Backpacking Trip Report: Saddleback Butte State Park

State:

California

Location: West Mojave

Type: In and Out

Mileage: 6
Days: 3
This months trip was to Saddleback Butte, a state park just outside of Lancaster, CA.What a crappy campground. I do NOT recommend this place at all. The campsites are ok, with water, toilets, and the usual amenities, but the location is just terrible. Maybe this was nice 30 years ago, but now when you look out at the horizon, you can see houses, highways and telephone poles. I prefer something a little more remote.

Anyway, the hiking was OK. 2 trails lead out from the campground and wind their way up and into the butte. Relatively short, but fairly strenuous, you start by trudging through deep sand, and the final mile to the summit is pretty steep. Nice views from the top. We wasted a good 2 hours on the top searching for a geocache, which we finally found.

Not a whole lot of wildlife out here. Saw a few snakes, a rabbit, a squirrel. A few lizards, some ravens and swallows. The Kangaroo rats came out at night and cleaned up the tortilla chips we spilled during the day.

If you go, bring an umbrella and water sprayer. Its hot, and there is no shade at all.

There are some other interesting things to do within easy driving distance. The Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve is nearby, the Lancaster Indian Museum was better than I expected it to be. There is a challenging sand hill just outside the park for you offroad driving types.

This is probably our last desert trip for this season. Next month we will be in the mountains, above the heat and smog until the weather changes again.

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