Pacheco State Park is a state park of California, United States. It is located in the Santa Cruz . Mountains and preserves part of the watershed that feeds the South Fork of the Sacramento River.
The main feature of this park is McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park Natural Area, which protects over 8 miles (13km) of Pacific Northwest forest along with 3,500 acres (1,400ha) of other natural areas. These include Headlands Beach State Marine Reserve, Limekiln State Marine Reserve, and Limekiln State Park. A number of trails are found within the park, including 7 miles (11km) of hiking trails and 4 miles (6.4km) of mountain biking trails. Other amenities available for visitors include campsites, picnic sites, equestrian staging area, swimming beach, playgrounds, and nature center. There is also a group camp facility as well as horse rental facilities.
Year-round park access is possible via road or trail, depending upon the location. Access by sea requires a 20 mile round trip boat ride from Stinson Beach through Tomales Bay. Access by air requires a 30 minute drive north to the Benicia Airport. This park has several locations where one can access the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail. One such location is accessible via Skyline Boulevard east of U.S. Route 9. Another popular starting point is from the North Gate Road parking lot. From there, hikers have two options; either take the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail west to Waddell Creek and then head south to the Limekiln State Park Nature Center, or make a sharp left turn onto GionDale Avenue and follow that route to the park’s entrance.
Pacheco State Park does not allow fires inside camping units, but allows fire rings outside of each unit. Camping overnight in your car is allowed, though, with a regular permit ($8 per night, $16 during high fire danger season) you must have a trailer hookup or cabin.
Other rules implemented on the park includes:
- No dogs are allowed on the trails or beaches.
- Horses are only permitted on certain designated trails.
- All horses must have current negative Coggins papers.
- No horses allowed off the trail.
- No horses allowed on the beach.
- No colts allowed under 16 hands tall.
- No ponies allowed. No burros allowed.
- No elephants allowed. No zebras allowed.
- No kangaroos allowed. No llamas allowed.
- No bison allowed. No coyotes allowed.
- No cottontail rabbits allowed.
- No ground squirrels allowed.
- No chipmunks allowed.
- No raccoons allowed.
- No opossums allowed.
- No armadillos allowed.
- No prairie dogs allowed.
- No trumpeter swans allowed.
- No Canada geese allowed.
- No black bears allowed.
- No white-tailed deer allowed.
- No bald eagles allowed.
- No golden eagles allowed.
- No owls like screech owls, barred owls, saw-whet owls, etc. allowed.
- No rainbow trout allowed.
- Fish caught here must stay in the park.
- No fishing for salmon, steelhead, shad, rockfish, etc. allowed.
- Hook up to shore power only. No generators allowed.
- Watercraft may use electric motors only. No outboard motor horsepower limits.
- No gasoline powered boats allowed.
Parking fee for non-residents beginning September 15, 2009. $10 daily for single day or four hours, $8 for residents with a valid license plate or registration. Fees waived for honorably discharged veterans and California residents age 62 & older and their spouses. Passes good for three days or a week are also available; annual passes good at all 22 state parks charging fees are offered at a cost of $75 for out-of-state visitors or $60 for Californians.
The park was established in 1949 on 1,200 acres (490ha) of land near Pacheco, California, which itself lies at an elevation of 532 feet (162m). In 1952, the site was transferred to the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Today it covers 2,400 acres (970ha), including some additional property added in 1996.
On Sunday, February 14, 2008, due to dangerous conditions caused by snowfall, Cal Trans suspended all bus service across its entire system, including Pacheco Pass. As a result, many people were stranded at various parks, including Pacheco, which had no public transportation to get them home. After much debate, Caltrans provided limited shuttle service between Pacheco and Fairfield/Suisun so that stranded passengers could safely be transported back to their respective communities. Many of these rides were given away free because operators knew they would earn enough money to pay for gas and maintenance if they made just one fare. Despite the difficulties, most people took advantage of the offer and got home safe. No further transit services were offered after the initial rescue effort, although officials did consider providing more later when the weather improved.