Las Piletas Ranch

$17,250,000 $15,500,000


The stunning Las Piletas Ranch comprises 13,570± acres ideal for cattle operation and various hunting and recreational activities, perfected by sweeping views stretching from the Carrisa Plain to the Temblor Range and from the La Panza Mountain Range as far southwest as the eye can see, with dramatic rock outcroppings interrupting the landscape.

Situated in Carrisa Plains, Las Piletas Ranch is improved with numerous residences, barns and appurtenant structures, 3 sets of corrals, 2 cattle chutes, complete with cross and perimeter fencing and 7 pastures. Water is abundant with 10 operating wells, springs, seasonal creeks, and multiple storage tanks. Presently running 230 cow/calf pairs and 12 bulls, there are also 1240± acres leased for dry-land farming, and 3,000± adjoining acres of BLM and US Forest Service land for cattle grazing. 

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The enclosed information has been obtained from sources that we deem reliable; however, it is not guaranteed by Clark Company and is presented subject to corrections, errors, prior sale, changes or withdrawal from the market without notice.


Las Piletas Ranch is a spectacular 13,570±-acre, working cattle ranch situated in the hills that rise on the west side of the Carrisa Plain and teems with hunting and outdoor recreation. The landscape is a diverse topography of flat lands, unique rock formations, oak woodlands, canyons, and rangelands rising into the La Panza Mountain Range. One of the most extraordinary features of this Ranch is the presence of a large seasonal waterfall located on one of the creeks flowing through the property. Wildlife populations are abundant and include deer, bear, turkey, quail, wild boar and antelope. The area surrounding the Ranch is home to a resident herd of tule elk as well.

Located in San Luis Obispo County, the property is easily accessed via county maintained road, about one hour east of State Highway 101 between Santa Margarita and McKittrick, with access to Interstate 5 being one hour east. Current operations involve a 1,250± acre lease to a local barley farmer while the owner maintains a herd of cattle. Historically, the ranch has run 350 cows on a year-round basis. Cattle equipment includes two squeeze chutes, two sets of corrals, and scales. Las Piletas Ranch is cross and perimeter fence and improved with numerous residences, cabins, barns and other agriculture buildings including sheds and equipment storage.

Las Piletas Ranch is comprised of two, non-contiguous parcels connected by Bureau of Land Management land, currently under lease by the Ranch. The northeastern parcel includes 4,693± acres and the southwestern parcel encompasses 8,877± acres. The northeastern parcel’s topography is primarily flat and includes rangelands and farm ground. The rock formations along this northern front are particularly mystical and alluring. The terrain gradually steepens as it moves southwesterly across the property and there are a number of canyons descending from the La Panza Range into the ranch. The most predominate canyon is Piletas Canyon (for which the ranch is named), which is roughly in the middle of the southwestern parcel. Upper Piletas Canyon and Lower Piletas Canyon are segregated by a picturesque waterfall which plunges into a deep pool. Other canyons include Martinez east of Piletas and Buckhorn, which is located near the southeastern most region of the ranch. The five-acre lake is located at the base of Buckhorn Canyon. With the exception of the open rangelands and farmland in the north, the entire landscape of Las Piletas is graced with the presence of California’s iconic oak trees. The westerly boundary meets the Los Padres National Forest.



Spanish for “The Pools”, Las Piletas Ranch is situated on Branch Mountain Road in the sparsely populated Carrisa Plains area of Santa Margarita.  The gated and secure entrance to the Ranch is on Branch Mountain Road. From there, a lengthy driveway leads to the Ranch headquarters, where all structural improvements are located—a beautiful location backed up to the oak-laden foothills of the Caliente Range with a view across the vast Carrisa Plain. From the Ranch headquarters, the drive eventually leads down into Anderson Canyon, crossing the BLM lands for approximately one-half mile into the southwest parcel. After approximately one mile, the road leads to the banks of San Juan Creek which traverses the ranch from east to west.

The area surrounding the ranch is almost exclusively comprised of large ranch holdings and large blocks of public lands, which include a mix of Los Padres National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, and state lands offering privacy, peace and quiet. The Carrizo Plain National Monument entrance is located less than 15 miles southeast of the ranch with Soda Lake in between. Despite the remoteness of the Ranch, numerous shopping, entertainment, amenities and services are within a 45-60 mile drive. Drive time to Los Angeles is approximately two-and-one-half hours.

The Ranch is located approximately 60 miles from San Luis Obispo County’s Regional Airport, which offers convenient access to and from the Central Coast, with direct commercial service daily to Phoenix, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  The airport is also home to full service general aviation and corporate facilities. Further, the airport has a Jet Center and private hangars available for general aviation.



Carrisa Plains (also commonly spelled Carrizo) is a broad, grassland plain framed by the Caliente Mountains on the west and the Temblor Range on the east. During the Spring, the floor is painted with breathtaking wildflowers that draws sightseers from near and far. Also present in the Carissa Plains are the white, alkali flats of Soda Lake (normally a dry lake bed) and the 246,812± acre Carrizo Plain National Monument, the largest single native grassland remaining in California and Painted Rock, a designated National Historic Landmark. The Chumash Indian presence in the region dates back 13,000 years and there is still evidence of their early existence nearby and on the Ranch, where one is likely to find artifacts as well as grinding rocks where seed would be ground into meal.

San Luis Obispo County boasts some of the finest wineries in California and nearby San Simeon is home to the legendary Hearst Castle. A short drive to California’s coastline will deliver you to sandy beaches and the enticing Pacific Ocean where recreational opportunities and fresh seafood are plentiful.  There are also a number of golf courses in the area.



Las Piletas Ranch is in a transition zone between the semi-arid grasslands of the Carrizo Plain where there are nine inches of rainfall annually and the mountain climate of the La Panza Range where annual rainfall can reach twenty inches and above. Frost days are few and far between with occasional snow flurries in the winter. Summertime temperatures will often reach into the 90s and 100s, with fall and spring enjoying temperatures in the 70s. As is common throughout San Luis Obispo County, evenings are cool and offer a welcome reprieve from warm days.



Las Piletas Ranch encompasses 13,570± acres zoned Agriculture, comprised of two non-contiguous parcels. The Southwest parcel encompasses 8,877± acres while the Northeast parcel encompasses 4,693± acres.  The two parcels are adjoined by 2,200± acres of BLM land, which is leased by Las Piletas Ranch. Las Piletas Ranch also leases 810± acres US Forest Service land, on the southern and western boundaries of the Southwest parcel.

Las Piletas Ranch (except approximately 1,000 acres) is under Williamson Act Contract, and includes 37 Assessor’s Parcel Numbers and 37 Certificated Parcels. The taxes for 2016/2017 were approximately $38,500.












































Las Piletas Ranch is a cattle operation presently running 230 cow/calf pairs and 12 bulls on a year-round basis, though historically the Ranch has run 350 cows on a year-round basis. A local rancher also runs 140 pairs for summer pasture.

Additionally, Las Piletas Ranch maintains a lease with The Bureau of Land Management (“Anderson Canyon” allotment #CA00058), which covers roughly 2,250+ acres and includes grazing rights for 312 AUMs with a year-round use period. 

The lease with US Forest Service (Allotment #782342010602), covering 810± acres in the Los Padres National Forest, allows for the grazing of 45 yearlings (225 AUMs) for a period of use from January 1st to May 31st annually.

Further, there are approximately 1,240± acres leased to dry farmed barley, historically generating an average annual income of $5,000, depending on drought conditions. Due to the above average rainfall this year, the 2017 income is expected to be $10,000.



Water is abundant on Las Piletas Ranch with one artesian well, nine operating wells (2 equipped with solar panels), 4 unimproved wells and one spring, all wells producing at least 15 gallons per minute. Further, the southwest parcel is bisected by San Juan Creek and there are seven 5,000 gallon storage tanks and five troughs throughout the Ranch. There are plans to improve two of the wells with solar panels and pumps and add an additional three 5,000 gallon tanks and five troughs by the end of 2017.




Located at the Ranch Headquarters, the modest main residence and foreman’s residence both comprise 1,323± square feet and are 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom. There are also 4 hunting cabins comprising 216± square feet each with kitchenette and bath.


There are 2 pole barns encompassing 3,150 ± square feet and 1,708 square feet respectively. There are also 2 hay barns, a smaller comprised of 580± square feet and a large steel hay barn encompassing 9,120± square feet, a tack room, 4,000± square foot warehouse & office with attached 2,000 square foot carport, and a shop and equipment storage building comprising 2760± square feet.

Further, there is a climate controlled storage facility with three separate rooms, each with a private door which can be used to protect environmentally sensitive property such as artwork and other valuables.


There are two squeeze chutes, one located on the northeastern parcel, the other on the southwestern parcel. There are also three under roof horse stalls, plus one outside, and a variety of corrals and paddocks.


There is a fuel tank and 5000 gallon water storage tank. The entire Ranch is cross and perimeter fenced with graded ranch roads. Additionally, there is an enclosed campground bath facility with two private baths, each with a toilet, sink and shower.



Las Piletas Ranch is bursting with recreational opportunities including everything imaginable from horseback riding and hunting, to fishing, hiking, four wheeling and more. Furthermore, there are over 16 miles of boundary shared with public lands, offering direct access to over 100,000 acres of additional lands for recreational use.

Wildlife is abundant and varied at Las Piletas Ranch. Populations of quail are plentiful and evident at every turn in the road. Ungulates include blacktail deer, pronghorn antelope and tule elk. Wild turkey and boar are also present, and raptors soar overhead. There is also a five-acre lake on the property which has historically been stocked with bass.

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Clark Company
Pete Clark, Broker
(805) 238-7110
CA BRE# 00656930
NV RED#B.41551