Chesbro Reservoir County Park is a scenic 215-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.
About Chesbro Reservoir
The Chesbro Reservoir was formed from the damming of Llagas Creek. The area was frequented by the Mutsun Ohlone Indians 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.
How to Get There
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 soulth 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.
Activities at the park center around the reservoir. There are no designated trails within the park at this time.To find out more information, call (408)779-9232.
Hours and Fees
The park is open year round from 8:00 a.m. until sunset.
In compliance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (‘ADA’),the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its programs, services, or activities. The Department will make reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disability have an equal opportunity to enjoy our programs, services, facilities, and activities. If you need assistance with an ADA request, please contact our ADA Coordinator.