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Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
IUCN Category V (Protected Landscape/Seascape)
Location Los Angeles / Ventura counties, California, USA
Nearest city Malibu, California
Coordinates 34°06′14″N 118°36′09″W / 34.10389°N 118.6025°W / 34.10389; -118.6025Coordinates: 34°06′14″N 118°36′09″W / 34.10389°N 118.6025°W / 34.10389; -118.6025
Area 154,095 acres (62,360 ha)
Established November 10, 1978
Visitors 447,190 (in 2005)
Governing body National Park Service along with other state and local agencies.

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is a U.S. National Recreation Area, administered by the National Park Service, located in Los Angeles, California. Most of the park lies in Los Angeles County, while the western third and a small northern extension of it lie in Ventura County to the northwest. The recreation area preserves one of the best examples of a Mediterranean climate in the world.



Santa Monica Mountains NRA contains 154,095 acres (62,360 ha), California State Parks own 42,000 acres (17,000 ha), the National Park Service controls 21,500 acres (8,700 ha), and the rest are local park lands and private property. In size, Santa Monica Mountains NRA is the largest urban national park in the United States. The park was established November 10, 1978, after a campaign for the area by local conservationists.


Recreational opportunities abound, including biking, birding, camping, hiking, and horseback riding. The Backbone Trail System runs for nearly 70 miles across the length of the park. Channel Islands National Park lies immediately to the west. The current Visitor Center and main Headquarters for the park is located at 401 West Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks 91360[1]. One of the main park entrances is nearby in Newbury Park.

Westward Beach at Point Dume
Sea Oats along Pacific Coast Highway


The following parks and areas are managed by the National Park Service:

The following California State Parks are located within Santa Monica Mountains NRA:


Entertainer Bob Hope caused controversy in the early 1990s when he proposed to sell 5,900 acres (2,400 ha) of neighboring land to the federal government in exchange for 59 acres (24 ha) of federal parkland in the nearby Cheseboro Canyon section of Santa Monica Mountains NRA in order to build an access road serving a new golf course and housing development.[2] The land swap was never completed. The bulk of the Malibu Creek State Park is made up of land donated by Bob Hope.

Vehicle Use

  • Only electric or non-motorized model aircraft are allowed.
  • Only electric or non-motorized model terrestrial vehicles are allowed.
  • No Motorized model boats are allowed on park waters.
  • Electric and non-motorized models were a traditional use at the Paramount Ranch area of Malibu Creek State Park.


External links



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