Old Hernandez Road

a road with water and mountains in the background

key: paved dirt

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  • GPX file: https://www.overlandbound.com/map-location/14202
  • Track Length: 13.56 miles, including 6.7 miles of well-graded dirt.
  • Track Duration: 40 mins.
  • Difficulty Rating: EASY
  • Track Conditions: The middle 6 or 7 miles is easy, well-graded dirt. This is a regular route for locals and is well-maintained.
  • Recommended Vehicle: 4WD or AWD is recommended. There is a river ford across the San Benito River that is subject to seasonal closure. It is a dangerous river during winter floods, do not attempt to cross when the river is flowing.
  • Camping: No camping along Old Hernandez Road. Plenty of camping in various locations along Coalinga Road, at the south end of Old Hernandez, and in the nearby Pinnacles National Park at the north end.
  • Notes: This is a county road that (as is often the case) passes through private property. From what one can gather, there has been a push by local property owners to close this route. Be respectful to no trespassing and no hunting notices – let’s keep this route open!
  • Websites:

About 25 miles north of King City if coming from the US 101 freeway, Old Hernandez Road is a county-maintained road about 13 miles long. The middle section of about 6.7 miles is well-graded dirt, including a ford as the road crosses the San Benito River.

This route would make a good connector for La Gloria/Gloria Road, which we plan to feature in an upcoming video.

The route begins at the unincorporated community of San Benito, which seems to be named for the river rather than being connected to the county itself (the county is not named after the old township). The community had a post office from 1869 to 1968, but today all that remains seems to be a couple of buildings at the junction of Willow Creek Rd and Old Hernandez Road.

Old Hernandez Road itself seems to be named for the erstwhile town of Hernandez, which today lies flooded at the bottom of the Hernandez Reservoir, created by damming the San Benito River in the Diablo Range, a way south of the junction between Hernandez Road and Coalinga Road. The Hernandez earthen-filled dam was built in 1962.

There is no camping anywhere along Old Hernandez Road, and it is important to note that county roads such as this one often cross private property. While you may have a right to travel along the route, all no trespassing signs, and all no hunting signs, must be obeyed.

Check out the other tracks in our Off The Beaten Track series.

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