Visitor # 25027 since 04.JUL.2004
Frank Raines Off Highway Vehicle Park is run by Stanislaus County. Frank Raines Park has 2000 acres of mountainous terrain located on the western edge of Stanislaus County. It offers developed campsites with full RV hookups, lawn areas with picnic tables and barbecue grills, a baseball diamond, children's playground and nature trails. Of the total, 840 acres of the park are reserved for off-road vehicle use (ATVs, 4WDs, motorcycles, dune buggies) - however, only 150 acres is currently open due to a major fire in 2003. An additional 840 acres of land to the north of the present location has been purchased by the county and once all the EPA permits are in place, it'll be opened to off-road access.
Other park areas are outstanding for hiking and observation of wildlife such as deer, wild turkeys, and many other wildlife species. It apparently opened in January of 1990 (which explains why I never saw this place back in the 80's).
There is $2 day use fee for the off-road area. You can wheel from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. There are 34 full hoolup campsites that run $20/night and additional developed camsites that run $1`6/day. Facilities include running water, restrooms and dump station. There's even a recreation hall which can be rented for $75/day on weekends, $65/day on weekdays. There is a greener camping place about 5 miles east (towards I-5).
There are restrooms with running water and an RV dump station, but no other facilities (like air). Closest services are in Patterson, 17 miles to the east on Del Puerto Canyon Road. You can contact the Stanislaus County Parks Department for more information.
Frank Raines is near the western edge of Stanislaus county which happens to be a stones throw from the "San Francisco Bay Area". The park itself is very near where Alameda, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, and Stanislaus counties all meet. To get there, go East on I-580 then south on I-5 about 15 mi. and turn west on Del Puerto Canyon Rd. (near the town of Patterson). Then travel 17 mi. west of I-5 to Frank Raines OHV Park, which is just beyond the Frank Raines Campground. For a more scenic approach, you can enter from the west via State Highway 130 over Mt. Hamilton or from the main drag (First St.) in Livermore onto S. Livermore Rd. heading east, to Tesla Rd. to Del Valle Rd. to Mines Rd. In either case, you'll reach "The Junction", where 130 and Mines Rd. meet. Then it is 7 miles east on Del Puerto Canyon Rd. to the park. San Jose to the park is 46 miles (~1.5 hours), Livermore is 38 miles (~1 hour). If heading over Mt. Hamilton, be sure to check the CalTrans Highway Information page for the latest status, as that road closes in the event of snow on the 4200 foot summit. Recent storms have damaged Del Puerto Canyon and Mines Road. Del Puerto Canyon road is closed for repairs M-F 7:30-5:00. Getting to the park is now as much fun as the rough terrain area itself.
There's no trail map or guide available for the park and there are no signs or difficulty ratings posted on the trails. Trails range from fairly wide graded single lane with occasional pullouts to single-track motorcycle paths to dry and wet creek beds, you name it. This place is very primitive, there are no man-made obstacles and only the main roads seem to be maintained. On more than one occasion, I've had to back out of trails due to washouts or scary looking drop-offs.
The main layout of the park is a creek bottom and the hills on each side of the drainage. Several of the higher roads end at locked gates entering private property. There are the main roads with lots of little side spurs offering various degrees of driving. You will end up having to look at and walk sections of trail. If in doubt, scout!
[Last updated: 29.February.2008]