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

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

Traffic & Travel Tips

The Santa Monica Mountains are traversed by one of the world's busiest freeways, the 405, on the east side; crowned by the 101 Freeway on the north and west side; and you'll find Highway 1 also called the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) on the southern ocean border.

Mulholland Scenic Corridor (Mulholland Highway) winds its way through the recreation area offering views of canyons, valleys, and the ocean. The route is legendary among motorcyclists and other driving enthusiasts who enjoy the challenge of the curvy roadway, so exercise extreme caution on blind turns.

Here are some ways you can get to the Santa Monica Mountains!

Plane

The two closest major airports are the Los Angeles International Airport and the Burbank / Bob Hope Airport.

Trains

Amtrak has multiple stops outside of the Santa Monica Mountains. Here are the closest stations to the park:

Burbank, CA - Airport (BUR)
Camarillo, CA (CML)
Chatsworth, CA (CWT)
Los Angeles, CA - Union Station (LAX)
Moorpark, CA (MPK)
Oxnard (OXN)
Van Nuys, CA (VNC)

Car

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is located west of Griffith Park in Los Angeles County and to the east of the Oxnard Plain in Ventura County.

U.S. Highway 101 (Ventura Freeway) borders the mountains on the north, and State Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) and the Pacific Ocean form the southern boundary.

Access to most park areas is available via many roads that cross the mountains between these two major highways. A portion of the park also stretches into the Simi Hills, north of U.S. Highway 101.

TANN Traffic provides information about real time traffic in the Los Angeles area.

California's Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) has information on road closures and conditions.

 

Public Transportation

Thousand Oaks Transit

(800) 438-1112 in Thousand Oaks and Vista in Ventura County.

Los Angeles Metropolitan Tranportation Authority

  • The MTA Route 534 takes visitors from Los Angeles (Fairfax/Washington) to park sites along the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) in Malibu.
  • The MTA 302 takes visitors from Downtown LA to Pacific Palasades via Sunset Blvd.

Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus

This bus connects LAX with park sites in Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades.

Did You Know?

Watch the credits a the end of a film and you may discover how often national parks are used by the movie industry.

Unique vistas and cultural significance often draw filmmakers to National Parks. Paramount Ranch is the only place in the National Park System where you can see movie making in action at a historic movie ranch once owned by Paramount Pictures (1927).