Photo of La Purisima Mission in the Santa Maria Valley

Many people have no idea that La Purisima Mission State Historic Park in Lompoc is the only California mission with hiking trails!

Photo of La Purisima Mission State Park in Santa Maria ValleyIndeed, this nearby historic treasure boasts more than 25 miles of trails on 2,000 acres for visitors to explore. The mission has trail maps available at the entrance station adjacent to its visitor center and gift shop. The mission is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for self-guided tours, hiking and exploring.

Meanwhile, a one-mile guided walking tour that lasts for an hour-and-a-half is offered most days at 1 p.m. The 11th of the 21 Franciscan Missions established in California, Misión la Purisima Concepción de Maria Santísima (Mission of the Immaculate Conception of Most Holy Mary) was founded by Father Presidente Fermín de Lasuén on December 8, 1787.

The mission was home to the Chumash people and Spanish settlers, and once occupied more than 400 acres of land. The mission’s inhabitants herded nearly 20,000 cattle and sheep and were well-known for producing exquisite blankets and hides. Today, La Purisima is the most extensively restored mission in California. More than 200,000 guests visit the mission each year, either on the self-guided walking tour or as part of the guided tours.

The mission hosts frequent events, which give greater insight into a key piece of California heritage. Visit La Purisima to learn more about the cultures that once called the mission home.

In Santa Maria Valley, there’s so much to do from here. Hit the road and explore it all with our 24 hiking trails, 34 tasting rooms, seven unique AVAs, 13 beaches, and a growing selection of local breweries, all within a beautiful 30-minute drive. There is no need to venture far if you are looking for sand dunes, cycling and authentic Santa Maria Style dining. You’ll find it’s the perfect home base, where you can eat, drink and do more for less.