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 9/10 10-noon and 1-3pm - Cultural Program at Rancho Sierra Vista - Animal Spirit Necklace - Discover your animal spirit with Tongva artist Julia Bogany. This Tongva elder will teach you your animal indigenous name as you learn to make a Tongva animal spirit necklace. Limited materials will be provided. All ages welcome. No reservations required. First come first serve.

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 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 9/24 10-noon and 1-3pm - Cultural Program at Satwiwa Center Newbury Park - Make a Native American Leather Bag Necklace - Make a leather bag with Cherokee Artists Matthew “WhiteBear” and Marc “SmilingWolf” McMasters. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. 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 how many in your party, the name for the reservation and contact info.

Sun 9/30 9:30-11am - Growing Strong Program at King Gillette Ranch - Come join us for a talk on the adaptations that the plants must have to grow in the mountains. Slightly steep 1 mile hike to Inspiration Point. Please wear appropriate hiking footwear, bring sunscreen, a hat and water. Meet outside by the water fountain.

Tue 10/10 - 8-11am - Five Mile Hike at King Gillette Ranch - Take a moderately paced 5-mile, 600′-elevation gain hike around old Gillette Ranch, where the visitor center for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is located. Witness beautiful valley and coast live oak savanna, grasslands, coastal sage scrub, etc., as well as manicured grounds around the original Gillette Mansion. Meet 8:00 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.

Fri 10/13 5:00-6:30pm - 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.

Sat 10/14 10am-noon - Wilderness Survival Basics @ Anthony C. Beilenson Interagency Visitor Center - Ever wonder what it takes to get prepared for a wilderness survival situation? Join us on this program and learn some of the basics and tips you hopefully will never have to use. Meet at the fountain by the visitor center 10am-12pm.

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 10/22 10am to noon and 1-3pm - Gourd Necklace Workshop at Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center - RESERVATIONS REQUIRED - Get creative with Potawatomi artist Nadiya Littlewarrior as she presents a workshop on making and decorating gourd necklaces. All ages welcome. Materials will be provided. To make reservations please contact Razsa Cruz: 805-418-3163 or razsa_cruz@nps.gov. Please include name and contact information and how many in your party.

Tue 10/24 - 8:30am-11am - Five Mile Hike at Paramount Ranch - 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. Moderately paced 5 mile, 400’ gain Meet 8:30 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.

Sun 10/29 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. 

Sat 11/4 9am to 2:30pm - 4th Annual Bird Fest of the Santa Monica Mountains at Interagency Visitor Center, King Gillette Ranch - Join us at our annual Bird Fest. Enjoy the live bird displays, tables full of information, children's activities, talks by professional birders, and the hourly bird walks led by Audubon members (binoculars provided). Bird related items for sale and light refreshments can also be purchased.

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 11/19 10am to noon and 1-3pm at Satwiwa Center Newbury Park - Make a Dream Catcher - RESERVATIONS  REQUIRED Come make a dream-catcher with Wichita tribal artist Michael Williams. He will teach the basics of creating your very own dream-catcher. 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 how many in your party, the name for the reservation and contact info.

Sun 11/26 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 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.