Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Thousand Oaks

Categories: National Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.6/5 based on 95+ reviews on the web
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is located in Thousand Oaks. Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area by using our Thousand Oaks travel itinerary planner.
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  • Go to the National Park System ( website and read up on Circle X Ranch, if interested in more information. We went to the Grotto and beyond. It was a very challenging hike (lots of boulders & ...  read more »
  • I remember visiting the headquarters of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Thousand Oaks, CA in 2007. I returned to Thousand Oaks in 2016 and learned that the National Park Service...  read more »
  • Most of the Santa Monica Mountains is either National or State park or nature reserve. We live on the northwest end of the Santa Monica Mountains, near the top of Sycamore Canyon. The main trail is 8....  read more »
  • This historic building used to be King Gillette's stables. It is in a beautiful setting, among grassy meadows dotted with oaks, sycamores and eucalyptus trees. The center always has some art or photography exhibit going on. It offers a little natural history and a nice gift shop with items from local artisans. On weekends they often have additional outdoor exhibit and sale events of Native American crafts and local artists works.
  • The Santa Monica Mountains are such a great place for all types. This mountain range is home to Griffith Park all the way up to Point Mugu. With points of interest (POIs) like the foot hills of Malibu, Calabasas, and Beverly Hills to the Hollywood sign and Mulholland Drive. This mountain range is the iconic backdrop to the Los Angeles coastal horizon. There are over 500 miles of trail and the abundance of wildlife does not disappoint. With so many secret alcoves, I would have to write a book on all the great things here. If interested, do look deeper into some of the POIs and my other reviews to get a better idea!
  • National Park Visitor Centers are highly underutilized. The SMMNRAVC is an amazing educational resource on our local wildlife. Furthermore, it underscores the importance of preserving what little natural habitat we have. It encourages the enjoyment of our national parks in respectful ways. I learned a lot while at SMMNRAVC. I learned that I take the Santa Monica Mountains for granted while either driving up the 101 or PCH. I learned to appreciate them not only for their varying beauty but for importance of our ecosystem. The visitor center itself if well kept. The building is Spanish Colonial revival in style with a flowing central fountain. The rangers at the visitor center were very welcoming and helpful. They helped me discover Paramount Ranch. Without their help, I would not have discovered such a gem.
  • By far my favorite hiking trails! Amazing sights and fun trails. There is a lot of wild life and the Satwiwa center is fun and informative!
  • Hiking galore! Awesome hikes for all ages, with varying difficulty. A little out-of-the way for those in LA, but for those bored with doing the Hollywood Sign or the Topanga Canyon hikes, this is a perfect break to the monotony!
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