The Santa Monica Mountains are situated in between Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. This range is a sanctuary for vegetation, nature preserves, wildlife and is a great place for nature lovers to escape the city. The fall is an especially nice time to visit where you will see the mountains in all their glory.

Located just 5 miles west of AMLI’s Woodland Hills apartments, you can access the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon which puts you right in a portion of the Santa Monica Mountains. This 3,000-acre nature preserve is the perfect spot for many types of outdoor recreation. Here’s why we love the fall in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Nature trails

The Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space is a vast stretch of rolling hills, oak trees, grasslands and wooded trails. There are two main trailheads in the area—the Las Virgenes Canyon Road Trail (8 miles) and the Victory Trailhead Loop (5 miles). These trails are wide and well-maintained, making them ideal for all fitness levels. Trails can be used for walking, hiking, mountain biking and/or horseback riding. Enjoy the vast California landscape on these trails in fall when the temperatures are milder.


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Mountain views

The eastern half of the Open Space is full of rolling hills and meadows. The Las Virgenes Canyon Road Trail hike takes you inside Las Virgenes Canyon itself and back along a ridge with beautiful views of the Santa Monica Mountains.  You will gain 1,841 feet of elevation, giving you a spectacular panoramic view of the rugged mountains in the distance. Changing leaves are hard to come by in Southern California, but there is a good chance you will see a sprinkling of fall colors in the mountains in October and November. You can access the trailhead from the apartments near Pierce College at AMLI Warner Center by taking the West Venture Freeway to Las Virgenes Road.


The diverse habitat in this portion of the Santa Monica Mountains is known for many endangered animals and plant life such as the red-legged frog, the San Fernando Valley spineflower and the southwestern willow flycatcher. Malibu Creek also flows through this area to the Santa Monica Bay and supports one of the few populations of southern steelhead trout.


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Ranch house

If you’re looking for the perfect event space, the historic Upper Las Virgenes Canyon ranch house has impressive views, vast lawns, majestic oak trees and all the California charm. This 1930’s-era secluded ranch has been fully restored and is available to reserve for weddings and other special events. Fall is a beautiful time of year to experience the views at the ranch which looks out onto slopes and hills with valleys of oak trees, sycamore-lined canyons, streams and impressive rocky terrain.

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fall in the Santa Monica Mountains

About Lauren Fischer

Lauren is a freelance web designer and writer out of Asheville, NC. Lauren has worked with a variety of businesses from manufacturing, healthcare, non-profits, and eCommerce shops to enhance their online presence. When she's not working, she's hiking with her dogs, cooking something tasty, or planning her next adventure.