Find Sites

Find your spot

Find other facilities on map

For more information on passes click here



Status: Open year round.   Season Dates


Are you searching for a weekend getaway with mountain overlooks and sunny, sandy beaches?

Your vacation destination may be a short drive from Los Angeles, California! Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area offers many opportunities to shake off the stresses of city life and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

Natural Features:

Tucked in the canyons above Malibu and nestled below majestic Boney Mountain, you will find Circle X Ranch. This former Boy Scout camp offers many opportunities for exploration and adventure. Journey to Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains, and see several of the Channel Islands on a clear day. Enjoy a visit to the Grotto or a creekside picnic. Reserve the Group Camp and listen to coyote songs at night.


Travel one of the many trails that wind through this rare coastal Mediterranean ecosystem. The plants you see here, such as coastal sage scrub and mixed chaparral, are adapted to hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Keep an eye out for red shank chaparral, a tree-like shrub with reddish-brown bark, clusters of thread-like leaves, and small bunches of white flowers in July and August.

From the dry, rocky slopes near Sandstone Peak to the lush fern-studded Grotto, Circle X Ranch provides a wide variety of recreational possibilities. Linger here for a while, and experience the ambiance of this secluded mountain retreat.


Located below the Ranger Contact Station at Cirlce X Ranch. Check-in here with park staff before heading down to your campsite.

Nearby Attractions:

Enjoy a visit to the Grotto or a creekside picnic at the trailhead next to the campground.

Grotto Trail 3.5 miles round trip, moderate to strenuous; no bikes, no horses. This trail traverses hillsides and leads down to the West Fork of the Arroyo Sequit. The trail is downhill from the Ranger Station, which means an uphill return. The Grotto area is rugged terrain; be careful and wear appropriate hiking attire. The last 1/8 mile is through an unimproved streambed and dogs are not allowed.

The Ranger Contact Station can provide you with free hiking maps of Circle X Ranch. A publication of park-led activites for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is also available. Vists to nearby Malibu and the Pacific Ocean are just a short drive way.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Parking
  • Basketball Courts
  • Biking
  • Comfort Station
  • Day Use Area
  • Drinking Water
  • Emergency Phone
  • Grills
  • Group Camping
  • Group Site (Reservable)
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding Trails
  • Host
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Parking
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Tables
  • Ranger Station
  • Scenic Drive
  • Scenic Overlooks
  • Shade
  • Star Gazing
  • Telephone
  • Tent sites
  • Trailheads
  • Vault Toilets
  • Water Spigot
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Accessible Campsites
  • Accessible Scenic Overlook
  • Accessible Sites
  • Beach Access
  • Beach Camping
  • Camping Supplies
  • Cell Phone Service
  • Climbing
  • Emergency Services
  • Food Services
  • Mountain Biking
  • Restaurant
  • Rock Climbing
  • Surfing
Know Before You Go
  • No wood fires. Charcoal fires are permitted in designated areas only. However during high fire danger. charcoal fires may be prohibited. Because fire regulations may vary please contact us before you plan your trip.
  • Dogs are generally allowed on National Park campgrounds and trails if on a leash (6 feet maximum). At state parks, dogs are permitted only in campgrounds and picnic areas, and on certain beaches where specified.
  • Natural and historic features (such as flowers, rocks or artifacts) are protected by law and may not be collected or damaged.
  • Wood gathering or collecting is not allowed.
  • Bring plenty of food and water. (Water from streams is not safe to drink!)
  • Learn to recognize and avoid poison oak, rattlesnakes and bees.
  • Guard yourself against ticks by wearing long sleeves, long pants and light colors.
  • Dress appropriately for variable weather conditions and be prepared for minor emergencies.
  • Bring a first aid kit, flashlight and extra clothes.
  • Take care of your trash. Use disposal facilities on site, or pack out what you pack in.
  • Only tent camping is permitted at this site.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
34.10972, -118.93722
34°6'35"N, 118°56'14"W

Pacific Coast Highway to Yerba Buena Road. Turn inland; go 5.4 miles to Circle X Ranch contact station.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

12896 Yerba Buena Road
Malibu  CA  90265

Phone Number:

Information:  (805)370-2301
Discover and reserve camping, lodging, permits, tours and more at America's parks, forests, monuments and other public lands with Recreation.gov. Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration