range. The park is located closest to the city of Morgan Hill, and is located in both Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties. The park contains over 87000acre, making it the largest state park in northern California, and the second-largest in the state (after Anza-Borrego Desert State Park). Managed within its boundaries is a designated wilderness area of about 22000acre. This is officially known as the Henry W. Coe State Wilderness, but locally as the Orestimba Wilderness. The 89164acre park was established in 1959.HistoryPrior 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 the Central Valley and Point of Timber on the Sacramento River Delta. Joaquin Murrieta and his gang used the route to drive stolen horses south from Contra Costa County, passing into the area via the San Antonio Valley. Horses were held at several locations now contained within the park, including Mustang Flat and Coit Camp. Both Mustang Peak and Mustang Flat derive their names from the activities of Murrieta and his gang.
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Henry W. Coe State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
49 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I dreamed of accomplishing this since my childhood a hike from HQ out to Casa De Fruita. This was a challenge of a hike having never undergone prior conditioning for the two day backpacking by foot. I...  more »
  • The nature at Henry Coe is breathtaking. Every time we venture here, at least a few times per year (spring & summer) we instantly gain a sense of calm. It is a meditative experience for the kids and u...  more »
  • I went for a day hike and it was beautiful. The trail was challenging but I survived and will go back. I would recommend bringing more water than you think you need  more »
Google
  • Went backpacking for 2 nights in March. It was chilly, rained, & hailed.......it was awesome! 😀 ⛺ some sites have a "platform toilet" while others will require packable shovel. Some hikes are nice & rolling while others are challenging but worth it! Totally worth the twisty, turning road to get there.
  • First I should share that there are no dogs allowed at this park. That said it's a great place for a bay area camp trip. Lots of fun hiking through Manzanita and Blue Oaks trees. This is perhaps the best place or closest place and to do your first backpacking trip.
  • Henry Coe is a gem. It's close to SF and San Jose, offers amazing hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and camping and offers a real challenge and amazing views. The park is incredibly well maintained with clear signage, well maintained trails and springs, and strategically placed outhouses. I can even get data on my cellphone from the tip tops of the ridges. I come to Henry Coe often to backpack. In the Northwest section of the park camping is only permitted at camp sites, but everywhere else it's open camping. As far as I can tell there are no bears, but bobcats and mountains lions are present in abundance. The only negative in my mind (if it's even a negative) is that Henry Coe is *grueling*; it is lots of ups and downs, and many of the trails are disused dirt roads, so when they were first laid out they weren't very worried about the grade. If you aren't ready to climb up a lot of steep hills you are going to have a bad time.
  • Great park in winter and spring. But do not go there in the summer. It will be incredibly warm.
  • Drove up here on a whim with my daughter. It's an old cattle ranch now state park. We didn't get to do any hiking but we were treated to some amazing views of the valley from the parking lot. Camping is available but I would likely only camping in the spring or fall due to the heat in the summer. What is great about this park is that there is open camping for backpackers, a rarity in state parks.
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