Arbuckle is a census-designated place (CDP) in Colusa County, California, United States. The population was 3,028 at the 2010 census, up from 2,332 at the 2000 census. The town entrance sign on I-5 only says 864 people, but it's very old and hasn't been updated. The town of Arbuckle is situated in the southerly portion of Colusa County, approximately 20 miles (32 km) southwest of the City of Colusa, the County seat. Arbuckle is characterized by single-family residences, multiple-family units, some mobile homes, and commercial activities. The land surrounding Arbuckle is mostly agriculture including cultivated annual crops, and both active and unmaintained orchards (primarily almond). Regional access is provided by the north south running Interstate Highway 5.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.6 km²), all of it land. Two streams drain the area, the Salt and Elk Creeks. The Salt Creek flows north in the area, then bends east, and is joined by Elk Creek. Both streams join Sand Creek a half mile northeast of the town, and flow in a northeast direction. Salt Creek is subject to periodic flooding during heavy rainfall.
Tacitus R. Arbuckle established a ranch here in 1866. The railroad came in 1875 and the town was founded and named for Arbuckle, on whose land it was built. The post office was established the following year, 1876.