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Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 401 West Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Phone Number:
+1 805-370-2301

The world's largest urban national park, extending more than 45 miles from...

The world's largest urban national park, extending more than 45 miles from the Hollywood Bow to Ventura, features a rich variety of plants and wildlife.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 105 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 71
  • 26
    Very good
  • 2
  • 2
  • 0
Always Excellent

Although I have been visiting for many years there is always something new. Many different trails. Time of year or time of day changes the experience. Colors, textures... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
via mobile
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105 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 101: English reviews
Level Contributor
53 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Although I have been visiting for many years there is always something new. Many different trails. Time of year or time of day changes the experience. Colors, textures, lighting, views all seem different. Several groups of horseback riders passed and were friendly clearly having fun. See you next time.

Thank treike
Lexington, Kentucky
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2017

Went here one afternoon for a quick hike in between meetings. The ranger at the Center in Calabasas was helpful and sent us up to a three mile hike at Malabu Creek State Park (about a 3 mile drive from National Park's Visitor Center) which was perfect. Parking at both locals was free and the hike - though very wet... More 

1 Thank Terry_18332
Comstock Park, Michigan
Level Contributor
355 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2017 via mobile

We only stopped to the visitors center but was very impressed with it. The staff was very helpful and knowledgeable.

Thank Donald S
Oneonta, New York
Level Contributor
77 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2017

Quiet outdoor recreation with a temperate climate and spectacular scenery. At higher elevations, a glance to the east will review snow caps on the San Gabriel Mountains and a quick pivot to the west will fill your eyes with the Pacific Ocean. Trails upon trails, with moderate to strenuous hiking. We brought picnic lunches in daypacks and took home memories... More 

1 Thank Larry M
Orange County, California
Level Contributor
170 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 352 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2017

Enjoy many historic spots of film and t.v. lure, as well as vast vistas of this Mediterranean ecosystem- one of only five such areas in the entire world. Take it all in- from majestic ocean views, at the top, to virtually days of hiking, all the way back down to informative displays at the ranger stops. Be sure to visit... More 

2 Thank TiffMateas
Thousand Oaks, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2017

With all the rain, the mountains are green, you can now see waterfalls, and in the spring there will be a plethora of wildlife. Bobcat, skunk, hawks, owls, racoon, snakes, it is amazing

1 Thank Bob L
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 December 2016 via mobile

We began at the Visitors center to gather brochures for some of the many areas we planned to visit. There is a few display showing animals and their footprints. We saw an exhibit about how water is brought to LA. The most fascinating photo was of the valley from the 20's. Next, we visited Paramount Ranch and strolled through the... More 

Thank Lynn d
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
25 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2016

My family was staying in the Ventura area and were looking for some hiking on the Coastal Range down by Malibu. We settled on the Circle X Ranch - a former Boy Scout Camp I believe in the SMM-NRA. We parked at the empty ranger's station, walked through the old camp, and took a trail that went along the valley.... More 

Thank kedalion1
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
117 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2016

Go to the National Park System (nps.gov) 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 & volcanic rock to climb over once down there) but well worth it. Bring A LOT of water! If one doesn't care for the... More 

1 Thank AvidTraveler507
Texarkana, Texas
Level Contributor
598 reviews
165 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 232 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2016

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 only maintains offices at the Hillcrest Drive location. The Visitor Center has been moved to 26876 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas, CA 91302. This location is several miles to... More 

1 Thank TallTexWally

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