Esparto (formerly Esperanza) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Yolo County, California, United States. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,108 at the 2010 census.
Vaca Valley Railroad officials gave the name Esperanza ("hope" in Spanish) to their new townsite in 1888, but when the post office was established in 1890 the name had to be changed because there was already an Esperanza in Tulare County. The name Esparto was chosen as the new name, and it means "feather grass" in Spanish. In 1888 Esparto was laid with track from the Vaca Valley Railroad (later consolidated into the Southern Pacific Railroad) that trailed to Rumsey. In 1893, Yolo County's second high school was established in the town of Esparto, Esparto High School, but a building for it was not built until 1918.
The Vaca Valley Railroad began in 1937 to remove track from Rumsey to Esparto, stopping train service northwest of Esparto in 1941. The passenger service from Esparto to Elmira was officially discontinued in 1957. Voters approved the formation of a school district in 1959-60 that encompass the Capay Valley. Another major win for the community was the successful fundraising for the Esparto Regional Library Branch of the Yolo County Library in 1999.