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 3/17 10am to noon - Celebrating Migration - Gray Whale Watching at Leo Carrillo State Park - Join rangers in search for signs of gray whales. Also a great chance to explore the beach and tide pools. We’ll look for seals, dolphins, and sea and shore birds too. Bring binoculars. Meet at visitor center. Parking fee.

Sun 3/18 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 3/25 10am and 1pm - Tomol Crossing Journey Lecture at Satwiwa Center NP - Chumash elder Alan Salazar will present an in-depth lecture on the tomol crossings that he has been involved in the previous years. Learn about his first hand experiences of the tomol crossing and its importance to the Chumash culture. There are two lecture sessions are available. The first session begins promptly at 10am. The second session begins at 1pm. Please be on time. All ages welcome. No reservations required.

Sun 3/25 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.

3/25 10am to 4:30pm - 6th Annual Allied Artists of the Santa Monica Mountains and Seashore Art Show - The Allied Artists of the Santa Monica Mountains and Seashore (AASMMS) is proud to announce it will be having it’s 6th annual art exhibit and sale on Sunday, March 25 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Interagency Visitor Center.
Original landscape paintings from many local artists will be on display and for sale. The paintings feature locations around the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
The National Wild Federation will be at the show providing educational materials about the Wildlife Crossing at Liberty Canyon and Save LA Cougars. Painting and Preserving the Santa Monica Mountains for 20 years. For More Information go to http://allied-artists.com.

Sat 3/31 10am to noon - Malibu Creek Welcome Walk - Join a docent for a 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 “Main Trailhead Parking” (lower parking lot) by the restrooms for this leisurely two-hour walk.

Sat 3/31 7-8:30pm at Rancho Sierra Vista - Full Moon in the Mountains - Enjoy a short hike to an overlook and watch the moon rise over the mountains with a ranger. Meet at the trailhead kiosk near the restrooms. Bring a flashlight and sturdy shoes. Rain cancels.

Sat 4/7 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 4/7 1-3pm: Dream Catcher Exhibit & Sale at SM Mountains Interagency Visitor Center - Meet the Artist – Michael Chas Williams. Light refreshments will be served. The traditional Dream Catchers of the Plains have remained a place in Wichita artist Michael Chas Williams’ art while maintaining a source of and connection with the Spirituality of the People of Turtle Island.

Sat 4/14 9am, 11:30am, 2pm - Medicinal Plant Walk at SMM Visitor Center - Professor Jim Adams, PhD, of the USC School of Pharmacy, leads a plant walk on the medicinal uses of California native plants.  Adams is trained in Chumash healing and will discuss traditional recipes for making healing medicines. Coauthor of Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West, Adams will be available to sign his book. Walks will begin at 9am, 11:30am, and 2pm Reservations Required.  Email samo@wnpa.org or call 805-370-2301 for reservations and more info.

Sun 4/15 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.

Sat 4/21 10-11:15am - Discover Paramount Ranch - Come and explore the rich history of Paramount Ranch! This ranger led program will finally reveal the truth about Paramount Ranch. What happened to the ghosts? By who and when was the Western Town built? What movies have been filmed at Paramount Ranch? What happened up at Witches Wood? These are just some of the mystery questions that the ranger will be able to answer. Hike with the ranger for about a mile, all ages are welcomed! Meet the Ranger at the Kiosk by the bridge. Remember to bring a hat, water and sturdy shoes. Heavy rain cancels.

Sun 4/22 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 4/24 8:30-11:45am - Hike Solstice Canyon - Moderately paced 4 mile 600’ gain hike on Rising Sun Trail to Tropical Terrace (Roberts Ranch) and Solstice Canyon Falls, then back along the canyon through oak and walnut groves by the stream. Meet 8:30 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.

Sat 4/28 10am to noon - Malibu Creek Welcome Walk - Join a docent for a 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 “Main Trailhead Parking” (lower parking lot) by the restrooms for this leisurely two-hour walk.

Sat 5/5 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 5/9 8am to 10am - Beginner's 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 Road 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 area. 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. In the event of heavy rain, we will cancel the walk. The walk leader will be Richard Armerding, and he can be reached at 310-701-3878.

May 12 10am and 2pm tours - Remembering Huell Howser at Paramount Ranch - In the spring of 2009 Huell Howser visited Paramount Ranch to record an episode for California’s Golden Parks. Join retired park ranger Mike Malone as he share his memories of a memorable day with the much beloved Huell Howser. Walk along with Mike as he takes you on the same path they walked. The program will end with a screening of the episode. Program will be repeated at 2pm.

Sun 5/20 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 5/20 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 May 22 8-10:30am - Hike in Malibu Creek State Park - Malibu Creek State Park – Cornell to Century Lake and Rock Pool: Moderately paced 4-mile 600’ gain hike including Lookout Trail with great views to Century Lake and Rock Pool. See the sites where many movies were shot. Meet 8:00 AM at Cornell & Mulholland dirt parking area. 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 3 miles (past Paramount Ranch) to paved entrance to dirt parking area on east side of street just south of Mulholland Hwy. Bring water, snack, lugsoles, hat, sunscreen. Rain cancels.

Sun 5/27 10am to noon - Malibu Creek Welcome Walk - Join a docent for a 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 “Main Trailhead Parking” (lower parking lot) by the restrooms for this leisurely two-hour walk.

Sat 6/2 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

Tue 6/12 8-11:30am - Hike at King Gillette Ranch - Moderately paced 5 mile, 600’ 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 8:00 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.

Sun 6/17 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 6/17 10am to noon - Malibu Creek Welcome Walk - Join a docent for a 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 “Main Trailhead Parking” (lower parking lot) by the restrooms for this leisurely two-hour walk.

Sun 6/24 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 6/30 10am to noon - Malibu Creek Welcome Walk - Join a docent for a 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 “Main Trailhead Parking” (lower parking lot) by the restrooms for this leisurely two-hour walk.

Sat 7/7 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 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 7/29 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

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 8/26 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

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.