Staff and volunteers will lead three hikes varying from a casual half-mile stroll to a strenuous five-mile hike up to the peak of Saddleback Butte. Check-in for all three hikes is at the Park Visitor Center, 17102 East Avenue J, Lancaster. Dress for winter weather and bring a lunch to enjoy in the park’s Day Use Area after returning from the hikes. All ages are welcome. Dogs are not allowed on the Park’s trails (except service animals). Hikes start at the indicated time—arrive early to stretch and prepare.
9:00am – Hike to Saddleback Peak This strenuous 6-mile hike from the Visitor Center to Saddleback Peak (3651ft) offers incredible views and incredible exercise. Plan for around 3 hours of hiking and 1000ft of elevation gain. Bring water, snacks, good hiking shoes, and layered clothing; it can be very windy at the top. No scrambling required. Led by State Park Staff.
10:00am – Loop Hike Across the Park This easy/moderate 3.5-mile loop hike across the park will take you into the special land of Creosote and Joshua Trees while offering long, sweeping vistas of local buttes. Take quiet pauses to hear the animals who call this area home. Plan for under 2 hours of hiking with little elevation gain. Bring water, good hiking shoes, and layered clothing. Led by State Park Volunteers.
11:00am – Dowen Nature Trail This easy 0.5-mile guided interpretive walk along the Dowen Nature Trail is great for all ages and ability levels. Learn about the unique ecological communities and cultural histories of the park while never being too far from your car... or a bathroom. Plan for around 1 hour duration with frequent stops and mild elevation gain. Wheelchair and stroller accessible. Led by State Park Staff.
Saddleback Butte State Park is open year-round for camping, hiking, and equestrian activities in our desert. The park receives support from a nonprofit organization, Poppy Reserve/Mojave Desert Interpretive Association (PRMDIA).
Nation-wide information about First Day Hikes and other First Day Activities offered can be found at First Day Hikes | National Association of State Park Directors (stateparks.org)
Directions: From the 14 Freeway in Lancaster, go east on Avenue J until just past 170th Street East. Entrance to the Day Use Area and Visitor Center will be on the right.