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

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

Park Management - About Us

A hiker stands on the Grotto Trail at Circle X Ranch - taking in the view of rugged peaks and purple rain clouds.

David Ross – 3rd Place 2006 Spirit of the Mountains – In Search of Solitude – People in Parklands

On November 10, 1978, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area was authorized as the 295th unit of the National Park System as part of the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978.

In the Act,"Congress finds that there are significant scenic, recreational, educational, scientific, natural, archeological, and public health benefits provide by the Santa Monica Mountains and adjacent coastline area."

Who we are

Our staff works across the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills as well as in other satellite offices outside of the park’s designated boundary such as the park headquarters office located in Thousand Oaks, California.

With over 20 different land-owner types and more than 70 stakeholder groups, the Santa Monica Mountains are considered by some to be one of the most complex units of the National Park System. We work very closely with our partners to make the parkland experience here as seamless as possible.

Park staff are charged with the protection and preservation of America's greatest and most cherished history, assets, and stories.

Why are we here?

As a unit of the National Park System, we are charged with the preservation, protection, and managed usage of the historical, natural, and cultural resources and assets of the park. Being so complex, we have various laws and policies in place to ensure that these goals are met including information on firearms in the national recreation area and off-road driving.

What we’re doing for your park

While its role as an airshed is important for the Southern California metropolitan area, it also has significant value for the recreational and educational need for the visiting public. Through proper and effective park planning we can ensure that these sites are here for future generations. Park planning is where you have an opportunity to share your ideas and thoughts with us on our projects that impact you.

At the same time, we are taking an active approach to fire management in the park. Wildland fire has a huge impact on our park and it’s through community wildfire safety programs that we can help protect lives and property together.

A field of wildflowers with purples, yellows, pinks, and orange buds with green leaves of various sizes and shapes.

Nancy Lehrer - 4th Place 2010 Spirit of the Mountains Photo Contest - Wildflower Dreamscape - Plants

We also keep statics about the park. From acreage to visitation, designation to important dates, our park statistics are like the trading card stats of your favorite players and give us a qualitative and quantitative assessment of how we are doing.

How you can help

There are many ways that you can help support your park. One of the best ways is to be a part of it. From volunteering your skills or time, taking an internship while in school, or even making the park your job, people are one of the most important aspects of park management.

Join us as we reflect upon the mission of the National Park Service and strive "...to promote and regulate the use of the...national parks...which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." (National Park Service Organic Act, 16 U.S.C 1)

Did You Know?

The city of Los Angeles can be seen from many scenic view points in the Santa Monica Mountains.

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.