• 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

Looking up from within a traditional Chumash wood structure
Visit the Satwiwa Native American Indian Cultural Center to stand under a traditional Chumash 'ap and walk through a native plant garden.
 

Top Ten Reasons to Visit Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

  1. Escape Los Angeles’ urban jungle to find truly wild places.
  2. Enjoy the mild Mediterranean climate, one of 5 such rare places in the world.
  3. Witness movie history at the still-operating film set at Paramount Ranch.
  4. Marvel at the Milky Way at night.
  5. Climb a mountain, soak your feet in the Pacific Ocean, and eat a fish taco…all before noon.
  6. Step back in time and discover what Southern California looked like before major urban development.
  7. Learn how Native American communities lived in the mountains for over 10,000 years.
  8. Explore the more than 500 miles of trails available for hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and equestrians.
  9. See wildlife like bobcats, quail, coyotes, dolphins, and maybe even the elusive mountain lion.
  10. Did we mention our perfect weather and year-round recreation?

Ready to start planning your trip? Check out our Things to Do and Places to Go section of website for a taste of what to expect during your visit. Even though we’re close to Los Angeles, many locations within the park are surprisingly wild and remote; the more you know ahead of time, the more you’ll have fun and stay safe. While many of our visitors head straight to their favorite beach or trailhead, you’re always welcome to stop by one of the visitor centers to chat with a friendly park ranger to aid in your trip planning.

This park is also unique in that we jointly manage many locations with partners, like California State Parks and the Mountains, Rivers, and Conservation Authority. It takes a village to protect a place like the Santa Monica Mountains, and even though we sometimes have different rules and regulations, we’re all eager to share these special places with the public.

Did You Know?