Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area Programs in Ventura County

NationalParkService.jpg

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 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 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.

Sat 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.

2018 Bee and Butterfly Day at Pleasant Valley Historical Society Botanical Garden in Camarillo on Sunday, July 15th

pvhsbee.JPG

The Pleasant Valley Historical Society (PVHS) hosts "Bee and Butterfly Day" to welcome butterflies and California native bees to its Botanical Garden.  The public is invited to this event on Sunday, July 15 from 1 - 4 PM at 720 Las Posas Road, Camarillo

The first guest speaker is biologist Michael Glenn from the Ventura County Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Michael is a specialist in placing native plants in urban gardens to enhance the attraction of pollinators and to offer sources of nutrition for pollinators under stress. He leads the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Schoolyard Habitat Program in Ventura County.

The other presenters will be Lynne Godin and Rick Krause will describe their years of work with Monarch Butterflies. Lynne will then be releasing butterflies.

PVHS will be giving away seed packets to attract beneficial insects and pollinators to your garden, and there will be a crafts center for the children.  There will be butterfly and bee friendly plants, books, and packs of native wildflower seed mix as well as pollinator plants for sale. 

This event is open to the public free of charge and promises to offer a fun time for the whole family.  For more information, call: (805) 482-3660 or visit www.pvhsonline.org.

Free Family Fun Day at Big Rock Nature Preserve in Ventura on Saturday, August 6th

On Saturday, August 6, the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy (VHC) will host Family Fun Day at their Big Rock Nature Preserve from 10 a.m. - 12 Noon. This free, family-friendly, open-to-the-public outdoor event will include nature-themed crafts, an environmental scavenger hunt and a biologist-led hike along the banks of the Ventura River.

“It has been several months since our generous volunteers helped us plant the 500 trees that are taking root at our Big Rock Preserve and we are eager to show off our work,” said Derek Poultney, VHC Executive Director. “We invite the public to explore our preserve, learn about the delicate habitat along the Ventura River and the importance of preserving it.”

The Ventura Hillsides Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust that has operated in the Ventura region since 2003 and currently manages nearly 80 acres of the Ventura River. In addition to preserving and restoring natural areas, VHC provides outdoor education programs where school students and community residents can learn about important environmental issues in our community.

Family Fun Day is appropriate for people of all ages but children must be accompanied by an adult. Attendees should wear long pants, sturdy closed-toe shoes, sunscreen and bring a water bottle. Please note that the trails at Big Rock Preserve are not stroller friendly. There is no cost to attend but reservations are strongly encouraged. To RSVP, visit www.venturahillsides.org and click on the Events tab.

VHC is seeking support for future outdoor educational programming. For more information, contact VHC Development Director, Adrienne Stephens at: (805) 643-8044 or adrienne@venturahillsides.org.