an interior view of the Santa Monicas

Just off to the east and southeast of town lie the Santa Monica Mountains. These mountains along the southern California coast are beautiful, wild, and of course flammable. Most fire seasons see at least one fire in the hills.

Common plant communities include chaparral, coastal sage scrub, and riparian. Wildflowers are common in early spring just after the winter rain has subsided. Animals in this area are wild and should not be approached. Inexperienced hikers should never go alone due to the presence of mountain lions, among other things.

Much of the area is part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, but is a lot of it is non-public land, too.