Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) includes 156,671 acres covering a Pacific Ocean beach, hills, valleys, and a large section of the coastal mountain ranges in the Los Angeles area. Before its creation in 1978, many parts of the SMMNRA were developed by various groups, including Paramount Pictures, who built and maintained a village film set where many Westerns are still filmed today. The SMMNRA is the only recreation area in the country where visitors can climb a mountain, walk through valleys and up and down hills, and soak their feet in ocean waters on the same day. Many sections of this recreation area are designated as preserves, state parks, or research areas. There are trails within this park that lead through famous cities like Malibu and Ventura, California. 

Things to Do

Things To Do Near Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

The SMMNRA is perfect for RV travelers; with an RV, you can move from place to place with ease across the miles of beach, hills, valleys, and mountains to enjoy every highlight that the area offers. The roads run along the coastline, where you can stop and enjoy fishing, surfing, or sunbathing. The mountains seem to climb out of the Pacific Ocean and lay bare the enormity of the horizon. Everywhere you go in this recreation area, you find restaurants, parks, museums, and sites to experience. The mountains raise visitors above the urban areas and provide a magnificent stargazing display. 

Hiking Trails



Nearby Shops and Restaurants

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

One of the central entrances to the SMMNRA is in Malibu, CA. To get to Malibu from Los Angeles, get onto Interstate 405 North (I-405 N) and go for 4.34 miles. At Exit 53B, merge with Interstate 10 West (I-10 W) and drive toward Santa Monica for 4.14 miles. At this point, I-10 W becomes California Highway 1 North (CA-1 N), which is otherwise known as Pacific Coast Highway, or PCH. Drive CA-1 N 12.3 miles and then turn left onto Webb Way. Continue for 0.8 miles into the city of Malibu. Look for the SMMNRA signs, and follow them into the park.

The SMMNRA is open year-round. You can approach its center through Malibu or via Los Angeles from the south and several other spots. Visitors who come to this park leave knowing that they have experienced a special part of the world.


26876 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas, CA 91302

Fee: Entry fee $0

To get the SMMNRA experience, an RV is the best way to go. Visiting the mountains themselves is an adventure, but adding the 41 miles of beach makes it a trip worth at least seven days, if not more. Do yourself and your family a favor, and rent an RV in the area to see this incredible country comfortably. Take your time, enjoy the ride, and take home memories that will last a lifetime.