More than 500 miles of public trails crisscross the Santa Monica Mountains, offering a lifetime of exploration. We’ve got short, flat loops for first timers and rugged, steep climbs that lead to 360-degree views of the mountain range and Pacific Ocean. Many of our trailheads are a short drive from the 101 or Pacific Coast Highway, providing an easy escape from the urban jungle to natural wild places.
Note that trail regulations often vary depending on land jurisdiction, so always plan ahead to see if you can bring fido or if there is an entrance fee. Our Places to Go section offers detailed information about each site and their trails.
Here are some of our favorite hikes to get you started:
Mishe Mokwa Trail to Split Rock: Moderate, 3.5 miles round trip
Trailhead: Circle X Ranch
Satwiwa Loop Trail: Easy, 1.5 miles round trip
Trailhead: Rancho Sierra Vista / Satwiwa
Solstice Canyon Trail: Easy, 2.1 miles round trip
Trailhead: Solstice Canyon
Backbone Trail: Strenuous, 65 miles one way
Learn More: Backbone Trail
Cheeseboro Canyon Trail to Modelo Trail Loop: Moderate, 3 miles round trip
Trailhead: Cheeseboro & Palo Comado Canyons
Last updated: December 16, 2014