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Camping at Lower Ranch Campground at Ada Lake

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Location and Overview

Lower Ranch Campground is situated within Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area, which spans over 6,800 acres in the Gabilan Mountains in California. It is an off-road haven for motor vehicle enthusiasts, featuring trails for 4x4s, motorcycles, ATVs, and other types of vehicles. Ada Lake is one of the features in the park, and the Lower Ranch Campground is located in its proximity, offering camping experiences for visitors to the SVRA.

Camping at Lower Ranch

Campsite Features:

  • The campground typically offers basic amenities like picnic tables, fire pits, shade ramadas, and restrooms.
  • Some campsites may provide potable water, although it's advisable to bring your own water or confirm the availability before arriving.
  • Campsites in Lower Ranch may be more primitive and targeted towards off-road enthusiasts given it is in an SVRA.

Booking and Fees:

  • Reservations for campsites at Lower Ranch Campground are advisable, especially during peak seasons, weekends, or holidays.
  • Campsites may come with associated fees for overnight camping, and there may be additional costs for day-use or vehicle entry.
  • Check the latest fee structure and reservation details on the California Department of Parks and Recreation website or through their reservation system.

Vehicle Use and Access

Off-Road Vehicle Use:

  • Lower Ranch Campground, due to its location in an SVRA, is often chosen by campers who are also there to enjoy off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation.
  • The campground provides access to a variety of trails suitable for different types of vehicles and skill levels.
  • It's important for all drivers to follow the regulations regarding vehicle use, including wearing helmets and adhering to trail rules/speed limits.

Access and Vehicle Requirements:

  • Access to the SVRA and thus the campground may require vehicles to be in good working order and potentially meet specific requirements for off-road use.
  • Make sure to check the SVRA rules for vehicle equipment standards, such as spark arresters and noise limitations.

Park Amenities and Regulations

General Amenities:

  • Beyond the campground, Hollister Hills SVRA may offer additional amenities such as a visitor center, park stores, and possibly event spaces.
  • The park may host special events, educational programs, and competitions, which could affect campground availability or quietness.


  • Due to the park being designed for vehicular use, there will be specific rules to protect both the environment and the safety of visitors.
  • Noise levels are to be maintained within certain limits, and riding hours may be regulated.
  • Alcohol consumption and campfire use are subject to state and park-specific regulations. Be sure to check fire regulations due to changing conditions and wildfire risks.

Safety and Environmental Concerns

Safety Measures:

  • All visitors should be aware of the potential risks associated with off-road vehicle use and camping in natural areas.
  • It is advisable to have a first aid kit, safety gear for vehicle use, and to be prepared for limited cell service areas.

Environmental Protection:

  • Leave No Trace principles should be practiced to preserve the natural environment.
  • Waste disposal should be done in accordance with park rules, and recycling options should be used if available.


  • The park is home to a range of wildlife and plants. Visitors should take care not to disturb the natural habitat and be aware of how to behave if they encounter wildlife.


Camping at Lower Ranch Campground at Ada Lake in Hollister Hills SVRA offers a unique experience, especially appealing to off-road motor vehicle enthusiasts. Proper preparation and understanding of the specific rules and conditions of this particular state vehicular recreation area will ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure. Always check the most current information from the park authorities before planning your trip.

Location of Lower Ranch Campground at Ada Lake
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