Los Angeles Hikes

The Santa Monica Mountains

Above Photo from Malibu Creek State Park

General Info:

The Santa Monica Mountains are a coastal mountain range which starts from Griffith Park in Hollywood and stretches all the way to Point Mugu at the start of the Ventura County. This mountain range is one of the most visited recreational places in southern California due to it’s close proximity to the people of Los Angeles. The Santa Monica Mountains hold a series of seasonal waterfalls, amazing locations for rock climbing, and plentiful views among this beautiful range.

Hikes we’ve covered from this range:


Hike NameMileageDifficultyElevation GainParking AreaDogs?
Newton Canyon & Falls5Moderate80034.075858, -118.815319N
Calabasas Peak
5.2Moderate70024360 mulholland hwy, CalabasasY
The Bronson Caves0.66Easy10034.124446, -118.31425Y
Century Dam in Malibu Creek State Park
4Moderate55034.105348, -118.731801N
Escondido Falls
3.5Easy35027751 Pacific Coast HwyY
Jim Morrison Cave1Easy25034.081973, -118.758393
The Grotto3Easy45012896 Yerba Buena Road, Malibu
Topanga Fire Lookout2Easy/Moderate30023298 Saddle Peak RdY
Franklin Canyon Park1.4Easy1002600 Franklin Canyon Drive
Fryman Canyon Park3Easy4633499 Fryman RoadY
Red Rock Canyon
2Easy15023130 Red Rock Road, Old TopangaY
Murphy Ranch From Rustic Canyon5Moderate2001047 Will Rogers State Park Road N
Santa Ynez Canyon From Topanaga State Park5.85Moderate81520942 Entrada Rd, Topanga
Dixie Canyon Park0.8Easy2003510 Dixie Canyon PlY
Eagle Rock From Cabellero Canyon
8Moderate/Hard10004040 Reseda blvd, Los AngelesY
Eagle Rock From Topanga State Park6Moderate75020942 Entrada Rd, TopangaY
Cave of Munits2.5Easy/Moderate7206800 sunset ridge ct Los AngelesY

First Inhabitants of the Santa Monicas:

Before the settlement of westerners in the new world and of the current Los Angeles area, the Santa Monica Mountains were once the lively place of Native American cultures. These were tribes like the Chumash, Satwiwa, and the Togva.

In the Malibu Creek State Park area, the first inhabitants of the area were the Chumash peoples. According to Malibucreekstatepark.org/history: “Many of the hiking trails in Malibu Creek State Park were originally footpaths that the Chumash would use to travel from village to village and from inland areas to the sea.”

Near Point Mugu on the west end of the mountain range was the main territory of the Satwiwa natives. In the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center near Point Mugu is a place where much of the culture can be viewed.

Reconstruction of Satwiwa living space.

Recreation of a teepee found in the Santa Monica Mountains