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

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

Operating Hours & Seasons

Operating Hours & Seasons

The National Park Service Visitor Center is open daily from 9AM to 5PM. It is closed on some federal holidays, as well as, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. The Visitor Center contains a bookstore which is open during the same hours. Call for current hours or more information: 805-370-2301.

Parklands are available year-round. However during times of inclement weather or emergencies (fires, wind storms, etc.) site may be closed.

Click here for information on closures and restrictions.


Mountains: Highest in spring; Lowest in summer

Beaches: Highest in summer; Lowest in winter


The climate can be quite different depending on the time of year and what side of the mountain range you decide to visit.

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.