Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is one of more than 400 national park units across the country. Unlike most national park sites, we jointly protect this area with numerous other state and local agencies (and even private homeowners!). As you explore the mountains and beaches, you might find yourself crossing invisible borders, so it always helps to do a bit of research ahead of time and double check the signage when you arrive.
Here are the basics:
- Access to the park is free!*
- Most parking lots are open between 8:00 AM and sunset.
- Summers are hot and dry while winters are cool and wet.
- Dogs are allowed on leash.*
- Most trails are shared by hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, and runners. Please practice good trail etiquette with your fellow visitors.
- Cell phone service can be unreliable in the mountains.
- Park rangers are happy to help with your planning and regularly offer special events and programs.
*Regulations may differ at non-National Park Service locations. A full list of our regulations can be found with our Superintendent’s compendium.