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.

Sun 5/28 10am to 12:30pm - Welcome to Malibu Creek State Park Walk - Never been to Malibu Creek State Park? Join a docent for an easy introduction! Walk along the creek and through a wooded valley. Learn about the area’s animals, plants, early inhabitants, and movies filmed in the park. Meet at the lower parking lot by the restrooms.

Sun 5/28 8:30am to 11am at Malibu Lagoon State Beach - Beach and Wetlands Birdwatching

Sun 5/28 10am to 11am at Malibu Lagoon State Beach - Birdwatching for Young Children and Parents

Sun 5/28 8am-10am at Malibu Creek State Park - Bird Walk with Conejo Valley Audubon - Join us as we walk through the oak and sycamore woodlands looking for hawks, sparrows, woodpeckers, bluebirds, and orioles. This park has been used as a movie set for many movies and TV shows which makes this bird walk even more interesting. Meet at the parking lot at 8:15AM or at 8:00 AM at the Rancho Park and Ride in Thousand Oaks to carpool.

Sun 5/28 9:30-11:30am at SM Mountains Visitor Center - "Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains" Slideshow and Hike - The Santa Monica Mountains are a great wildflower garden for Southern California. Join naturalist Lanny Kaufer for a slideshow and short hike to learn about some of the most important flowering plants. Free program, free parking. Meet inside the Visitor Center. Limited participation. Reservations required: samo@wnpa.org or 805-370-2302

Sun 5/28 10-11am - From 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. 

Sun 5/28 8-9:30pm - Movies by Moonlight "Caught in the Draft" at Paramount Ranch - Join us as we celebrate the 90th Anniversary of Paramount Ranch with a movie shot at the ranch back in 1941. Caught in the Draft is a comedy with Bob Hope playing a movie star who accidentally joins the Army. Come early and bring a picnic dinner. Free of charge.

Sat 6/3 10-11:30am at SM Mountains Visitor Center - Family Nature Walk - Join a naturalist to learn some of the skills and ways of the first people that lived here long ago. Trail safety and “leave no trace ethics” will also be discussed.  Appropriate for children ages 7 and up.

Sun 6/4 6-9:30pm at Paramount Ranch - 90th Anniversary of Paramount Ranch - 2017 marks the 90th Anniversary of the historic Paramount Movie Ranch. To commemorate this milestone, the National Park Service will host an evening of special presentations. This will include a historic walking tour (6pm), an interview with film historian Marc Wanamaker on the era of movie ranches (7pm), and a presentation of historic ranch photos (8pm). Come early and bring a picnic dinner.

Tue 6/6 8-11am - Hike in Solstice Canyon - Moderate hike on Rising Sun Trail to Tropical Terrace and Solstice Canyon Falls, then back along the canyon through oak and walnut groves by the stream. 4 miles, 600’ gain. Meet 8:00 AM at parking lot kiosk. From 101 Ventura Fwy take Las Virgenes Rd/Malibu Canyon exit, go south to Pacific Coast Hwy. From Malibu Canyon Rd intersection, go west on Pacific Coast Hwy 2¼ miles, turn inland on Corral Canyon Rd (at 76 Station), drive ¼ mile to park entrance, and continue on paved park road to parking lot at end. Bring water, snack, lugsoles, hat, sunscreen. Rain cancels.

Fri 6/9 6-8pm at Rancho Sierra Vista - Park After Dark: Sunset Tarantula Hike - Take a sunset stroll as we search for male tarantulas looking for potential mates. Along the hike rangers will share facts about these traveling tarantulas. No reservations required. Wear layers for changing weather conditions and bring a flashlight just in case. Meet in main parking lot. All ages are welcome and the parking is free. Directions: Ventura Fwy (101) to Lynn Rd exit. South on Lynn Rd 5.25 miles to Via Goleta. Park entrance is on the left.

Sat 6/10 8:45am to 2pm at Malibu Creek State Park - Stop and Smell the Roses - Stop and smell the roses! Join a docent for a 5 mile easy hike enjoying the Forest and Log Cabin Trails. The hike will last between 3.5 to 5 hours depending on the pace of the group, what we choose to explore and the lunch break. Meet at the lower parking lot at 8:45 AM. Hiking shoes highly recommended! Bring lunch or snack, at least 2 quarts of water, sunscreen and hat. Please RSVP Tom by 5pm June 8 and leave your name and phone number at (818) 216-7696 or email tgkaplan54@gmail.com

Thu 6/15 8am to 12:30pm at Point Mugu State Park - Hike to La Jolla Valley - Moderately paced 8-9 mile hike with ocean views, open grasslands and wildflowers. We’ll observe how this gorgeous location in the Santa Monica Mountains is recovering from fire damage after it burned in May 2013. Meet 8 AM near the Ray Miller Trailhead kiosk (in parking lot), which is used to access La Jolla Valley. From Pacific Coast Hwy and Malibu Canyon Road go northwest on PCH about 20.8 mi. to La Jolla Valley / Pt. Mugu State Park Campground entrance (about 1½ miles northwest of Big Sycamore Canyon entrance). Bring 2 quarts water, lunch, sturdy hiking footwear, hat, sunscreen, windbreaker, $ for parking lot or park on PCH & walk in. Rain cancels.

Sun 6/18 8-11:30am at Malibu Creek State Park - SF Valley Audubon Bird Walk - 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.

Thu 6/22 8am to 12:30pm at Las Virgenes Canyon - Day Hike - Moderately paced 8-9 mile 800’ to 1200’ gain hike in a delightful Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy canyon, with various options depending on weather. Meet 8 AM at trailhead kiosk. From 101 Ventura Fwy take Las Virgenes Rd, exit 32, north 1 mile to end, street parking. Bring 2 quarts water, lunch, sturdy hiking footwear, hat, sunscreen. Rain cancels.

Sat 6/24  10am to 12:30pm - Welcome to Malibu Creek State Park Hike - Never been to Malibu Creek State Park? Join a docent for an easy introduction! Walk along the creek and through a wooded valley. Learn about the area’s animals, plants, early inhabitants, and movies filmed in the park. Meet at the lower parking lot by the restrooms.

Sun 6/25 8:30am to 11am at Malibu Lagoon State Beach - Beach and Wetlands Birdwatching

Sun 6/25 10am to 11am at Malibu Lagoon State Beach - Birdwatching for Young Children and Parents

Sun 6/25 - From 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. 

Fri 7/14 6-8pm at Rancho Sierra Vista - Park After Dark: Sunset Tarantula Hike - Take a sunset stroll as we search for male tarantulas looking for potential mates. Along the hike rangers will share facts about these traveling tarantulas. No reservations required. Wear layers for changing weather conditions and bring a flashlight just in case. Meet in main parking lot. All ages are welcome and the parking is free. Directions: Ventura Fwy (101) to Lynn Rd exit. South on Lynn Rd 5.25 miles to Via Goleta. Park entrance is on the left.

Sun 7/16 8-11:30am at Malibu Creek State Park - SF Valley Audubon Bird Walk - 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 7/30 - From 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. 

Fri 8/11 6-8pm at Rancho Sierra Vista - Park After Dark: Sunset Tarantula Hike - Take a sunset stroll as we search for male tarantulas looking for potential mates. Along the hike rangers will share facts about these traveling tarantulas. No reservations required. Wear layers for changing weather conditions and bring a flashlight just in case. Meet in main parking lot. All ages are welcome and the parking is free. Directions: Ventura Fwy (101) to Lynn Rd exit. South on Lynn Rd 5.25 miles to Via Goleta. Park entrance is on the left.

Sun 8/20 8-11:30am at Malibu Creek State Park - SF Valley Audubon Bird Walk - 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 8/27 - From 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. 

Sun 9/17 8-11:30am at Malibu Creek State Park - SF Valley Audubon Bird Walk - 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 9/24 - From 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. 

Sun 10/15 8-11:30am at Malibu Creek State Park - SF Valley Audubon Bird Walk - 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 10/29 - From 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. 

Sun 11/19 8-11:30am at Malibu Creek State Park - SF Valley Audubon Bird Walk - 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 11/26 - From 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. 

Sun 12/17 8-11:30am at Malibu Creek State Park - SF Valley Audubon Bird Walk - 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 1/21/18 8-11:30am at Malibu Creek State Park - SF Valley Audubon Bird Walk - 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.

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.