Free events and programs at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area locations in Ventura County and adjacent areas are highlighted below! (updated periodically to remove past activities). For additional details and other event locations, visit samofund.org/calendar.
Most activities subject to cancellation if there's significant rain.
Sat 10/26, 11/24, 12/28 - Welcome Walk at Malibu Creek State Park 10am to 12:30pm - Join a docent for a refreshing walk along Malibu Creek, through a wooded valley. Learn about fire restoration, plus the park’s animals, plants, early inhabitants, and movies filmed on location. Meet at the Main Trailhead parking lot (second, lower lot) by the restrooms.
Sun 8/18, 9/15, 10/20, 11/17, 12/15, 1/19/20, 2/16, 3/15, 4/19, 5/17, 6/21, 7/19 8am to 11:30am - San Fernando Valley Audubon Bird Walk at Malibu Creek State Park - Considered the recreational crown jewel of the Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu Creek State Park has over 8,000 acres of rolling tall grass plains, oak savannahs and dramatic peaks. It’s no wonder many call it “The Yosemite of Southern California.” Seasoned birders and beginners alike will enjoy good bird watching and a beautiful, easy hike. Meet at the second (lower) day-use parking lot. Entrance to the park is on the west side of Las Virgenes Rd., just south of Mulholland Hwy. Entrance fee is $12 per car.
Sat 9/7, 10/5, 11/2, 12/7, 1/4/20, 2/1 8:30-10am - Birds of the Santa Monica Mountains Walk at King Gillette Ranch - Bring your binoculars, bird guide, and/or camera and join us for an easy bird walk around the grounds of King Gillette Ranch. This area attracts many songbirds, water birds, woodpeckers, and raptors and we are always treated to something interesting. Kids are welcome and the walk is less than a mile at a very easy pace as we stop often to observe the birds. We leave promptly at 8:30 from the flagpole. Heavy rain cancels (but I will be there for anyone who wants to walk in it!). See you there!
Sun 8/18 2-3:30PM - Who Lives Here? Jr. Ranger Program at King Gillette Ranch - Join a ranger and learn something cool about the many different owls in the Santa Monica Mountains. Practice your scientific exploration skills with an owl pellet dissection activity. Earn a Jr. Ranger badge and get sworn in by a ranger! Family friendly fun for all ages.
Sun 8/18 9:30-11:30AM - Secrets of Solstice: A History Hike to the Roberts Ruins at Solstice Canyon - If you’ve ever wondered these questions or are just curious about the history of Solstice Canyon, join Ranger Aaron as he hikes and chats his way up towards the Roberts Ruins near the waterfall at Solstice Canyon! We will meet at the main/upper parking lot at 9:30am.
It is an easy 1-mile hike (one direction) where we will make a few stops to look at the historic features that Solstice Canyon offers. The hike will conclude at the Roberts Ruins with a room-by-room tour of the house along with images of how it looked before it burned down.
It is advised that attendees carpool if possible and try to show up early to grab a parking spot. Parking lot can fill up very quickly!
The hike and tour should last around 2 hours at most but there will be plenty of time afterwards for any questions! Please bring shoes appropriate for hiking, water, hat, and sunblock. Rain cancels.
Sun 8/18 2-3pm - Bird Beak Buffet Jr. Ranger Program at Rancho Sierra Vista - How do birds eat their food? Why are beaks so many different shapes and sizes? Earn a junior ranger pin by joining a park ranger in an fun activity to discover how different beaks help birds eat many kinds of foods! Drop in any time between 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM for this 15 minute activity!
Sat 8/24 2-3:30PM - Who Lives Here? Jr. Ranger Program at King Gillette Ranch - Join a ranger and learn something cool about the many different owls in the Santa Monica Mountains. Practice your scientific exploration skills with an owl pellet dissection activity. Earn a Jr. Ranger badge and get sworn in by a ranger! Family friendly fun for all ages.
Sun 8/25 6-8pm - Park After Dark: The Stars of Paramount Ranch - Go behind the scenes with a ranger and explore Paramount Ranch at night! See the eerie remains of Western Town. Stand on a dangerous, abandoned racetrack. Gaze into the sky to see the stars that still shine here. Bring a flashlight, water, and wear sturdy shoes. Stargazing will be available if the sky is clear.
Sat 9/7 8:30am-12:30pm - Intro to Mountain Bike Skills at Malibu Creek State Park - Learn basic mountain biking skills from professional mountain bike coach Mark Langton (mountainbikeskills.com). Skills covered are proper posture (body position) for balance, cornering, climbing, descending, and braking.
Directions to various locations
Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons: Ventura Fwy (101) to Chesebro Rd exit. Turn north on Palo Comado Canyon Rd then right on Chesebro Rd. Go north 1 mile to park entrance. Turn right and follow road to parking lot.
Circle X Ranch: Pacific Coast Hwy to Yerba Buena Rd. Turn inland; go 5.4 miles to Circle X Ranch contact station.
Sandstone Peak Trailhead: 1 mile north of Circle X Ranch contact station on Yerba Buena Rd. Parking lot is on left.
Mishe Mokwa Trailhead: 1.75 miles north of the Circle X contact station along Yerba Buena Road. Parking lot is on right.
King Gillette Ranch: Ventura Fwy (101) Exit Las Virgenes Rd. Go 3 miles south on Las Virgenes Rd to Mulholland Hwy intersection (traffic light). Turn left on Mulholland Hwy. Park entrance is 0.1 mile on right.
Malibu Creek State Park: Ventura Fwy (101) Exit Las Virgenes Rd. Go 3 miles south on Las Virgenes Rd to Mulholland Hwy intersection (traffic light). Park entrance is 0.25 mile south of the intersection on Las Virgenes Rd. From Pacific Coast Hwy: north on Malibu Canyon Rd to park entrance on left.
Paramount Ranch: Ventura Fwy (101) to Kanan Rd exit. South on Kanan 0.5 mile. Left on Cornell Way and veer to right. South 2.5 miles, entrance is on right side of the road.
Peter Strauss Ranch is located at 30000 Mulholland Highway, Agoura Hills.
Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa: Ventura Fwy (101) to Lynn Rd exit. South on Lynn Rd 5.25 miles to Via Goleta. Park entrance is on the left at Via Goleta. Continue all the way to a parking lot where the road ends. To get to the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center, walk 0.3 mile up gravel road from the parking area to brown wooden building.
Wendy Trailhead: Ventura Fwy (101) to Wendy Dr. exit. South on Wendy Dr to dirt pullout at intersection with Potrero Rd.
Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center at King Gillette Ranch: From Ventura Fwy (101): Exit Las Virgenes Rd. Go 3 miles south on Las Virgenes Rd to Mulholland Hwy intersection (traffic light). Turn left on Mulholland Hwy. Go 0.1 mile and turn right into entrance of King Gillette Ranch. The visitor center is the first building on your right. 26867 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas.