Saddle Peak via the Backbone Trail is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Calabasas, CA that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and rock climbing.
Saddle peak is the second highest in the Santa Monica mountains, after Sandstone peak. After a moderately difficult climb, you will reach the peak where you will enjoy great views of the LA basin and its surroundings.
Great early morning hike. Lots of cobwebs and views. Might even see some rock climbers too. Great scenery with all the various rock formations.
We did this hike Sunday, Dec 11th. It was cool, probably mid to upper 50s when we started at 8:30am and about 10 degrees warmer when we finished up a few hours later perfect hiking weather. While the elevation gain is about 1800 feet, its fairly gradual. There are a couple of spots on the first portion that are moderately steep, but other than that, the whole hike is pretty consistent. The trail is in great shape. We saw a couple of rabbits and some hummingbirds, but not much else in the way of wildlife. When crossing stunt road, which happens twice, its easy to lose the trail, as the trailhead doesnt begin directly across the road. Youll have to hike along the road for a bit to pick up the trail. Great views from the saddle and from the triangle formation just beyond the saddle.
Great hike - I go pretty quickly and it took about 3-4 hours to do the whole thing. I actually gave up the first time I was here because I couldn't find the trail continuation at the second crossing of Stunt Road. My advice is to cross the street first, then walk uphill to the right. Not too far, but the entrance to the trail is hard to see even from just across the road.
The only downside to this hike is the prevalent noise from the road. It's not unbearable, of course, but you'll hear it. Other than that, great views, great exercise, and pretty sparse crowds when I went (morning).