Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area Programs in Ventura County

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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 9/8 Various time slots - All About the Backbone Trail Presentation and Book Signing at King Gillette Ranch (must RSVP)

Come discover Southern California ‘s newly completed Backbone Trail, a true hidden gem right here in our own backyard. Find the best day hikes, learn ways to through-hike the trail, and enjoy tips, advice, and stories from the authors of The Complex Hiker’s Guide to the Backbone Trail. Authors Doug and Caroline Chamberlin will sign copies of their book, available for purchase in the Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center Store, after the program.

New time slot has been added as spots are filling up fast! Make your reservations now! Times of each free presentation (70 minutes):
9:30 am (full)
11:30 am (full)
2 pm (few spots left)
4 p.m. (just added)

Due to limited seating, reservations are required. For reservations or more information, email samo@wnpa.org or call 805-370-2302.

Sun 9/16 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.

Sun 9/30 10-11am - Set to Screen Walk at Paramount Ranch - Learn the secrets that turn a dusty set into a realistic town. Join us on this easy-paced walk behind the scenes to discover the illusions and history of this Ranch. Rain or predicted rain cancels.

Sat 10/6 8:30-10am: Birds of the Santa Monica Mountains Walk at SM Mountains Visitor Center - 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

Sun 10/21 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.

Sun 10/28 10-11am - Set to Screen Walk at Paramount Ranch - Learn the secrets that turn a dusty set into a realistic town. Join us on this easy-paced walk behind the scenes to discover the illusions and history of this Ranch. Rain or predicted rain cancels.

Sat 11/3 8:30-10am: Birds of the Santa Monica Mountains Walk at SM Mountains Visitor Center - 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

Sun 11/18 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.

Sun 11/25 10-11am - Set to Screen Walk at Paramount Ranch - Learn the secrets that turn a dusty set into a realistic town. Join us on this easy-paced walk behind the scenes to discover the illusions and history of this Ranch. Rain or predicted rain cancels.

Sat 12/1 8:30-10am: Birds of the Santa Monica Mountains Walk at SM Mountains Visitor Center - 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

Sun 12/16 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.

Sun 12/30 10-11am - Set to Screen Walk at Paramount Ranch - Learn the secrets that turn a dusty set into a realistic town. Join us on this easy-paced walk behind the scenes to discover the illusions and history of this Ranch. Rain or predicted rain cancels.

 Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center in Calabasas

Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center in Calabasas

 King Gillette Ranch - View from near Inspiration Point

King Gillette Ranch - View from near Inspiration Point

 Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center in Newbury Park

Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center in Newbury Park

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.