General Information

Juan Bautista de Anza Trail MarkerJuan Bautista de Anza
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Alameda | Contra Costa | Los Angeles | Monterey
Riverside | San Diego | San Francisco | San Luis Obispo
Santa Barbara | Santa Clara | Ventura | Pinal (AZ)


Recreational opportunities abound in California State Parks. Summer is the most popular time to visit most parks, though it is also the most difficult time to get a campsite reservation. Annual attendance amounts to some 73 million visitors - mostly in the summer. But California's world-renowned climate makes it possible to enjoy the outdoors from early spring until the rains of early autumn. And even winter has its possibilities: Cross-country skiing in the Sierra Nevada; sunbathing in the Southern California desert; cool-weather trips to California's spectacular, thousand-mile-long coastline; or a trip into the past in a state historic park or museum.

California State Parks has classified its park units to provide maximum recreational opportunity consistent with protecting scenic, scientific, natural, or historical values. State parks contain outstanding scenic, natural, cultural, or ecological values. State wildernesses feature an undeveloped area's natural, primeval character. State reserves have outstanding or unusual natural or scenic values. State historic units preserve places and objects of statewide historic significance. Several classes are devoted to recreation: state recreation areas, beaches, state vehicular recreation areas, and wayside campgrounds. Any park unit may include a natural preserve - an area of natural or scientific significance sometimes containing rare or endangered plant species, or unique geological or topographical features.

The range of activities in California's state parks is almost endless. In addition to may special events, there are regularly scheduled nature hikes, campfire programs, junior ranger programs and interpretive talks at most state parks. Special arrangements can also be made for rangers to speak to school children and community organizations. Facilities are available in many state parks for special activities such as weddings, meeting, or conventions. Some group campgrounds can accommodate large numbers of people. Some state parks, especially historic parks and museums, are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. For more specific information, call the park you are interested in visiting. A more complete listing of state park special events for the current year is available from California State Park Store, Tel: 916-653-4000 (PO Box 942896, Sacramento, CA 94296-0001). Camping is very popular in the State Park System. Campgrounds are given the following designations:

Developed: Ordinarily has improved roads, restrooms (with hot showers, unless otherwise indicated), piped drinking water, and campsites with table, stove, or fire ring.
Primitive: typically have chemical or pit toilets, tables, and central water supply. Some have no facilities.
Trailer Hookups: Available in only a few parks. Trailers, campers, and motor homes may also use developed or primitive campsites. Reservations are advisable for campers with large vehicles since only a few sites in each park may be able to accommodate the maximum size.
Enroute: Day-use parking areas that can be used by self-contained trailers, campers or motorhomes on an overnight basis. Campsites must be vacated by 9:00 a.m.
Environmental: Primitive sites in relatively undisturbed natural settings. A short walk is required to reach these relatively isolated campsites. Be prepared to carry in water and other supplies. Most family, group and environmental campsites and cabins can be reserved in advance through Destinet (the California State Parks reservations system). Reservations are recommended for summer and holiday visits. The official camping day begins and ends at 2:00 p.m. You may be able to occupy the campsite early if it is vacant, but you must check out before 2:00 p.m. on your last day.

Alameda County
Rancho Higuera Historical Park
This adobe was built by expedition descendant.

Coyote Hills Regional Park
This East Bay Regional Park District Facility near the historic corridor offers interpretation of the Ohlone and Muwekma/Ohlone culture.

San Leandro Memorial Park
Located on San Leandro Creek in vicinity of Anza's crossing; this park provides an opportunity to interpret the East Bay exploration.

Contra Costa County
East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) Potential Interpretive Sites
Lone Tree Point, Selby Open Space, Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline, and the Delta-DeAnza Trail are all located along the historic route. The park district has plans to link its park sites with the Bay Trail which could be marked as the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
East Bay Regional Park District manages several parks and sites that will recognize the Anza Trail. You can contact the following person who can probably gather together information for you, or tell you the appropriate source: Jamie Perkins, East Bay Regional Park District, P.O. Box 5381 Oakland, CA 94505-5369
510-635-0138 x2611
24 Hour Information 510-562-PARK Camping Reservations Oakland Area 510-636-1684 Contra Costa County 510-676-0192 Livermore Area 510-373-0144 Hayward Area 510-538-6470 Picnic Reservations 510-636-1684

Los Angeles County
Elysian Park
A plaque at the North Broadway entrance to the park indicates that the Portola party crossed the Los Angeles River (Rio Porciuncula) at the site of the Broadway Bridge today. It is believed that the Anza expedition crossed here also. The park, owned by the City of Los Angeles, comprises the last large piece of pueblo lands granted by Carlos III, King of Spain, in 1781. The park provides potential for a trail along the Los Angels River, the route of the Anza party. Park administration is located at 929 Academy Road, Los Angeles.

Griffith Park
Within this City of Los Angeles park is the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum at 4700 Zoo Drive, located on the Los Angeles River and near the Puertezuelo campsite of the Anza expedition on February 21, 1776. The Museum is dedicated to documenting the history of the West and could provide interpretation of the Anza trek. The park is part of the original Los Feliz land grant of Anza party member, Jose Vicente Feliz.

Los Encinos State Historic Park
This California State Department of Parks and Recreation facility is within the historic corridor and may be the site of "a small spring of water, like a little lake." It is located in Encino at 16756 Moorpark Street of Balboa Avenue near Ventura Boulevard.
16756 Moorpark St., Encino, CA. 5 acres, 757' elevation. Early California rancho. Exhibits on ranch life. Open 10 - 6 in summer, 10 - 5 in winter. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
818-784-4849, 310-454-8212

Malibu Creek State Park
The park is within the Santa Monica Mountains and incorporates Las Virgenes Creek which may be the site of the Anza camp named Agua Escondida, hidden water. The park preserves a landscape similar to that of 1776 and is the site of an annual reenactment of the February 22, 1776 encampment. The park may provide a portion of a recreational reenactment trail.
4 miles south of Hwy 101 on Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Rd., Calabasas. 6600 acres, 700' elevation. 1 group site (800-444-7275); 60 tent sites; pay showers. No wood fires. Bicycles may use fire roads.
818-880-0350. Group tours: 310-457-8142, 818-880-0367

Malibu Lagoon State Beach
4 miles south of Hwy 101 on Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Rd., Calabasas. 6600 acres, 700' elevation. 1 group site (800-444-7275); 60 tent sites; pay showers. No wood fires. Bicycles may use fire roads.
818-880-0350. Group tours: 310-457-8142

Elysian Park, Griffith Park, and El Pueblo de Los Angeles
are Los Angeles City parks. Contact Linda Barth, Dept. of Recreation and Parks, Griffith-Metro Region Headquarters, 3900 Chevy Chase Drive Los Angeles, CA 90039
Phone 213-485-5501 Fax 818-247-4740

Monterey County
Monterey State Historic Park
4 miles south of Hwy 101 on Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Rd., Calabasas. 6600 acres, 700' elevation. 1 group site (800-444-7275); 60 tent sites; pay showers. No wood fires. Bicycles may use fire roads.
818-880-0350. Group tours: 310-457-8142

Monterey State Beach
4 miles south of Hwy 101 on Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Rd., Calabasas. 6600 acres, 700' elevation. 1 group site (800-444-7275); 60 tent sites; pay showers. No wood fires. Bicycles may use fire roads.
818-880-0350. Group tours: 310-457-8142
Monterey County Parks: Lake San Antonio Recreation Area, San Lorenzo County Park Agricultural and Rural Life Museum, Toro County Park, Rich Brandau
Monterey County Parks, Department 855 E. Laurel Drive, Bldg G Salinas, CA 93902

San Juan Bautista State Historic Park
Corner of 2nd & Washington Sts., San Juan Bautista. 6 acres, 210' elevation. Museums featuring California life from the Mexican era to the 1870s; representation of a Mexican-era adobe home; early American period hotel, stable and home.

Toro County Park
Situated off State Highway 68 east of Monterey, this park offers equestrian accommodations and provides the opportunity to interpret the Anza expedition.

Riverside County
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
approximately 85 miles northeast of San Diego. 600,000 acres, 15' - 6,193' elevation. 149 developed sites (800-444-7275); trailers 21'-35', campers 21'-35', 52 sites with electricity, water, and sewer hookups. Back country camping along 500 miles of primitive roads & trails. Visitor center.

Box Springs Mountain Park
1155 acres. Equestrian and hiking trails. Location: 5 miles east of Riverside off Hwy 60 and Pigeon Pass Road

De Anza Cycle Park
640 acres. Concession-operated off-road vehicle park. Location: 5 miles east of Riverside off Hwy 60 and Pigeon Pass Road. Location: 5 miles east of Moreno Valley off Hwy 60 and Theodore Street.

Hidden Valley Wildlife Area
1300 acres. Equestrian trails, hiking, wildlife viewing. Location: West of Arlington Avenue, across from Crestlawn Cemetery, City of Riverside.
Phone: 909-687-9453

Lake Perris State Recreation Area
11 miles southeast of Riverside (Hwy 60, take Moreno Beach Drive off; from I-215 take Ramona Expressway off). 8800 acres, 1600' elevation. 167 tent sites, 265 RV sites with electricity, water and sink water disposal hookups-800-444-7275; trailers 31', campers 31'. Bike trail, marina; boating, swimming, beach areas; pay showers; equestrian sites; group camping/picnicking; regional Indian museum, water slide.
Office: 909-940-5608; campground: 909-940-5603; group tours: 909-940-5600; other info: 909-940-5603

Martha McLean-Anza Narrows Park
40 acres. Picnic facilities, hiking, bike trail, and equestrian trail, group picnicking.
Location: East of Van Buren Blvd. on Jurupa Ave; City of Riverside
Phone: 909-683-1653

Mount San Jacinto State Park
Accessible via Hwy 243 from Idyllwild or by tram from Palm Springs. 13,522 acres, 5,400 -10,804' elevation. Backpack and equestrian camping (wilderness permit required); hike/bike sites; Idyllwild Campground: 33 developed sites, trailers 24'. Stone Creek Campground: 50 primitive sites, trailers 24' (800-444-7275). Winter snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Phone: 909-659-2607

Ocotillo Wells State Recreational Vehicle Area
70 miles east of San Diego on Hwy 78; or 60 mi. south of Indio via Hwy 86, then 20 miles west on Hwy 78. 42,000 acres, -40' - 480' elevation. Off-highway vehicle area; 500 primitive sites; no drinking water or showers; chemical toilets; no limit on trailer/camper size
Phone: 619-767-5391

Santa Ana River Regional Park
Equestrian trails, hiking, interpretive trails, wildlife preserve, and nature center. Location: 2 miles southeast of Limonite on Riverview Drive.
Phone: 909-781-0143

San Diego County
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
This approximately 600,000 acre park contains two stretches of the Anza route and preserves the surrounding lands in an undeveloped state so that they appear much as they would have to Anza and his colonists two hundred years ago. A short segment of the trail exists in the southeast section of the park and passes near the San Gregorio marker. In the northwest section, a rough jeep and horseback trail parallels Anza's route through Coyote Canyon. On this section are found markers for El Vado, Santa Catarina, and Christmas Eve campsites. (The last is in Riverside County). These two areas provide a rare opportunity to retrace the precise route of the expedition on the ground while surrounded by terrain which has changed little since Anza's passage. Sites within the park are the following:

Oceano Dunes State Recreational Vehicle Area
70 mi. east of San Diego on Hwy 78; or 60 mi. south of Indio via Hwy 86, then 20 mi. west on Hwy 78. 42,000 acres, -40' - 480' elevation. Off-highway vehicle area; 500 primitive sites; no drinking water or showers; chemical toilets; no limit on trailer/camper size.

San Francisco County
Lake Merced and Harding Park
the expedition passed by Lake Merced. The public park offers an opportunity for interpretation.

Golden Gate Park
The expedition passed through the area of this park today, and it provides an opportunity for interpretation.
San Francisco City and County Parks: Golden Gate Park, Lake Merced and Harding Park
Deborah Learner or Joann Wilson
San Francisco Park and Recreation Department Golden Gate Park San Francisco, CA 94103

San Luis Obispo County
Cuesta Canyon County Park
This five acre park in San Luis Obispo spans San Luis Creek, the route of the expedition. Cuesta Canyon County Park, Pete Jenny, San Luis Obispo County Park and Recreation Department, 1035 Palm San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

Pismo Beach State Park
This Park provides facilities within the historic corridor. 2 miles south of City of Pismo Beach on Hwy 1. 1051 acres, 0' elevation. 185 developed sites (800-444-7275); trailers 31', campers 36'. 42 sites with electricity and water hookups; pay showers.
Reservations: 805-489-2684

Santa Barbara County
Carpinteria State Beach
12 miles south of Santa Barbara on Hwy 101. 84 acres, 0' elevation. 262 developed sites, 33 sites with electricity and water; 85 sites with electricity, water, and sewer hookups (800-444-7275); Trailers. 30', campers 30'.
805-684-2811, 805-899-1400, 805-684-2811

El Capitan State Beach Refugio State Beach
20 miles northwest of Santa Barbara on Hwy 101. 133 acres, 0' elevation. 140 developed sites (800/444-7275); trailers 27', campers 30'; guided tours.
805-968-3294, 805-899-1400, 805-968-1033

El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park
encompassing the original site of the 1782 Presidio, the park interprets life in California under Spanish rule. Many of the original garrison were members of the Anza 1775-76 expedition. Plans are to reconstruct on the basis of historical and archeological research approximately half of the Presidio on the original foundation stones.
123 E Canon Perdido, Santa Barbara, CA. 2 acres, 75' elevation. El Cuartel, one of four original 18th century royal presidios built in Alta California by Spain, is the oldest existing building in Santa Barbara; guided tours. Open daily, 10:30- 4:30.

Gaviota State Park
33 miles west of Santa Barbara on Hwy 101. 2790 acres, 0' elevation. 52 developed sites (call for camping information); trailers 25', campers 27'; pay showers; bring drinking water.
805-968-3294, 805-899-1400

La Purisima Mission State Historic Park
The mission was first dedicated in 1787, but the current reconstruction represents the 1820 mission. Although not on the historic Anza route and not constructed until after the expedition, this park is on the proposed auto route and interprets Spanish colonial history in California in an historic setting.
3 miles northeast of Lompoc on Purisima Rd. 967 acres, 75' elevation .The most completely restored California mission. Exhibits on mission and Native American life in the Spanish and Mexican periods. Open 9 - 4:30, tours by appointment.

Other Santa Barbara County Parks
Arroyo Burro, Goleta, Jalama, Ocean County Beach Parks are on the historic route and provide opportunities for interpretation.
Santa Barbara County Parks Department, 610 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Phone 805-568-2461 Fax 805-568-2459

Santa Clara County
Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park
Near Uvas Creek at the intersection of Burchell Road and Watsonville road, this park commemorates an Ohlone village. Chitactac is the name of the principal village of the Amah tribe near Gilroy. Anza expedition journals were used to identify the location.

McClellan Ranch Park/Stevens Creek
Located at 22221 McClellan Road, this park is within the historic corridor. Plans are under way to restore the Stevens Creek riparian corridor with native plants as it may have been in 1776. A reenactment marker exists at the site.
Hours and Fees: The parks are open year round from 8 a.m. until sunset. Boats must be off the water one half hour before sunset. Lake use fees are collected daily and may be deposited at the self serve box at the boat launch ramp. Fees are also required for group picnic reservations.

Mountain View Shoreline Park
This city park is at the margin of San Francisco Bay, within the historic corridor, and offers views similar to those the expedition members would have seen.

Rancho San Antonio County Park
Located on Cristo Rey Drive in Cupertino, a portion of this park encompasses the historic trail corridor. It was from a prominent knoll near the entry of this park that both Font and Anza said they could see San Francisco Bay. The Diocese of San Jose recently dedicated the knoll as permanent public open space. Cupertino General Plan as having significance relating the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
This 165 acre County Park, combined with the adjacent 2,135 Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Preserve (MROSD), provides 2,300 acres of trails and other recreational features. Rancho San Antonio County Park is located in the foothills below Skyline Ridge in close proximity to Interstate 280 and the cities of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Cupertino. From Highway 85, north or south, take the Interstate 280 exit to San Francisco. From Interstate 280, north or south, take the Foothill Boulevard exit and proceed south on Foothill Boulevard approximately .2 miles to Cristo Rey Drive. Turn right on Cristo Rey Drive and proceed .9 miles to the park entrance. Hours: The park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.

Rancho Santa Teresa Historic District/Santa Teresa County Park: Bernal Adobe Site, Santa Teresa Spring and Shrine, Bernal-Joice Ranch
Anza poblador (expedition member), Jose Juaquin Bernal passed through this site in 1776 as the Anza group headed for San Francisco Bay. He returned in 1826 to establish Rancho Santa Teresa and construct four to six adobes. Among other resources, the site contains a Muwekma Ohlone burial ground, the Bernal Adobe site, Bear Tree, and Santa Teresa Spring. The site is registered with the state as a certified archeological site.
Santa Teresa County Park is located at the southern end of the Santa Teresa Hills. The park may be accessed from either Almaden Valley or Santa Clara Valley. From Santa Clara Valley, take US 101 or Highway 85 to the Bernal Road exit. Proceed west 1.3 miles on Bernal Road and cross Santa Teresa Boulevard toward the Santa Teresa Hills. Bernal Road continues past the park's Santa Teresa Golf Club, winding up into the hills. The Pueblo Day Use Area is located off Bernal Road in a small open valley in the hills. Limited parking and trailhead access are available from Almaden Valley. From San Jose, follow Almaden Expressway until it ends. Turn right onto Harry Road, then turn left onto McKean Road. Travel approximately 1.3 miles to Fortini Road. Turn left onto Fortini Road toward the Santa Teresa Hills. At the end of Fortini Road, turn left onto San Vicente Avenue. A ten car parking area is located on the right about 500 feet from Fortini Road. Hours and Fees The park is open year round from 8 a.m. until sunset. Fees are required to reserve the Pueblo Group Picnic Area. For green fees and other information regarding the golf club, call (408) 225-2650.

Plaza de Caesar Chavez, formerly Plaza Park
The Plaza is circled by South Market Street between San Fernando and San Carlos Street in downtown San Jose. Around 1797, the pobladores (settlers) moved to higher ground to avoid the flooding Rio de Guadalupe. They built adobes, gardens, and water channels around a central plaza, which remain today as Plaza Park. It was, and still is, the geographic center of San Jose. It was also the political center of norte California, with its juzgado (court, city hall, and jail). Many of the Anza party that retired from military service moved to San Jose to be with their families and become ranchers. The earliest maps of San Jose show this plaza ringed with a "who's who" of Anza settlers.

Sunnyvale Baylands County Park
Trails within this park offer experiences of the natural environment similar to those of 1776.

Uvas Creek Park Preserve
This regional park in the city of Gilroy encompasses an area through which the expedition passed. The park plans include an interpretive stop for the Anza Trail as well as interpretation of the natural and cultural history of the area.
Bill Headley, Parks Superintendent
Parks and Recreation Department, City of Gilroy, 7351 Rosanna Street Gilroy, CA 95020-6141
Phone 408-848-0460 Fax 408-842-2409

Santa Clara County Parks: Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park, Santa Teresa County Park, Rancho San Antonio County Park, Stevens Creek Park, Sunnyvale Baylands County Park
Julie Bondurant, Trails Coordinator
Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department, 298 Garden Hill Drive, Los Gatos, CA 95030
Phone 408-358-3741 x152 (Check with Julie for City of San Jose contact for Plaza de Caes
ar Chavez and City of Mountain View contact for Mountain View Shoreline Park).

Ventura County
Channel Islands National Park
The headquarters for this park is located in the vicinity of the Ventura Marina along the coast where Anza traveled. The visitor center provides interpretation of the Chumash culture and would be an excellent place to interpret the Anza expedition.
Tim Setnica, Superintendent, 1901 Spinnaker Drive Ventura, CA 93001
Phone 805-658-5700 Fax 805-658-5799

Coastal parks
Several parks along the coast are directly on the historic route. These are:

Emma Wood State Beach
2 miles north of Ventura on Pacific Coast Hwy, off Hwy 101. 2 primitive group sites (800-444-7275); primitive family sites; no picnic or swimming areas, no restrooms or showers.
805-654-4610, 805-899-1400

Emma Wood State Beach (South End)
900 W. Main St., Ventura. 116 acres. 0' elevation. Ventura River Group Camp has 4 developed, 30-person group tent sites, 1 undeveloped RV group site, and 1 hike/bike site.
805-654-4610, 805-899-1400

San Buenaventura State Beach
From Hwy 101 in Ventura, take Seaward Ave., then right on Pier-pont Blvd. 116 acres, 0' elevation. 1700' wooden fishing pier, 165 developed picnic sites; ample parking for 1200 cars; summer lifeguard. Special event reservations accepted. Cold showers, bicycle trail, par course exercise trail.
805-654-4610, 805-899-1400

Ventura County Parks: Faria County Park and Hobson County Park
Theresa Lubin, Program Administrator L#1030, General Services Agency County of Ventura, 800 S. Victoria Avenue Ventura, CA 93009

Pinal County (Arizona)
Picacho Peak State Park
A day use camp site with potential equestrian use on the west side of the park overlooks a campsite area and the Anza route through the Santa Cruz River valley.

If you need further information on state parks, call 916-653-8855.

Meredith Kaplan, Long Distance Trails Administrator - National Park Service, administers the Anza Trail in accordance with the approved management plan. Her office certifies trail sites and segments to become official components of the national historic trail. Only federal and certified sites and segments may display the Anza Trail marker. Managers of trail sites and segments identified in the management plan may contact her office to initiate certification.

Trail brochures in Spanish and English, copies of the newsletter Noticias de Anza, and other materials are also available from her office.

Pacific Great Basin Support Office:
600 Harrison Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94107-1372
Telephone: 415-427-1438 Fax: 415-744-4043

National Park Service, Western Region
Planning, Grants and Environmental Quality
Phone 415-744-3975

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