Hollister Ranch Public Access Program

Aerial photo of Hollister Ranch. Photo credit: Commission staff

Jan 18, 2024 | Public Access

California’s iconic coast is home to many of California’s precious natural, cultural, and historic resources. The public policy of protecting, expanding, enhancing, and promoting public access to the State’s coast, tidelands, and waterways is embodied in California’s Constitution, numerous laws, and the common law. California is a world leader in protecting its coast and advancing the right of all people to access and enjoy our beaches and ocean.

Hollister Ranch is a 14,500-acre gated subdivision in Santa Barbara County that includes 8.5 miles of publicly owned shoreline, though no public access. The 60-mile section of the Santa Barbara coast from Hollister Ranch to Point Sal is one of the least accessible shorelines in California, with less than 5 miles available for general public use.

In 1981, the California Coastal Commission adopted an initial Hollister Ranch Public Access Program, which it updated a year later. The final program called for a phased and monitored approach to opening and managing access to the Ranch. Despite numerous legislative, legal, and administrative efforts over the past few decades, there is still no public access to the 8.5 miles of coast at Hollister Ranch.

In 2019, State Parks, the California Coastal Commission, the Coastal Conservancy, and the State Lands Commission entered into an interagency collaboration agreement to achieve public access to and along the coast at Hollister Ranch. The agencies have worked since that time, in conjunction with the public, to update the Hollister Ranch public access program to finally provide public access to this stretch of coastline.

For additional information, please see the Coastal Commission’s Hollister Ranch website or the State Coastal Conservancy’s Hollister Ranch website.

If you would like to be included on the State Coastal Conservancy email list for the public access planning process, please email Trish.Chapman@scc.ca.gov

Hollister Ranch Informational Update

In April 2019, Commission staff provided an informational update about public access and Hollister Ranch. Below are the slides that accompanied the staff presentation. The presentation highlights the fabulous survey and drone work our staff performed in late 2018 and early 2019. The presentations include information about the mean high tide line, drone imagery, and some of the products generated with Drone2Map photogrammetry software. Videos of drone flights and generated 3D Models are available through the Commission’s YouTube account and are at the bottom of this page.

Staff Report Meeting Webcast

Hollister Ranch Informational Presentation (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about Hollister Ranch can be found below in both English and Spanish.


Recorded Workshop


Staff Reports


The Beaches of Hollister Ranch

Topographic map of the beaches of Hollister Ranch on the Santa Barbara Channel

Topographic map of the beaches of Hollister Ranch on the Santa Barbara Channel.


Drone Overview

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