Butano State Park (aka Bute-en-oh)

Butano State Park is only an hour from our house and we have never stayed there.  I got the reservations about six months ago and we didn’t know what to expect.  We arrived on Thursday night and quickly realized that we had been missing out on a great park.  Most of the sites are spaced well apart, the bathrooms are very clean with running water, there are lots of hiking trails, but most of all this place is so q-u-i-e-t.

Saturday morning I came up with a wacky idea to hike from the park to the Highway 1 Brewery.  My map said it was about one mile from our site to the entrance to the park and about 3 1/2 more miles to Highway 1.  Gi was up for some exercise so we headed out at 12:45.  Between our site and the park entrance we came across an old time dam and a water flue.


After we passed the park entrance, we could clearly see the road ahead.  Ok, this is going to be a serious walk to get a beer.


We walked past happy California cows and lots of wild flowers on the road.


After 2 hours of walking (where Gianna picked up nearly every piece of trash on the road), we arrived at the Highway 1 Brewery.  We took a seat at the bar which looked out over Highway 1 and the coast.

They had several IPAs on tap and a wide selection of other beers.  We got to chat with the brewer who used to work at Gordon Biersch in San Jose.  The IPAs were some of the best I’ve had and Gi enjoyed her lager.  At the bar we asked the bartender to pronounce the name of the park because it was much different than how we were pronouncing it.


Time to head back.  On the return trip Gi picked some roadside flowers (since she picked up all of the trash on the trip down to the brewery). IMG_4952

Once we got back to lovely site 13, Gi went into ‘Camping Mode’ and rested until our Boulder Creek neighbors Jason, April, Autumn, and Mason showed up.


We were having a great time and I forgot to take any pictures of the group.  Jason forgot to bring graham crackers for the s’mores so Gianna placed a sign on the tree next to our site and within an hour someone brought us a pack of graham crackers. Sweet!  Time for s’mores!


We should have apologized to the nice couple in site 14 because we stayed up late Saturday night, drinking beverages, telling stories, laughing, and having a great time with Jason and April.

This is such a gem of a place and we will be coming back soon.

Things we learned

Only a few sites can handle a 24′ RV.  We rated these sites from best to okay for an RV: 13 is the most private, big, lots of space, level, and can accommodate an extra car, 9 is a big private site and it looks to be level, 16 is a big semi-private site that can fit 3-4 cars, and 8 not private but big and level and can accommodate 3 cars.  Also, we couldn’t make cell phone calls with Verizon but with the help of our Wilson Sleek cell phone booster we were able to send text messages (yea).  We did see some people talking on cell phones so we assume they were on AT&T.

Dates visited

  • May 7-10, 2015

That’s all for now.  Thanks for reading about Butano State Park and please post a comment!


  1. Mike Absher

    I haven’t been to Butano in a long time, but I used to go there quite a bit way back when. It is definitely one of the local “Secrets” that not as many people know about. Glad you finally got to check it out and it sounds like you had a fantastic weekend. Wish we could have been there with you. One of these days, we will definitely catch up at a campground somewhere.

    1. Brian Holle (Post author)

      Since we have such a difficult time meeting up, let’s schedule something in late summer with our two families at Butano. It’s close and I think we can fit both of our rigs into site 16.


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