Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

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 main headquarters for the park itself is located in Thousand Oaks , near one of its main entrances in Newbury Park. The recreation area preserves one of the best examples of a Mediterranean climate in the world.

Santa Monica Mountains NRA contains 154,095 acres (623.6 km²), California State Parks own 42,000 acres (170 km²), the National Park Service controls 21,500 acres (87 km²), 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. The park is intended as an extension of Channel Islands National Park, which is just the underwater portion of the Santa Monica Mountains immediately to the west.

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.

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 (23.9 km²) of neighboring land to the federal government in exchange for 59 acres (0.24 km²) 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. The land swap was never completed.

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