Partial Park Closure Due to Hazardous Conditions
Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa re-opens 5/14/13, with restrictions (sunrise to sunset, not all trails). Sandstone Peak & Mishe Mokwa trails will also open, as will Backbone Trail east of Point Mugu State Park boundary. Point Mugu backcountry remains closed. More »
Trucks on Cheeseboro Canyon Trail
Occasional truck traffic (approx 6 trips per day) will take place on Cheeseboro Cyn Trail weekdays between 8am & 4pm for demolition and removal of Cheeseboro Tank. Should be completed by 5/24/13. Check back for updates or call 818-889-8996. More »
Valley Oak Savanna
Valley oaks (Quercus lobata) reach the southernmost extension of their range in Malibu Creek State Park. Endemic to California, valley oaks were once widely distributed from the Sacramento River delta, 500 miles south to the Santa Monica Mountains. These trees, which reach truly majestic proportions, originally spread over the native grasslands in the wide valleys of central and coastal California. Valley oaks reach ages of 400-600 years and may have trunks six to seven feet in diameter. They present a graceful appearance on the landscape, widely spaced with branches that may drape to the ground.
Over the last 150 years, valley oaks have succumbed to widespread agricultural and residential development that has focused on their prime habitat - alluvial valleys. Although thousands of acres of valley oak savanna remain, they are vastly changed. The savanna or grassland understory was formerly comprised of dozens of species of native grasses and forbs, which blossomed in an array of wildflowers in the spring. Now the grassland understory is comprised mainly of non-native annual grasses, which have out-competed and crowded out the native species over the decades since they were introduced.
Where once a multi-layered composition of valley oaks of different ages existed, now only large trees remain. Many years of non-seedling growth have resulted in low replenishment of young or medium aged trees to the valley oak savanna.
Aside from valley oaks, characteristic native grasses, which dominate valley oak savanna, include purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra), and non-native grasses such as wild oats (Avena fatua) and ripgut brome (Bromus diandrus), as well as black mustard (Brassica nigra). Wildflowers include mariposa lilies (Calochortus catalinaea) and coast goldfields (Lasthenia chrysotoma).
Did You Know?
Comprising 153,075 acres, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the world's largest urban national park. It has more area codes (5) and zip codes (26), including the notable 90210 zip code of Beverly Hills, than any other unit in the National Park System.