Call Or Text Us Anytime 949-613-5517

Close this search box.

Nellie Gail Ranch: The Ultimate Guide

Nellie Gail Ranch

5 Hidden Reasons to Move to Nellie Gail Ranch

Nellie Gail Ranch Neighborhood Guide

Nellie Gail Ranch is a private, upscale, equestrian community that sits high in the hills, amid massive mansions, sprawling trails, and quiet calm.

Table of Contents

Living In Nellie Gail Ranch​

As a resident, I can tell you personally: it’s paradise.  We have quiet streets, great schools, and everything you could ever need within a 5 mile radius of home. When you come down the hill, you can experience all the benefits of several bustling cities. But when you come back home, you leave it all behind. The streets are lined with mature trees, which shrouds the city in quiet, calming, serenity. We often describe living in Nellie Gail as living in vacation.


The weather in Nellie Gail Ranch is near perfect. Summer is warm, fall is stunning, winter is mild, and spring is refreshing – so much so that you can leave doors and windows wide open to catch the cool breeze as it wafts through your home.


The population of Nellie Gail Ranch is just roughly 4,000 people, making it a large neighborhood with a small town vibe.

Where Is Nellie Gail Ranch?

Nestled between several freeways, just minutes away from some of the best shopping, restaurants, and attractions that Orange County has to offer, sits the calm, quiet, equestrian-themed community of Nellie Gail Ranch, Laguna Hills CA.

Nellie Gail shares a border with Laguna Niguel, Irvine, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, and Mission Viejo. But it’s just a stone’s throw away from Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Coto De Caza, Dana Point, and Rancho Santa Margarita. It’s also close to several well-known beaches such as Doheny State Beach, Laguna Beach Crystal Cove, Corona Del Mar, and Newport Beach. 

92653, the exclusive Nellie Gail Ranch zip code, is well-known by everyone who lives in the area. 


Nellie Gail Ranch History

Nellie Gail Moulton was the wife of Lewis Moulton, a successful cattle farmer, who purchased the land in 1895. But as Orange County’s popularity began to grow,  the cattle ranch’s hey day began to wane. The Moulton family sold most of the 21,723 acres they owned – which eventually became Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, and several other local cities in the area. 

In 1938, after her husband’s death, Nellie Gail sold the remainder of the land, reserving only a small portion for herself.  And in 1972, the land was divided for the final time.  Nellie Gail, bequeathed 250 acres to Chapman University and the remaining 1,350 acres was sold for $18,357,000 – the land we now know as Nellie Gail. 


This land has a deep-rooted history steeped in ranching, which is still honored even to this day. When the first homebuilder, Presley of Southern California, acquired the land in the mid 1970’s, they build Nellie Gail Ranch with a vision to honor the land’s rich history. And when William Lyon Homes purchased the Presley company shortly there after, that vision became a reality. Today, 25 miles of horse trails wind leisurely across Nellie Gail’s vast rolling hills. They’re enjoyed by equestrian and pedestrian residents alike.


True to ranching tradition, the Nellie Gail Ranch homes have been built on large properties. Many of these properties are large enough to stable a wild variety of animals, including  horses, donkeys, goats, chickens, and even alpacas. These sprawling Nellie Gail Ranch estates have attracted quite a few famous residents over the years, the most famous being Tom Cruise. 

Nellie Gail Ranch Community Amenities


The community clubhouse is available for rental for all residents and tennis club members. It’s an ideal location for card nights, showers, parties, sporting events, church groups, and other social events and celebrations. 


The Nellie Gail Ranch horseback riding, boarding, quartering, and lessons can all be done at the Nellie Gail Equestrian Center. This state of the art center includes 96 horse stalls, 3 arenas, 2 sun pens, a covered euro walker, grooming stalls, and access to 25 miles of horse trails. It also includes opportunities to train with the best hunter, jumper, and dressage instructors in the world. If you’re a resident, check out the Nellie Gail Ranch Trail Map.


The Nellie Gail Ranch Swim Center includes several pools to choose from. For serious swimmers, it includes a deep, junior olympic lap pool that’s heated year-round and opportunities to train with world class swimming instructors. For small children, it includes a shallow wading pool with fun, splashing water feature. For serious loungers, it also includes an 14 person, in-ground spa, cabanas, picnic tables, chaise loungers, shaded chairs, and an upper deck patio with comfortable shaded sofas. 


The Nellie Gail Tennis Club is home to 18 lighted tennis courts, 8 pickleball courts, and 5 full-time tennis pros. The club also features access to private lessons, the Nellie Gail Ranch Clubhouse, ball machine rentals, and racket repair services. Nellie Gail Ranch Pickleball, a fun game for all ages, has become one of the most popular sports to play at the tennis club. If you’re interested in playing, they’re accepting applications from residents now!

Parks in Nellie Gail Ranch

The Nellie Gail Ranch Owners Association maintains: 4 arenas, 25 miles of trails, 50 acres of green space, 5,000+ trees, and 6 parks for its resident’s to enjoy.  


  • Gallup Park | Nellie Gail Road and Gallup Circle | Available for rental
  • Hidden Trail Park | Rapid Falls and Hidden Trail Road | Available for rental
  • Dapple Grey Park | Nellie Gail Road and Dapple Grey Drive | Available for rental
  • Moulton Park | Nellie Gail Road and Lost Colt | Available for rental
  • Monument Park | Cabot Road and Oso Parkway
  • Cabot Park | Rapid Falls Drive and Cabot Road
All of the Nellie Gail Ranch parks are for private use by Nellie Gail residents and guests only.

Nellie Gail Ranch News & Events

There are several places to source Nellie Gail News. The Pony Express, a printed monthly newsletter, is considered the go-to source for all of the events happening in the community. The neighborhood website also publishes events weekly on their blog as well. This community is pretty well-known for its events throughout the year – Especially the Nellie Gail Ranch Summer Concerts, Nellie Gail Ranch Christmas Lights, and Nellie Gail Ranch Halloween Trick-or-Treating. To see all of the upcoming community events, click here.

Nellie Gail Ranch HOA

The Nellie Gail Ranch Owner’s Association is internally governed by 5 Board of Directors who ensure that the HOA’s covenants, rules, and restrictions are enforced. The HOA Office is located on site and manages all of the administrative tasks for the Nellie Gail Ranch Association – including enforcement, accounting, resident communication, and vendor relations, homeowner services, and amenities. And the Nellie Gail Ranch HOA fees are currently $113/mo.


If you’re a resident, you can login to the Resource Center to access the official Nellie Gail Ranch Rules, but here’s a quick summary:

  • All residents of record are required to be members of the Nellie Gail Ranch Association
  • All Nellie Gail Ranch HOA Members are allowed to vote
  • All architectural changes must be approved by architectural review
  • Nellie Gail Ranch quiet hours are from 7am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 8pm on Saturdays (No construction is permitted on Sundays or Federal Holidays)
  • No landscaping is allowed to impede the view of another resident
  • No landscaping is allowed to block a sidewalk or trail
  • No landscape is allowed to collect debris that may be deemed as unsightly, unsanitary, offensive, hazardous
  • All trailers, boats, and RV’s must be moved out of view within 48 hours
  • Garages are only to be used for parking and storage areas only, and cannot be converted for living or recreation activities
  • No equestrian facilities are permitted on lots that are less than 15,000 square ft.
  • No tree over the height of 30 feet can be trimmed or removed without consent of the Nellie Gail Ranch Architectural Review Committee
  • No signs are allowed to be displayed – Except one 3 x 2 ft sign stating that the house is for sale or rent)
  • No sports equipment (i.e. basketball hoop, etc) is allowed to be fixed to any lot without consent of the Nellie Gail Ranch Architectural Review Committee
  • Animals, livestock, and poultry can be kept (subject to restriction) as long as they’re not bred for commercial purposes
  • No products and services can be created or conducted onsite at any property
  • No loud sounds are prohibited, except for security
  • No bright lighting is prohibited if it creates an unreasonable glare on a neighbor’s property
  • Trash must be kept in designated, covered, trash bins and must be removed immediately after collection
  • All Parks are private for use by residents and guest only (parks close at 10pm)
  • No alcohol, smoking, firearms, fireworks, weapons, open flames, golfing, camping, vehicles, horses, littering, gambling, skateboarding, or profane language is permitted at any of the Nellie Gail Parks
  • All pets must be on a leash and pet waste properly picked up

Is Nellie Gail Ranch Gated?

The Great Gate Debate has been a hot button issue since 1981.  At that time, a committee was formed to assess the possibility of gating 8 entrances into the neighborhood – including the privatization of the streets, roads, streetlights, drainage structures, and all other publicly owned property located in Nellie Gail. Back then, it would have cost an additional $37/mo, which was a 118% increase in HOA dues – which were only $31.25 at the time. 548 votes were casted, 316 were against the gate, so the issue failed.  Since then, the issue has come up again several more times – in 1986, 1995, 1998, and again in 2003.


And now, we’re facing a new challenge – one that’s almost impossible to overcome. In order for Nellie Gail residents to privatize the streets now, the city of Laguna Hills must vacate them. That was easily possible in the past, but new case law now states that a city is no longer allowed to vacate its streets because doing so denies access to members of the public. Several cities have already been sued for improperly vacating its streets and the city of Laguna Hills does not want to be one of them.


In the age of online delivery, porch pirates present a real problem for this upscale community. As an added security measure, the HOA has worked with the city to install cameras at each of the entrances. These cameras are directly connected to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which has solved several crimes since inception. Cameras aren’t as secure as gates, but it’s a step in the right direction, for sure.

Nellie Gail Ranch Schools


Public Schools

  • Valencia Elementary
  • La Paz Intermediate School
  • Laguna Hills High School

Private Schools

  • Sage Hill School | Newport Coast, CA
  • TVT Community Day School | Irvine, CA
  • New Vista | Laguna Hills, CA
  • St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church | San Juan Capistrano, CA
  • Pacific Academy | Irvine, CA
  • Santa Margarita Catholic High School | Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
  • Crean Lutheran High School | Irvine, CA
  • J Serra Catholic High School | San Juan Capistrano, CA
  • Futures Academy | Aliso Viejo, CA
  • Capistrano Valley Christian Schools | San Juan Capistrano, CA
  • Fusion Academy | Mission Viejo, CA
  • Newport Christian School | Newport Beach, CA
  • Fairmont Schools | San Juan Capistrano, CA

Nellie Gail Ranch Drive-Thru Tour

Nellie Gail Ranch Real Estate

Nellie Gail Ranch Homes For Sale

Subscribe to Our Weekly Events Newsletter

Picture of Aarin Chung

Aarin Chung

Hi, there! I'm Aarin, the founder of Your Orange County - A strong tribe of Orange County residents who get weekly information about the best events, restaurants, shopping, activities, and real estate in and around Orange County, California. Plus, the best hiking, biking, health and wellness options, new hot spots, and more! Click below to follow us.


Thinking about making a move?

Get FREE, instant access to search our real estate MLS!
Skip to content