The orientation of the second extracellular loop (ECL2) is divergent in G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) structures determined. This discovery provoked the question, is the ECL2 conformation differentially regulated in the GPCRs that respond to diffusible ligands? We have determined the conformation of the ECL2 of the angiotensin II type 1 receptor by reporter-cysteine accessibility mapping in different receptor states (i.e. empty, agonist-bound and antagonist-bound). We introduced cysteines at each position of ECL2 of an N-terminal epitope-tagged receptor surrogate lacking all non-essential cysteines and then measured reaction of these with a cysteine-reactive biotin probe. The ability of biotinylated mutant receptors to react with a steptavidin-HRP-conjugated antibody was used as the basis for examining differences in accessibility. Two segments of ECL2 were accessible in the empty receptor, indicating an open conformation of ECL2. These segments were inaccessible in the ligand-bound states of the receptor. Using the accessibility constraint, we performed molecular dynamics simulation to predict ECL2 conformation in different states of the receptor. Analysis suggested that a lid conformation similar to that of ECL2 in rhodopsin was induced upon binding both agonist and antagonist, but exposing different accessible segments delimited by the highly conserved disulfide bond. Our study reveals the ability of ECL2 to interact with diffusing ligands and to adopt a ligand-specific lid conformation, thus, slowing down dissociation of ligands when bound. Distinct conformations induced by the bound agonist and the antagonist around the conserved disulfide bond suggest an important role for this disulfide bond in producing different functional states of the receptor.