Description - Welcome to Chesbro Reservoir County Park. This beautiful and scenic 650-acre park and reservoir is located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains west of Morgan Hill. The reservoir's rural setting is located just minutes from Morgan Hill and Gilroy. The park includes the 269-acre man-made reservoir available for non-motorized boat use and fishing.
Copyright: - Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Dept.
Chesbro Reservoir, a 269-acre lake, support populations of trout, black bass, largemouth bass, catfish and crappie
The Chesbro Reservoir was formed from the damming of Llagas Creek. The Mutsun Ohlone Indians frequented the area for thousands of years before the arrival of the Europeans. Today's reservoir was once part of two Mexican land grants from Mexican Governor Figueroa. The 8,927-acre Rancho Ojo de Agua de la Coche ("pig spring") was granted to Hernandez in 1835 and the 22,283-acre Rancho San Francisco de las Llagas (St. Francis of the wounds) was granted to C. Castro in 1834. The ranchos were eventually acquired by Martin Murphy, an early pioneer of Santa Clara County. By 1860, the lands had been patented to his grandson. The construction of Chesbro Dam in 1955 was part of a countywide effort by water officials to ensure adequate water supplies for the valley's growing population. The new reservoir was named for Elmer J. Chesbro, a local doctor who was president of the South Santa Clara Valley Water Conservation District at the time of its construction. The reservoir, which captures water from the Llagas Creek watershed, is used to recharge supplies in underground aquifers to provide water to be pumped from wells for residential, agricultural, and industrial uses.
- Activities at the park center around the reservoir. There are no designated trails within the park at this time. The reservoir is a 269-acre, non-power boating reservoir, popular with fishermen and other passive boaters. Anglers may fish for trout, black bass, largemouth bass, catfish and crappie. Sailors, kayakers and other non-power boaters may enjoy a beautiful view from the calm waters of the reservoir. Picnic facilities are limited and located at the boat launch /parking area only.
The majority of the park's facilities meet those standards established by the Americans with Disabilities Act. For other specific information or special accommodations, contact the park office.
The park is open year-round from 8 AM until sunset. Boats must be off the water one half hour before sunset. Lake use fees are collected daily and may be deposited at the self serve box at the boat launch ramp / parking lot.
Recreation - A visit to Chesbro Reservoir County Park centers around non-powered boating and fishing. Limited picnicking available.
Climate - Climate in the San Francisco Bay area varies greatly with elevation and the amount of coastal influence. Areas with more coastal influence experience moderate temperatures year round with fog likely from June through mid-August. Plan your coastal visit in the late summer or fall to ensure the best conditions for viewing the scenery. Also, occasional clear days between winter and spring storms are incomparable. Areas further inland experience greater temperature extremes, with relatively cooler winters and hot summers. Inland areas often receive frost on winter nights. As throughout most of California most of the precipitation comes in the winter months, with April through October normally very dry.
Chesbro Reservoir County Park is located in the foothills east of the Santa Cruz Mountains and west of the City of Morgan Hill. The reservoir and park are accessible from U.S. Highway 101 or 85. From Santa Clara Valley, take the Bernal Road exit from U.S. 101 or 85. From the Bernal Road exit proceed west about 0.2 miles to Monterey Highway south. Take Monterey Highway south 3.4 miles to Bailey Road. Turn right and follow Bailey Road 2.8 miles west over a ridge to McKean Road. Turn left on to McKean / Uvas Road (McKean Road becomes Uvas Road 2.2 miles south of Bailey Road) and travel south 4.5 miles to Oak Glen Avenue. Turn left on to Oak Glen Avenue and travel adjacent to Chesbro Reservoir 2.3 miles to the parking lot and boat launch area (near the dam).
From U.S. 101 between Morgan Hill and Gilroy, take the Tennant Avenue exit west one mile to Monterey Highway. At Monterey Highway, Tennant Avenue becomes Edmundson Avenue. Proceed 1.8 miles west on Edmundson and turn right on to Oak Glen Avenue. Travel 1.6 miles on Oak Glen Avenue to Llagas Avenue and turn left to continue on Oak Glen Avenue. Follow Oak Glen Avenue another 0.6 miles to the parking lot and boat launch area.