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 7/15 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 7/15 8-9:45pm - Silents Under the Stars at Paramount Ranch - This year marks the 31st year of Silent’s Under the Stars and the 90th anniversary of Show People, starring Marion Davies and William Haines. Directed by King Vidor. Arriving from Georgia in a Model T to seek out a career as a dramatic film star, Peggy Pepper (Marion Davies) soon finds herself swept up in the crazy world of slapstick comedies in a behind-the-scenes look at silent era Hollywood filled with cameos of the movies biggest stars of the time. Silents Under the Stars is presented by the Silent Film Society of Hollywood Heritage. Parking is free. $6.00 for adults. $3.00 for children under 12 years. A guided walking tour will begin at 6:30.

Thu 7/19 7:30-11:30am - Paradise Cove Beach Walk at Westward Beach - Moderately paced 7 mile walk on the beach & the bluff to Paradise Cove and back. Meet 7:30 AM at entrance to Westward Beach Rd parking lot in Malibu (from Kanan Dume Rd intersection go west on Pacific Coast Hwy 3/4 mile, turn left on Westward Beach Rd (just before Zuma Beach), go about 1/2 mile and park on side of road or pay to park in lot at end of road). Bring water, snacks, hat, sunscreen. Rain cancels.

Sat 7/21 7-8:30pm - Park After Dark - Sunset Tarantula Hike at Rancho Sierra Vista - 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. Who knows, you might learn a thing or two about our local spiders in the Santa Monica Mountains. There are no reservations required to attend this evening program. Please wear layers for changing weather conditions and bring water and 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 7/29 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 8/4 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

Wed 8/8 8-10am- Beginners' Birdwalk 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.

Sat 8/18 6:30-8:30pm - Park After Dark - Sunset Tarantula Hike at Rancho Sierra Vista - 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. Who knows, you might learn a thing or two about our local spiders in the Santa Monica Mountains. There are no reservations required to attend this evening program. Please wear layers for changing weather conditions and bring water and 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 8/19 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 8/19 7:30-9:30pm - Silents Under the Stars at Paramount Ranch - FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1926) starring Greta Garbo, John Gilbert and Lars Hanson. Directed by Clarence Brown. John Gilbert and Lars Hanson play childhood friends who long ago swore a bond of eternal friendship. The seductive Greta Garbo, entrancing them both, creates a dangerous triangle that tests their loyalty. Silents Under the Stars is presented by the Silent Film Society of Hollywood Heritage. Surprise short subjects will be shown before each feature. All films will feature live musical accompaniment by Michael Mortilla and will be presented on authentic 16mm projectors. Guided walking tours of the ranch grounds will begin at 6:30pm. Tickets $6.00 for the general public. $3.00 for children under 12.

Thu 8/23 Day Hike at Malibu Creek State Park 8am to 12:30pm - Moderately paced 8 mile 1000 gain hike including Lookout Trail with great views, Century Lake, and Reagan picnic area. Meet 8 AM at Cornell & Mulholland dirt parking area (from 101 Ventura Fwy take Kanan Rd, exit 36, south 1/2 mile, turn left on Cornell and veer to right continuing south 3 miles, past Paramount Ranch, to paved entrance of dirt parking area on east side of street just south of Mulholland Hwy). Bring 2 quarts water, lunch, sturdy hiking footwear, hat, sunscreen. Rain cancels.

Sat 8/25 6-7:30pm - Native American Dance Demonstration at Rancho Sierra Vista - 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. 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 for comfortableness. All ages welcome. If you have general questions about the location and directions please call the visitor center at 805-370-2301.

Sun 8/26 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 9/1 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.

Sat 9/1 6:30-8:30pm - Park After Dark - Sunset Tarantula Hike at Rancho Sierra Vista - 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. Who knows, you might learn a thing or two about our local spiders in the Santa Monica Mountains. There are no reservations required to attend this evening program. Please wear layers for changing weather conditions and bring water and 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 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.