Santa Maria Valley is a beautiful stretch of mountainous ranges in the northern Santa Barbara wine country, neighboring the pacific coastline. Fanatics of the foothills agree this is a wonderful place to hit the trails and enjoy the wide-open spaces of the central California Coast. With 24 hiking trails, all within 30 miles and ranging by length and difficulty, it’s always the perfect time to head for the hills and find a path that’s right for you. These are a few of our favorites.
Open views, well-maintained trails and fewer people make the East La Cuesta Loop the perfect place for nature enthusiasts and trail lovers. The East La Cuesta Loop is located in the sprawling Los Flores Ranch Park trail system featuring 15 miles of hiking trails. Enjoy the surrounding wildflowers and panoramic scenery of the valley and mountain ranges. This trail suits most skill levels but does include some inclines.
Don’t worry, dogs are most definitely welcome, so bring your four-legged friends along for the fun. The trail is just 20 minutes from your favorite home base, Santa Maria.
Orcutt Hill is just 20 minutes from downtown, located near the Orcutt Community and Dog Parks. All skill levels are welcome at this dog-friendly trail. Maybe you don’t feel like walking? The trail is also open for horseback riding and mountain biking. Enjoy what works for you! Keep an eye out for wildlife and take in the scenic views of the surrounding hillsides, eucalyptus groves and California oaks. What are you up for?
This trailhead starts just a few miles away from the Pacific Ocean, where you’ll get the best of both worlds: stay on the boardwalk or venture off the beaten path and onto the sandy beach. You’ll probably want to shed your shoes at this point to make your way through the loose sand. After a tenth of a mile, you’ll be able to dip your toes into the salty waves.