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.

CANCELLED DUE TO FIRE Sat 11/10 9am to 2:30pm - Bird Fest of the Santa Monica Mountains - Free event, free parking! Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center King Gillette Ranch, 26876 Mulholland Hwy., Calabasas. A day to celebrate the bird! See live birds, listen to talks from local experts, take a guided bird walk, meet representatives from bird-friendly agencies, purchase gifts from local vendors, and more! Bring the kids for special family-friendly activities. Food vendors will be on-site. Co-sponsored by Conejo Valley Audubon Society, San Fernando Valley Audubon Society, Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society, National Park Service and Western National Parks Association.

Thu 11/15 8:30am to 1pm - Hike to Shepherd’s Flat at Cheeseboro Canyon - Moderately paced 9-10 mile hike in Agoura Hills to Shepherds Flat, over grasslands and along an old ranch road following a streambed. Meet 8:30 AM at trailhead (from 101 Ventura Fwy take Cheseboro Rd, exit 35, turn north on Palo Comado Canyon Rd then right on Cheseboro Rd, and go north 1 mile to park entrance, turn right and follow road to dirt parking area at end). Bring 2 quarts water, lunch, sturdy hiking footwear, hat, sunscreen. Rain cancels.

Sun 11/18 10am-12:30pm - Welcome Walk at Malibu Creek State Park - Join a docent for a leisurely 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 Mail Trailhead parking lot (second, lower lot) by the restrooms.

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 11/18 10am and 1pm at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa - Make a Dream-Catcher - Come make a dream-catcher with Witchita tribal artist Michael Williams. He will teach the basics of creating your very own dream-catcher.

There are two workshops available. The first workshop begins promptly at 10am. The second workshop begins at 1pm. Please be on time. Materials will be provided. All ages welcome.

To make reservations please email: razsa_cruz@nps.gov or call 805-418-3163. Please include the title of the workshop you will be attending, how many in your party (parents included), the contact name for the reservation and contact info. Reservations fill up quickly. Please reserve no later than November 14th!

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.

Tue 11/27 8:30am - Hike in Cheeseboro Canyon - Moderately paced 6+ mile, 500 ft elevation gain in the lovely Simi Hills, first through ridge grasslands, then along an old ranch road following a streambed/multiple stream crossings with lovely oak woodlands to Sulfur Springs. Meet 8:30 AM at trailhead. From 101 Ventura Fwy take Cheeseboro Rd exit, turn north on Palo Comado Canyon Rd then right on Cheeseboro Rd, and continue 1 mile to park entrance, turn right and follow road to second parking lot at end. Bring water, snack, lugsoles, hat, sunscreen. 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 12/2 10am to 3pm - Winter Solstice Festival at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa - Join us for a full day of Native American hand-crafted art, music, storytelling, dance demonstration and family fun. More than a dozen Native American Indian artists will show and sell artwork reflecting Chumash, Tongva, Wichita, Hupa, Cahuilla, Apache, Kumeyaay, Dine/Navajo and many other Native cultures.

This is a great opportunity to purchase beautiful and unique Native American art for the holidays and meet our local artists. Native American flute music, traditional dance demonstrations and stories will be performed throughout the day. All ages welcome.

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.

Sat 12/29 10am-12:30pm - Welcome Walk at Malibu Creek State Park - Join a docent for a leisurely 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 Mail Trailhead parking lot (second, lower lot) by the restrooms. 

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.

Wed 1/9/19 8-10am - Beginner’s Birdwalk with Conejo Valley Audubon at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa - Conejo Valley Audubon invites birders of all experience levels to attend our monthly Beginner Bird Walks at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa. These walks will be held on the second Wednesday of each month. We will meet at 8:00am at the main parking lot, which is accessible off Lynn Rd at Via Goleta in Newbury Park.

Rancho Sierra Vista is an excellent place to see many of the oak woodlands birds that are common in the Conejo Valley. We will take time to introduce beginning birders to these species and the best techniques for locating and identifying them.

If you have binoculars, please bring them. A few pairs of loaner binoculars will be available. Wear comfortable walking shoes. No sign-up is needed; just show up. Heavy rain will cancel the walk. The leader will be Richard Armerding and he can be reached at 310-701-3878

Sun 1/20/19- 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.

Tue 2/5/19 8:30am to 1pm - Hike to China Flat at Palo Comado Canyon (Sunnycrest Drive Trailhead) - Moderately paced 6 mile, appx. 1000 ft gain hike in scenic Simi Hills, through chaparral, grasslands and oaks, with great views, to the vernal pool at China Flat. Meet 8:30 AM at Sunnycrest trailhead. From 101 Fwy take Kanan Rd exit and go north 2.2 miles to Sunnycrest Dr. and turn right. Continue 0.8 miles to the “Public Recreation Trail” sign on right and park along curb. Bring water, snack, lugsoles, hat, sunscreen. Rain cancels.

Wed 2/13/19 8-10am - Beginner’s Birdwalk with Conejo Valley Audubon at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa - Conejo Valley Audubon invites birders of all experience levels to attend our monthly Beginner Bird Walks at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa. These walks will be held on the second Wednesday of each month. We will meet at 8:00am at the main parking lot, which is accessible off Lynn Rd at Via Goleta in Newbury Park.

Rancho Sierra Vista is an excellent place to see many of the oak woodlands birds that are common in the Conejo Valley. We will take time to introduce beginning birders to these species and the best techniques for locating and identifying them.

If you have binoculars, please bring them. A few pairs of loaner binoculars will be available. Wear comfortable walking shoes. No sign-up is needed; just show up. Heavy rain will cancel the walk. The leader will be Richard Armerding and he can be reached at 310-701-3878

Sun 2/17/19- 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.

Sun 3/17/19- 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.

Sun 4/21/19- 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.

 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.