• Stars appear behind a dramatic landscape of rocky mountains, rolling hills, and fields of grass

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

From the Mountains to the Sea

Hidden in plain sight, the Santa Monica Mountains offer easy access to surprisingly wild places.

Experience the famous beaches of Malibu or explore more than 500 miles of trails. The park abounds with historical and cultural sites, from old movie ranches to Native American centers. What will you and your family discover?

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Did You Know?

Backbone trail hikes lead to views of mountains, canyons, and the Pacific Ocean.

Piece by piece, a trail is forging its way along the "backbone" of the recreation area. California State Parks took the first step toward a 65-mile Backbone Trail in 1978. With 5 miles left to go, single track trails and fireroads will unite this patchwork of public parklands from east to west.