Hollister Ranch Public Access
Is Hollister Ranch open to the public?
The Hollister Ranch Owners' Association's mission is to maintain Hollister Ranch in a manner that protects the traditions and beauty of the area for those who acquire property here, while allowing access to select education, conservation, and scientific groups.
Special Comment: In California, the State owns the coastline's tidelands, sometimes known as the “wet beach,” lying seaward of the mean high water line, and thus the public has always had access to the wet beach on the Gaviota Coast, which includes Hollister Ranch's tidelands. The eastern boundary of the Ranch is adjacent to Gaviota State Beach, which is itself adjacent to Highway 101 and open to the public. People can and sometimes do use boats to access the state-owned “wet beach” along the Ranch’s southern boundary. The Ranch does not attempt to stop this activity.
Hollister Ranch Conservancy
To help preserve and protect the Ranch environment, the Ranch created the Hollister Ranch Conservancy. Among other duties, the Conservancy administers a managed access program, begun in the mid-1970’s, which provides access to the Ranch to scientific and educational groups, including various university and private institutional researchers. The Ranch Conservancy regularly hosts tours by the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden, various historical societies, the Audubon Society, and other groups, free of charge. Each year, the Conservancy brings hundreds of Santa Barbara-area grade school children into the Ranch to participate (at no cost to the schools) in the Conservancy’s “Tidepool Classroom,” an experience that allows students to observe intertidal life forms not readily found elsewhere along the coast.
Public Access Through Partnerships
"Hollister Ranch has a long history of encouraging public access through partnerships. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens, and the Audubon Society, are all participating partners.
"In addition, Operation Surf, which helps disabled veterans overcome everyday challenges and transform their outlook and life, holds programs at Hollister Ranch. As a result, thousands of people visit Hollister Ranch every year.
"We encourage new partnerships and urge your group to reach out to us today to see if we can provide access and further our collaborative initiatives."