Hearst Ranch, looking down the access road from Hearst Castle to Highway 1 and San Simeon. Wooded peninsula is San Simeon Point.
Young zebras at Hearst Ranch. Remnants of Mr. Hearst's private zoo, they are allowed to mix freely with Ranch cattle.

The Hearst Ranch is composed of two cattle ranches in central California. The best known is the original Hearst Ranch, which surrounds Hearst Castle and comprises about 80,000 acres (320 km2). George Hearst (1820–1891) bought over 30,000 acres (120 km2) of Rancho Piedra Blanca, an 1840 Mexican land grant, in the late 19th century. He also bought most of Rancho San Simeon, and part of Rancho Santa Rosa, two other adjacent land grants. [1]

The other ranch is the 73,000-acre (300 km2) Jack Ranch at Cholame, California, which was acquired by the Hearst Corporation in 1966. The Jack Ranch comprises most of Rancho Cholame, an 1844 land grant, plus additional lands. The ranch's Circle C brand is the oldest registered brand in use in California.[1]

A third collection of Hearst ranches was acquired by the Army to form Fort Hunter Liggett.


The Hearst ranch produces branded grass-fed beef for the retail markets, selling primarily to Whole Foods in Southern California. The ranch is managed by Stephen Thompson Hearst, the great-grandson of William Randolph Hearst. [2] The ranch is permanently protected under a conservation agreement signed in 2005 by the Hearst Corporation, American Land Conservancy, California Rangeland Trust, and the State of California.[2][3][4][5]


The ranch has a private airstrip, Hearst Airport. It was first constructed in 1928 or before. In 1935 or 1936 it was moved to a different location.[6] It was moved to its third and present location in 1946. It is not open to public traffic.[7]


  1. ^ a b "About". Hearst Ranch. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b Grass-fed beef tops Hearst Ranch business ventures, San Francisco Chronicle, July 25, 2014
  3. ^ "Hearst Ranch". California Rangeland Trust. 7 April 2019. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  4. ^ "Hearst Ranch conservation project marks 10-year anniversary". sanluisobispo. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  5. ^ Madigan, Nick (20 September 2004). "Hearst Land Settlement Leaves Bitter Feelings". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: California: San Luis Obispo area".
  7. ^ "Hearst Airport - Hearst Castle". 10 September 2012.

35°42′N 121°10′W / 35.700°N 121.167°W / 35.700; -121.167