The Panoche/Tumey/Griswold Hills, rising out of the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, provide a wealth of recreation opportunities, are rich in upland game, provide significant habitat for endangered species of plants and animals, and contain significant paleontological resources. Visitor service improvements are now complete at the new day use facilities, including a parking area, a shade structure, picnic benches, a vault toilet, and a kiosk providing an interpretive panel, a map, and information at each area. There are 2 Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC's) and 2 Wilderness Study Areas (WSA's) within the Panoche/Tumey/Griswold Hills. One ACEC was established for the protection of rare plants and animals, and the other is for the protection of the paleontological resources. The 2 WSA's are located in the Panoche Hills and must be managed so as not to diminish existing wilderness values. Although located near a heavily traveled highway, the Panoche/Tumey/Griswold Hills area has been isolated over the years, with much of the area only recently opened to public access.
From I-5, take the Mercy Hot Springs exit. Continue west on this road, past the Little Panoche Retention Dam. You will see a BLM sign on your left, indicating the entrance to the Panoche Hills. The gravel access road bisects the Panoche Hills, but has no outlet on the east side. The road is closed four miles up the road during fire season, which is roughly April 15-October 15. From Highway 25, take the J-1 road at Paicines, and head east. Turn left onto "Little Panoche Road", and continue until you see the BLM sign described above. A good landmark is the Mercy Hot Springs Resort, which is almost directly opposite the access point.
Hollister Field Office 20 Hamilton Court Hollister, CA 95023
Camping Hiking Horseback Riding Hunting Wildlife Viewing
BLM - Bureau of Land Management