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Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area



  • Directions

  • Size

    153790.80 acres

Contact Information


Hidden in plain sight from Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Mountains offer easy access to surprisingly wild places. Experience the famous beaches of Malibu or explore more than 500 miles of trails. The park abounds with historical and cultural sites, from old movie ranches to Native American centers. What will you and your family discover?

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 in the Superintendent’s compendium.

Allowed Activities
Mountain Biking
Horseback Riding
Rv Camping
Tent Camping
Wildlife Watching
Rock Climbing
Good For
Rules & Regulation
Dogs On Leash

Additional Information

Accessibility Description

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is committed to providing inspiring experiences to people of all abilities. Whether you are attending an interpretive program, exploring the exhibits at the visitor center, or having an adventure on one of our trails, we strive to make this special place as accessible as possible.

We are currently updating our accessibility guide; in the meantime, please call (805-370-2301) or email us to assist with your trip planning and visit.

Visit the national page on accessibility for more information.