Orcutt Hills Trail

Santa Maria Valley + Santa Lucia/La Panza Mountains, California

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Orcutt Hills Trail


  • Plenty of shade is available throughout most the trail system on Orcutt Hill.- Orcutt Hills Trail
  • At the summit you will find incredible views of the eastern valley. - Orcutt Hills Trail
  • Some of the trails are narrow, so use caution when mountain biking or horseback riding.- Orcutt Hills Trail
  • What a beautiful place for a rest!- Orcutt Hills Trail
  • Tucked in the hills is an abandoned home with various other structures that have since turned into "urban art."- Orcutt Hills Trail
  • The trails through Orcutt Hill vary in difficulty, size, and maintenance; however, many of them are similar to this, making any activity an option. - Orcutt Hills Trail
  • Incredible views of the Santa Maria Valley.- Orcutt Hills Trail
  • Santa Maria is known for it's old oak trees, and Orcutt Hill does not disappoint!- Orcutt Hills Trail
  • Velvet ants are actually wasps. This one is likely a female and can pack a nasty punch, so please leave them be. - Orcutt Hills Trail
  • Did someone say lunch?- Orcutt Hills Trail
  • The trails are canopied with oak.- Orcutt Hills Trail
  • Views such as this are found quickly and often on the Orcutt Hill trail system.- Orcutt Hills Trail
  • Even in late summer you're likely to spot beautiful flora throughout the park.- Orcutt Hills Trail
Overview + Weather
Large trail system. Bird watching. Vistas. Easy to moderate hiking.
Slightly difficult to navigate. Views of the residential area. No potable water.
Santa Maria Valley + Santa Lucia/La Panza Mountains, CA
Pets allowed: 
Highest point: 
704.00 ft (214.58 m)
Year round: 
Parking Pass: 
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Spring, Fall
Suitable for:
Biking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
3.10 mi (4.99 km)
Total elevation gain: 
301.00 ft (91.74 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
441.00 ft (134.42 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Orcutt Hill Trails is an easy trail through the Orcutt Hills in Santa Maria Valley that hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and dog lovers alike can all enjoy! A nice parking lot and trailhead entrance into the area is off of East Rice Ranch Road. Take a right onto an unnamed road just under a half mile down Rice Ranch Road and find a small dirt parking lot on the righthand side.

This 3.1-mile trail is moderately trafficked, so please take caution when biking through the area. A fun hike for everyone, you can build and extend or shorten your hike as much as you like following the various trails throughout Orcutt Hills. There is a nice trail map at the parking lot, so snap a photo with your phone and head on out! It all loops around eventually, so when in doubt, continue to turn left. As you climb up various gradual trails you'll have excellent views of Orcutt and its surrounding natural areas.

The trail system was built for everyone to enjoy it. In 2010, Santa Maria Valley residents began advocating for an outdoor space near Orcutt to foster healthier lifestyles and community involvement. In 2011 they reached non-profit status through several helpful donations and were able to begin building today's wonderful trail system.

Many trails and outdoor recreational areas around Santa Maria Valley have various restrictions such as leashed dogs, restricted areas for protective species, and prohibitions against horseback riding or mountain biking, but the Orcutt Hill Trail network is a passive and spontaneous space. This means that it will always be open to the public with no permit or pass required, and will be open seven days a week from dusk to dawn. The only restrictions are that motorized vehicles are prohibited.

Preservation of the park requires community involvement and responsiblity for being a steward of this beautiful park as one who uses it. Practice the principles of Leave No Trace, and be sure to pack out what you pack in. The various wildlife species will appreciate it too! If you're quiet enough, you'll be lucky to see many types of birds, possibly small rodents, or deer. 

Orcutt Hill Trails is the perfect place for an after work walk/run/ride that is fun for everyone. Many locals visit weekly!

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

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