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 5/25, 6/30, 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 5/19, 6/16, 7/21, 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.

Sun 5/19 10am to noon and 1-3pm - Satwiwa Native American Center - Craft Workshop: Leather Medallion Necklaces - Limited to the first 20 participants in each workshop. Reservations are not required. Make a leather Medallion with Cherokee Artists Matthew “WhiteBear” and Marc “SmilingWolf” McMasters. Please arrive early. There is a morning workshop that begins promptly at 10am, the second workshop begins at 1pm. Materials will be provided. All ages are welcome.

Tue 6/25 8:30am - Five Mile Hike at King Gillette Ranch - Moderately paced 5 mile, 600 ft elevation gain hike around our recent acquisition to the Santa Monica Parklands, now HQ for the SMM NPS. Beautiful valley and coast live oak savanna, grasslands, coastal sage scrub, etc., as well as manicured grounds around the original Gillette Mansion. Meet 8:30 AM in fee parking lot of Ranch. From 101 Ventura Fwy take Las Virgenes Rd/Malibu Canyon exit, go south approx. 5 ¾ miles to Mulholland Hwy. Turn left on Mulholland and then right to enter the long eucalyptus alleé driveway for Ranch. Park in second lot. Bring water, snack, lugsoles, hat, sunscreen. Rain cancels.

Sat 6/1 8:30-10am - Birds of the Santa Monica Mountains at King Gillette Ranch - 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.

Sat 6/1, 7/6, 8/3, 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!

Sat 6/15 7-8:30pm - Chumash Songs and Stories at Rancho Sierra Vista - Enjoy the sunset at Rancho Sierra Vista while the Chief of the Southern Clan of the Chumash will be sharing his cultural background and history. Chief Ted Garcia will be sharing and performing Chumash songs and stories at the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center. This program is for all ages. There are no reservations required for this program. Please wear layers for changing weather conditions and bring a flashlight. Also, feel free to bring camping chairs for comfortableness. The main parking lot entrance is at the intersection of Via Goleta and Potrero Rd, Newbury Park. 805-370-2301.

Tue 6/25 8am - 5 Mile Hike at Paramount Ranch - Moderately paced 5 mile, 400 ft gain hike around the old (and still active) movie set and environs of oak savannas, Medea Creek, chaparral canyons, including a side trip to the old Reagan Ranch. See what’s being done after the Wolsey Fire. Meet 8:00 AM at Paramount Ranch parking lot. From 101 Ventura Fwy take Kanan Rd exit, go south on Kanan Rd ½ mile, turn left on Cornell Way and veer to right continuing south 2½ miles to Paramount Ranch entrance on right. Bring water, snack, lugsoles, hat, sunscreen. Rain cancels.

Sat 7/20 6-7:30pm - Flute Music Cultural Demonstration at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa - Enjoy the evening sunset as we listen to the inspirational flute music from Apache flautist, Eric “Medicine Wind” Alvarado. There are no reservations required to attend this evening program. Please wear layers for changing weather conditions and bring a flashlight. Feel free to bring camping chairs, or blankets for comfortableness. All ages welcome. 805-370-2301.

Sat 8/17 6-7:30pm - Native American Dance Demonstration at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa - Kathy Willcuts and Steven Garcia will perform traditional Native American dance, including Northern Traditional and shawl dancing. Steven Garcia is of Yaqui-Mescalero, Tongva descent and will be performing Northern Traditional style. Kathy Willcuts will be performing traditional Shawl dancing from her Rosebud Lakota tribe. Each dance demonstration will have a brief explanation of the meaning of the dance. Turtle Island Singers drum group will be performing for the dancers that evening. Steven and Kathy are dedicated presenters at the Satwiwa Culture Center. They each present various workshops throughout the year.

There are no reservations required to attend this evening program. Please wear layers for changing weather conditions and bring a flashlight. Feel free to bring camping chairs, or blankets for comfortableness. All ages welcome. 805-370-2301.

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.