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

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

Plan Your Visit

A large rock balanced on a hillside
Balanced Rock, along the Mishe Mokwa Trail, near Circle X Ranch

What Makes This Park Unique?

Hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters characterize the climate of the Santa Monica Mountains. These semiarid conditions, and the mountains' location in a costal, middle latitude, place the park in what is known as a Mediterranean climate. This is one of only five such regions in the world.

How Do I Get to the Park?

Check out the links to your left to get directions, find out about our operating hours & seasons, learn about fees and reservations.

What's in the park for me?

Are you looking for something specific or you just want to get orientated first and talk with a ranger? You can start planning your visit by checking out some of the popular things to do or visiting our Interagency Visitor Center at King Gillette Ranch.

Or maybe you just want to head out and explore the many park sites and locations. You can even download brochures of our park before you visit.

Did You Know?

The adult female of this cub died in 2005.

A study that began in 2002 reveals a lion and his offspring are surviving in the Santa Monica Mountains. Radio collars track them crossing roads and navigating through open spaces. Their future is uncertain, but with conservation efforts, they may continue to make these mountains their home.