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Bull Canyon Road - Santa Maria, California

Bull Canyon Road is a winding, two lane, paved country road that sits down in a narrow valley along the Santa Barabara/San Luis Obispo County line between the Santa Maria River and Highway 166. It meanders between several farms and hilly pastures filled with grazing cows.


The northern portion of the road ends atop a hill at the highway, and the southern section crosses over a bridge where Santa Barbara County line begins, entering a community of new housing developments, a new high school and regional recreation center.


For many years we've driven this convenient, scenic access road not far from Highway 101, and have stopped to take pictures of birds, California poppies in bloom, broccoli in the fields, and all sorts of things not country things you won't find in L.A.


For city folks and urban dwellers, the bucolic setting exemplifies a lifestyle the Central California Coast has known for hundreds of years. While this peaceful setting still remains in some parts of the region, the landscape is rapidly changing, growing and the farming that Bull Canyon enjoys may one day disappear.


But for now, discover what it's like to enjoy beaches, wineries and farms  minus the intense traffic and crowds. Open space is something you can still enjoy in Santa Maria Valley where Bull Canyon resides. Slightly old-fashioned, kind of laid back and definitely understated, this rapidly growing region of Santa Barbara County recently overtook the city of Santa Barbara to become the largest, fastest growing region.


Bull Canyon Road is especially known for an annual 5 and 10K run aptly called, Bull Canyon Run. First established in 1999,  Bull Canyon Road was chosen because it was easy to close the road, providing a nice run through the countryside. The Bull Canyon Run is a Law Enforcement Torch Run sponsored event that raises funds for  Special Olympics.


95 runners came to the first event and by  2000, there were over 150 runners. By  2002, the number doubled with 300 runners raising over $6000 for Special Olympics.  In 2006 there were 530 participants who raised over $11,000. Word has spread about this fun event as participants from Connecticut, Florida, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Hawaii, Illinios, Michigan, New York, London, Brazil, Israel and Oslo Norway have all joined in to raise money for Special Olympics. The event is normally held in the spring. For current information, visit

bully canyon - santa maria california map



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