Dos Rios Ranch State Park
LocationStanislaus County, California, U.S.
Nearest cityModesto.
Coordinates37°35′42″N 121°8′37″W / 37.59500°N 121.14361°W / 37.59500; -121.14361
Area1,600 acres (6.5 km2)
Governing bodyCalifornia Department of Parks and Recreation

Dos Rios Ranch State Park in Stanislaus County, California, United States, is about 8 miles (13 km) southwest of Modesto. The California state park is under construction and is scheduled to open to the public June 22, 2024.[1][2] Situated where the San Joaquin and Tuolumne rivers converge, retired farm fields have been planted with native plants like cottonwood, valley oak, milkweed and elderberry bushes which flourished with the initial care they were given.[3] These renewed floodplains create space for water to spread out again as the berms have been modified to allow floodwater to flow freely across the area.[4]


Dos Rios Ranch State Park is in California's Central Valley, the home of Native American tribes like the Yokuts and Plains and Sierra Miwok. The Central Valley was once filled with wetlands, riparian forests, scrublands, and grasslands. However, due to development, deforestation, and the Swamp Land Act of 1850, little of these habitats remain.[5]

The land Dos Rios Ranch sits on became farmland for dairies and almond orchards.[5] In 2009, California State Parks director Ruth Coleman proposed the Dos Rios Ranch as a future state park as part of the Central Valley Vision Implementation Plan.[6] A nonprofit, River Partners, collected funding from various government programs and other organizations in order to buy the ranch. In 2012, they purchased the Dos Rios Ranch for $21.8 million and began restoring the native habitat.[5][7]

California governor Gavin Newsom signed a budget allocating $15 million to the project in 2022, making Dos Rios Ranch the 281th California state park.[8]



Native plants in Dos Rios Ranch include valley oak, cottonwood, milkweed, elderberry, dogbane, and valley sedge.[3][5]


Animals in Dos Rios Ranch include riparian brush rabbits, Chinook salmon, sandhill cranes, Aleutian cackling geese, monarch butterflies, and the least Bell’s vireo.[8][7]


Three acres (1.2 ha) of Dos Rios Ranch State Park are set aside for permanent Native use. This area features native plants that can be gathered by Native Americans without a permit for traditional activities like basket weaving.[5]


  1. ^ Chamings, Andrew (April 22, 2024). "First new California state park in a decade gets opening date". SFGATE. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  2. ^ Holland, John (February 14, 2024). "Modesto area's new state park will open by summer. See what awaits where two rivers join". The Modesto Bee.
  3. ^ a b Stafford, Sabra (December 2, 2022). "Dos Rios Ranch set to be newest California park". The West Side Index & Gustine Press-Standard. Retrieved February 23, 2024.
  4. ^ James, Ian (February 20, 2024). "How freeing rivers can help California ease flood risks and revive ecosystems". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 22, 2024.
  5. ^ a b c d e Smith, H.R. (Spring 2024). "The Everything Park". Bay Nature. 24 (2): 28–33.
  6. ^ "Central Valley Vision Implementation Plan" (PDF). 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2024.
  7. ^ a b Duggan, Tara (May 11, 2021). "Could this $36 million Central Valley river restoration project help with California's droughts?". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 28, 2024.
  8. ^ a b Bartlett, Amanda. "Calif.'s new state park is in easy driving distance of Bay Area". SFGATE. Retrieved March 28, 2024.