Compared to other mountain ranges like the Sierras and Rockies, the Santa Monica Mountains are pretty tame. In fact, they barely qualify as mountains considering the highest peak is just over 3100 feet. But they're unique in that they're a transverse range, running east and west rather than north and south. They have a dynamic geology and a definite beauty of their own. It's amazing to find someplace that feels so isolated, yet that's only a few miles from Los Angeles.