Olinda Oil Trail + Museum

Los Angeles Metro Area, California

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Olinda Oil Trail + Museum


  • Olinda Oil Museum and Trail in the former oil boomtown of Olinda, California.- Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
  • The museum has indoor and outdoor displays of artifacts related to Olinda's history of oil exploration.- Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
  • The Field House contains a free museum, though the indoor portion keeps limited hours.- Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
  • The Olinda Oil Trail begins adjacent to the museum and parking area behind an interpretive sign.- Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
  • With a quick gain in elevation, the Olinda Oil Trail opens up to views over the area.- Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
  • The trail parallels and weaves among roads that serve the active oil machinery.- Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
  • It is possible to see Carbon Canyon Regional Park and the western end of Chino Hills State Park across Carbon Canyon Road from the trail.- Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
  • Machinery varies in size and age. - Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
  • A view from the top of the trail, elevation 910 feet.- Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
  • A few interpretive signs stand along the trail, this one overlooking the climb's switchbacks across a small ravine.- Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
  • Sandstone contributed to the area's unique oil conditions, and it juts through the dirt trail surface in some areas.- Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
  • The trail tends to be well-signed.- Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
  • The lower portion of the trail follows a paved access road, beginning at an intersection with Santa Fe Avenue.- Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
  • The last 0.15 mile requires walking along Santa Fe Avenue to return to the parking area.- Olinda Oil Trail + Museum
Overview + Weather
Wide views.
Exposed to sun and wind.
Los Angeles Metro Area, CA
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Highest point: 
910.00 ft (277.37 m)
Net Elevation Gain: 
395.00 ft (120.40 m)
Year round: 
Parking Pass: 
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Winter, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.90 mi (3.06 km)
Total elevation gain: 
430.00 ft (131.06 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
515.00 ft (156.97 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The Olinda Oil Trail and Museum stand in the oil fields remaining from the oil boomtown of Olinda. While most of the area has been incorporated into the city of Brea, the museum preserves the area's oil-rich past, while the Olinda Oil Trail climbs the hillside dotted with active machinery and tops out with views over the area that stretch out to the coastal cities and Catalina Island on a clear day.

The town of Olinda grew with the discovery of oil fields and the unique way the village extracted oil. The village pioneered drilling for oil in a water-filled hole, which helped permeate the sandstone beneath the surface. When the Carbon Canyon Dam was built in 1959, much of the village's area was inundated beneath the surface of the reservoir, essentially ending the town's oil-producing legacy.

Our suggestion is to begin at the museum and take the trail in a clockwise direction, unless you're thirsting for a long uphill slog through the chaparral-dusted hillside. Currently, the Oil Trail traces a 1.9-mile loop that climbs the shadeless single-track hillside, weaving among interpretive signs and oil machines, before dropping into a ravine and intersecting with Santa Fe Road for the return to the museum parking area. The museum and park have historical displays, covered benches, water, and bathrooms. The museum is free and open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Olinda Trail is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. With about 425 feet in total climbing, the trail has a moderate uphill slope. There are a couple benches along the way, but there is almost no shade or water.

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(13 within a 30 mile radius)

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(63 within a 30 mile radius)

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