2013 Fire Restirctions
Due to high fire danger, fire and smoking restrictions are now in effect on all National Park Service land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. For details, please download the public notice or call 805-370-2301. More »
Update on Park Closures
All NPS trails are open at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa! Currently, this park site is only open sunrise to sunset.
Western toads are a large and robust toad with dry, warty skin. Adults can vary in length from 2-5 inches (snout to vent) and vary in color from green, tan, reddish brown, dusky gray and yellow. Toads can be distinguished by a white stripe running down the middle of their back. Males generally have smoother skin than females.
Large schools of tadpoles often feed in shallow water. Tadpoles are dark brown, and grow to about 1 inch in length before metamorphosis. Tadpoles enter metamorphosis in 30 - 45 days, usually in late summer or early fall. When in the process of metamorphosis, many tadpoles are often seen in aggregations at the edge of a pond. Large numbers of newly-transformed toads are often seen hopping around the shores of breeding water. Juvenile toads may either stay and spend the winter, or disperse to nearby sites.
Did You Know?
Four state parks were the triumph of a grassroots movement to protect open spaces minutes from Los Angeles in the 1950s & 60s. Three women, Sue Nelson, Jill Swift, and Margo Feuer further galvanized the movement that helped make Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area a reality in 1978.