• Afternoon clouds cover the distance peaks of the iconic Boney Mountain

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

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This week's National Park Getaway

Photographer at Sunset by John Mueller - 2010 First Place winner (tie - People in Parklands)
2010 First Place winner (tie - People in Parklands) - Spirit of the Mountains Photo Contest
John Mueller

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Date: October 26, 2011
Contact: Lauren Newman, 805-370-2343
Contact: Kat Kirby, 202-208-6843

Thousand Oaks, Calif. - You might expect that the world's largest urban national park would be among the most crowded. So, you may be surprised to learn that this week's National Park Getaway, with its endless sandy beaches and hundreds of trial miles, is not one of the top 100 most visited national parks.

That's not to say that it isn't loved. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is an easy drive from the busy streets of Los Angeles, making it a popular recreation site for local outdoor enthusiasts and out of town visitors alike. Bikers, birders, campers, hikers, photographers and horseback riders make full use of this legendary region. Still, you'll find plenty of opportunity to get away and to soak in the scenes and scents of canyons, valleys, scrub oak and ocean.

The Santa Monica Mountains are richly diverse: culturally, geologically and biologically. Home to more than 1,000 plant species and more than 450 animal species, the recreation area also protects significant cultural and archaeological resources. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area preserves one of Earth's finest Mediterranean climate ecosystems.

Read this week's Getaway, at www.nps.gov/getaways for a close-up snapshot of one America's favorite urban destinations.

www.nps.gov

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 395 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

Did You Know?

Charlie Cooke, hereditary Chief of the Chumash played an important role in making sure 85 acres remained open space.

On June 13, 1980, Charlie Cooke, hereditary Chief of the Chumash and concerned citizens fulfilled a dream-- a place for families to explore our natural world and learn about the Chumash. Satwiwa in Newbury Park, CA celebrates the beauty of the mountains and all Native American cultures.