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Mt. Madonna County Park

Published on: 6/1/2015 10:15 AM
Park Info

Plan Your Trip to Mt. Madonna


  • Blackhawk Canyon Trail
    Blackhawk Canyon Trail is currently closed. The trail work planned for 2016 is a continuation of the road to trail conversion implemented on the Blackhawk Canyon Trail in 2015. Anticipated opening of the Blackhawk Canyon Trail is September 2016.

Hours of Operation

Open year round
8:00 AM – Sunset


Make a Reservation


Contact Info

Mt. Madonna
7850 Pole Line Rd
Watsonville, CA 95076

(408) 842-2341

Senior Park Ranger :
John Heenan 408.335.3293

Senior Park Maintenance Worker : Jason Ebling 408.314.5186

Mt Madonna County Park Use Plan


The Blackhawk Trail between its junctions with the Contour Trail and the Ridge Trail (see map) will be completely closed to all public uses starting June 15, 2015.  This closure is needed to provide for public safety during implementation of a major aquatic habitat improvement project.  Between approximately June 15 and October 15, 2015, Santa Clara County Parks, in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, will be using heavy mechanized equipment to remove and recontour eroding sections of a former logging road and convert the road to a single-track trail.  Culverts will be replaced with bridges to allow passage for aquatic animals and to reduce erosion potential.  During project implementation, operation of machinery will create significant hazards.  All park visitors are therefore required to remain outside of the project area, which is marked on the attached map and will be identified with gates and signs at trail junctions.  In addition, park visitors using the Blackhawk Trail between Pole Line Road and the junction with the Contour Trail should be alert for vehicles using the trail to access the project area.

We look forward to opening the restored trail to the public sometime in 2017.

Thank you for your cooperation.  If you have any questions, please contact the ranger station at Mount Madonna County Park at (408) 842-2341.

horseback trail rideMt. Madonna Stables offers horseback trail rides, it is a wonderful way to explore the beauty of this park.

Welcome to Mt. Madonna County Park, one of the most majestic of Santa Clara County's regional park and recreation areas. This 3,688 acre park is dominated by the redwood forest so characteristic of the Santa Cruz Mountain range. To the east, the park overlooks the Santa Clara Valley, to the west, Monterey Bay. As the slopes of Mt. Madonna descend toward the valley, the landscape changes from redwood forest to oak woodland, dense chaparral and grassy meadows. Park visitors may learn about areas where Ohlone Indians hunted and harvested, and will understand why cattle baron Henry Miller spent his summers here. Enjoy your visit today, and return often to the pristine redwood forest of Mt. Madonna County Park. Mt Madonna Stables offers horseback trail rides, it is a wonderful way to explore the beauty of this park.

The park is located on Highway 152 (Hecker Pass Highway), ten miles west of Gilroy. From the east, use Highway 101, and take the Highway 152 West exit. From the west, use Highway 1, and take the Highway 152 East exit. The entrance to the park is located at the summit of Highway 152 at Pole Line Road.


Visitors may choose from 118 drive-in and walk-in reservable campsites spread throughout four campgrounds. Each site comes equipped with a barbecue pit, food locker and picnic table. Showers are also available (no coins needed) with a day use or camping fee required, as well as 17 partial hook-up RV sites. Yurts are also available for reservation. These domed-tent like structures come in three different sizes - 16', 20' and 24' offering bunk beds with mattresses, fold out futons and a wrap-around deck. Hikers and equestrians have access to an extensive 14 mile trail system. Mt Madonna Stables offers horseback trail rides, it is a wonderful way to explore the beauty of this park. Shaded picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Group picnic, group camping and youth camping areas are available by reservation. Bowmen may practice archery skills at the beautiful archery range. A one mile self-guided nature trail winds around the ruins of cattle baron Henry Miller's summer home. The park's amphitheater, available by reservation for weddings and other special functions, also features live music and slide shows Memorial Day through Labor Day. These free shows are provided by park docents every Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The park also features a visitor center where the natural history, geology and cultural history of the park is highlighted.

Overnight camping is one of the most popular activities at Mt. Madonna. View here for more information about tent, yurt and RV camping!

Hours and Fees

The park is open year-round from 8 a.m. until sunset. All non-campers must leave the park one half hour after sunset. Vehicle entry fees are collected year-round. Fees are required for camping, and for use of group picnic and group camping areas. Fees are posted at the kiosk and at the ranger station.


In compliance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ('ADA'),the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its programs, services, or activities. The Department will make reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disability have an equal opportunity to enjoy our programs, services, facilities, and activities. If you need assistance with an ADA request, please contact our ADA Coordinator.​​​​

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