San Juan Bautista Historic State Park

Gabilan + Southern Diablo Mountains, California

Start Exploring
San Juan Bautista Historic State Park

Share:

Advertisement
  • San Juan Bautista Historic State Park tour entrance.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Daily items from the late 1800s.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Authentic clothing from the 1800s.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Hotel guest sign-in book.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Dinner hall in the hotel.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • A menu from the historic hotel.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Authentic clothing displayed along the tour.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • The saloon.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Poker table.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Hotel kitchen.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • San Juan Bautistia historic jail and park bathrooms.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • San Juan Bautistia stables.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Historic buggies inside the stables.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Historic buggies inside the stables.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Historic buggies inside the stables.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Blacksmith area.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Bath house.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • The Zanetta House at San Juan Bautistia State Park.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Inside the Zanetta House.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Inside the Zanetta House.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
  • Inside the Zanetta House.- San Juan Bautista Historic State Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Historic buildings and landmarks. Picnic areas.
Cons: 
None.
Advertisement
Region:
Gabilan + Southern Diablo Mountains, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Of the 21 California missions built by the Spaniards in the 18th and 19th century, Mission San Juan Bautista remains one of the few churches that are still functional. San Juan Bautista Historic State Park, home to the mission, is located off of the historic El Camino Real, or "The Royal Road," that connected the missions.

Dedicated to the preservation of this historic town, four buildings have been turned into museums that you can walk through and tour. The Plaza Hotel, Zanetta House, horse stables, and the Castro-Breen Adobe are all the main features. 

This town has an interesting history. This is the landing place for the survivors of the Donner Party, a group of travelers who got stuck in the Sierra during a bad winter and had to resort to cannibalism to survive. Not only did the survivors end up here, but they thrived in their new environment.

John Fremont, an Army captain, occupied nearby Gabilan Point (today called Fremont Peak) to assess its military significance, which at the time was still occupied by Spain. Jose Castro, the captain of the military in San Juan Bautista, ordered Fremont and his battalion of 60 men to leave. Instead, Fremont constructed a rudimentary fort and raised a makeshift U.S. flag. Eventually Fremont left the peak but it nearly started a war with Spain.

This is just a taste of the rich history you will experience on your visit to San Juan Bautista Historic State Park. A few days a year, the park historians and docents will dress in period clothing, and the town comes alive with demonstrations and activities. If you are a history buff or just want to see some real historical culture, this is the place for you!

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(70 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
2 Members
Who's Done It
3 Members
Submission by
Pro Contributor
163 Adventures Explored
140 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info