Rancho Butano was a 4,439-acre (17.96 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day San Mateo County, California given in 1838 by Governor Juan Alvarado and confirmed in 1844 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena to Ramona Sanchez. At the time, the grant was in Santa Cruz County; an 1868 boundary adjustment gave the land to San Mateo County. The grant extended along the Pacific coast between Rancho Pescadero and Rancho Punta del Año Nuevo, with Butano Creek on the north to Arroyo de los Frijoles ("Creek of the Beans") on the south, and encompassed present-day Bean Hollow State Beach and Butano State Park.
Juan Venancio Galindo married María Ramona Lorenza Sanchez in 1795. Their son, José Antonio Galindo, was granted the Rancho Laguna de la Merced and Rancho Saucelito in 1835. The one square league Butano Rancho was granted to Ramona Sanchez, widow of Venancio Galindo, in 1838 and re-granted to the same grantee, by Governor Manuel Micheltorena in 1844. In 1852, Ramona Sanchez sold the Rancho Butano to Manuel Rodriguez.
With the cession of California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored. As required by the Land Act of 1851, a claim for Rancho Butano was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1853. Rodríguez won a dispute about the northern boundary with Rancho Pescadero in 1863, and the grant was patented to Manuel Rodríguez in 1866.
Rancho Butano was sold in 1862 to Clark & Coburn of San Francisco. Loren Coburn, born in Vermont, came to California in 1851, and worked first in mining. Loren Coburn bought out his brother-in-law Jeremiah Clark. Coburn subsequently bought Rancho Punta del Año Nuevo directly to the south. He was an extremely aggressive land owner, contesting boundaries, and a perpetual litigant in the courts, and was widely disliked. In the 1890s, Coburn erected a large hotel on the bluff above Pebble Beach, hoping to make it a popular destination for vacationers taking the planned Ocean Shore Railroad from San Francisco. The San Francisco earthquake in 1906 ended construction on the railroad, and the hotel permanently closed. Coburn leased much of the land to a dairy enterprise run by the Steele family (Rensselaer, Isaac and Edgar) from Delaware. Coburn and Clark's legacy of defending their land slowed the subdivision and development of Rancho Butano.
- Ogden Hoffman, 1862, Reports of Land Cases Determined in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Numa Hubert, San Francisco
- Diseño del Rancho Butano
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho Butano
- United States. District Court (California : Northern District) Land Case 271 ND
- Rodrigues v. United States, 1863, United States Supreme Court, 68 US 582
- Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886 Archived 2013-03-20 at the Wayback Machine.
- Hoover, Mildred B.; Rensch, Hero; Rensch, Ethel; Abeloe, William N. (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9.
- Catherine Baumgarten Steele, The Steele Brothers: Pioneers in California's Great Dairy Industry, California Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Sep., 1941), pp. 259-273