Saddle Peak via the Backbone Trail is a 9.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Calabasas, California that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as difficult offers a number of activity options.

DISTANCE
9.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,283 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

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.

17 days ago

Moderate intensity but views are totally worthy! We started at 10:00 am and was a little hot. I recommend to start earlier, because the round trip takes about 4 hours if you stop to take pictures and the sun is really strong while going back. Otherwise, amazing!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Good trail, easy to follow. Moderate intensity on the way up. It was more like 10 miles round trip and took me 3hrs and 30mins. Nice views from the top of the ocean and the valley.

hiking
1 month ago

Solid. Didn’t see anyone for 3 hours, other than some rock climbers. Not really one to do solo in hindsight.
I went side to side rather than there and back - no WiFi the other end, a few lodges and stuff you can log on.

3 months ago

great trail, shaded and really pretty at the beginning too, wasn't very steep either, took 4 hours, was 97 degrees outside which I don't recommend doing it when it's this hot, closer to 9.5 miles. probably one of my favorite hikes that I've done so far!

hiking
3 months ago

Decent hike with what would be amazing views at the peak (was cloudy when I got to the top), but I arrived at 7:30 am, the marine layer may be better burned off if you start an hour later (8:30 am).

Someone mentioned it before, but definitely park in the turnout about 100 ft past the trail head (I was the first car there but by the time I got back there were about 3 behind me so I assume it’s safe to park there).

Trail runs about 9.7 miles (the distance mentioned in the main description is incorrect). The first 5 miles is more or less all uphill with the retuning..... you guessed it, all downhill.

Overall the hike took me about 4.5 hours (3.5L of water in 87F weather), while seeing a minimal amount of people (which is great!)

Feet hurt towards the end as it’s a narrow/rocky trail, but worth it especially you are down for a good work out (2,400 calories burned)

4 months ago

Fantastic hike. The first mile or two you gain a lot of elevation, but after that it's not too bad. Very enjoyable and I'm already planning to hike this one again.

hiking
5 months ago

Clocked this at 9.6 miles. There are beautiful wildflowers all along the trail and plenty of shaded areas to rest and cool down. The ocean views are stunning. I’d recommend bringing 3 liters of water.

The trail is overgrown in many areas and we heard two rattle snakes but didn’t see them so be careful!

hiking
8 months ago

Awesome trail! Great photography possibilities for Los Angeles and the Channel Islands.

trail running
8 months ago

I believe this trail is 9 miles. I'm not sure how anybody lost the trail. Maybe they've cleaned it up a bit but it was very clear to me. There are even steps up the boulders.

There is nothing difficult about this trail. It is moderate at worst.

Parking is worth noting...as there doesn't appear to be any. I parked in what looked like a tiny lot a few hundred feet north of the trailhead. My car wasn't told or ticketed so, perhaps it's legal.

Having said all that, the payoff at the peak is fantastic. Lovely view of the ocean and San Gabriel Mountains. Nice steady incline throughout. I ran about half the time going up and ran all the way down and it took me 2:45.

trail running
10 months ago

Stunning views from the ocean to the valley, to Santa Monica, Hollywood and Los Angeles. I suggested a change to the distance - total of 11.27 miles, but I also lost the trail for a bit at the top. Solid 11 out and back. Well worth the journey!

10 months ago

Love this trail. Definitely technical and a tough climb but so worth it.

hiking
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Great trail with ocean and mountain views at the end! Definitely shouldn’t be rated “hard” though.

hiking
Sunday, October 22, 2017

When you get to the address given, drive up the road a couple feet and ther will be a dirt turnout/unmarked parking to your left if you're coming from Las virgenes Rd. We parked there for 4 hours. The hike itself is really beautiful and it's pretty quiet. lots of different views and the rock formations towards the end are so beautiful!

hiking
Saturday, July 29, 2017

Great hike! Awesome views and rock formations. Check out our video.

https://youtu.be/0K3uj5-3eZU

Or

YouTube search: SoCal Hikes and Beyond

hiking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

Though slightly overgrown in some places (as others have said) the trail itself was quite nice (but keep an eye out for poison oak). We arrived early (6:30 am) to beat the heat so the hike up was pleasant even though the elevation gain was no joke. The coolest part of the hike was the rock formations just before getting to the peak, which was pretty underwhelming to be honest. Having hiked Sandstone Peak, it just doesn't compare, which is why I docked it down to four stars. Nice trail and a nice challenge, but the pay off at the end wasn't quite enough.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

great views and easy trail. similar looking to San Gabriel mountains area. Do not start after 7am if it's summer, it gets hot hot hot. today was 109 by noon.

hiking
Sunday, May 14, 2017

This hike is a good workout with a moderate uphill climb the entire way. The first two miles of the hike is overgrown so I recommend wearing pants since the flowers and weeds have little torns. Enjoy

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Really nothing special and in no way deserves a grade of "hard". Wear long pants to protect from spikey plants.

trail running
Saturday, April 29, 2017

Set GPS to 25575 Piuma Road and the trailhead is NEXT DOOR!

trail running
Saturday, April 29, 2017

Incredible run up the backbone with smoe walking on the steeps. 9.4 miles total. 3000 foot elevation gains with miles of +450-600.

Incredible views going up, with much of the trails VERY overgrown and made visibility below a challange. It's a little more than a mile from the fork in the trail that sends you up to the peak.

Killer rock formations. The view below, crazy good. I'm calling this run #CreekToPeak. Loved it. The drive home sucked though, worse than expected. Oh well. I will upload photos.

hiking
Saturday, April 01, 2017

Moderate grade switchbacking trail through California chaparral. Views over the equestrian/rural Santa Monica Mountains and towards Calabasas until the summit, which looks south over the coast and LA basin. Plenty of wildflowers, birds, lizards, and even a couple kingsnakes. I didn't measure, but it felt longer than 8 miles - more like 10+.

Unmarked dirt parking on both sides of Piuma Road about fifty yards west of the trailhead, which is itself just a few yards west of the driveway to 25569 Piuma Road.

hiking
Friday, March 17, 2017

Love this hike trail

Friday, March 17, 2017

Love this hike trail

Monday, January 16, 2017

LOVE this hike. If you can make it up to the top the views are spectacular!

hiking
Saturday, December 31, 2016

Very muddy in the rain, but beautiful and more like 11 miles.

hiking
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A great, challenging hike with beautiful views. It was cool to travel through different ecosystems as you make you make your way to the top. There's a new bench at the top and the view is out of this world.

hiking
Monday, June 20, 2016

Great early morning hike. Lots of cobwebs and views. Might even see some rock climbers too. Great scenery with all the various rock formations.

hiking
Monday, December 12, 2011

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.

hiking
Thursday, October 27, 2011

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).

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