Mt. Madonna County Park Use Plan
- BLACKHAWK TRAIL IS CLOSED FROM CONTOUR TO RIDGE TRAIL.
Welcome to Mt. Madonna County Park, one of the most majestic of Santa Clara County's regional park and recreation areas. This 4,605 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.
How to Get There
Mt. Madonna County Park is located at:
7850 Pole Line Rd Watsonville, CA 95076
Park Office: (408) 842- 2341
The park is located on Highway 152 (Hecker Pass Highway), 10 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.
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. A one mile self-guided nature trail winds around the ruins of cattle baron Henry Miller's summer home.
Bowmen may practice archery skills at the beautiful archery range.
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.
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.
Overnight camping is one of the most popular activities at Mt. Madonna. View here for more information about tent, yurt and RV camping! There is no longer first-come first-serve camping sites!
Shaded picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Group picnic, group camping and youth camping areas are available by reservation.
Mt. Madonna Pathways of Wildlife Hiking Trails
Mt. Madonna County Park has created the Pathways of Wildlife hiking trails. Hikers can choose from four trails depending on their interests and hiking skill level. You can follow the path of the Banana Slug, California Newt, Gray Fox, or Mountain Lion! The family friendly California Newt trail is tied to the Agents of Discovery adventure for mobile devices. The Pathways of Wildlife map shows the average time to hike the trails and the level of difficulty. There are colored markers at each intersection to help guide hikers along the trails. You can find the start of the hikes uphill from the Ranger Station near the entrance to the Henry Miller Site.
Agents of Discovery
At Mount Madonna County Park you can also engage in an fun educational activity via the app, Agents of Discovery. You can download the app for free and use it as you head along the “CA Newt Trail”. It is a 1.5 mile loop that may take you about 1hr – 1 hr 15 min to complete. You can start near the Visitor Center/Ranger Station. Along the trail you will use your smart phone or tablet to answer questions about the cultural, natural, and historical resources here within the Redwood forest ecosystem at Mount Madonna. Once you have download the app and Mount Madonna mission, no wifi or data is needed to complete the activity. Prizes are available if you complete the mission (further details within the app). Available to play in English or Spanish.
Hours and Fees
The park is open year-round from 8 a.m. until sunset. All non-campers must leave the park 30 minutes 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.
Access fees information here: Vehicle Entry Fees, Camping Fees, Group Picnic Site Fees
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.