Summary: Always bring the ten essentials on a day hike. I began this hike at 2:30 pm thinking I had plenty of time to get back by dark. Wrong! This would have been an interesting situation had I not had my trusty Photon flashlight handy. Hey night hiking is actually a lot of fun if you are prepared. Enough said.
This hike has a terrific payoff at the end of a long climb in the way of panoramic views and dramatic sandstone formations. Do bring map and compass for this hike otherwise you might not know which way to turn at trail junctions. At the dirt parking area find the trailhead to the left with a sign "High Stunt Trail". Follow along this trail next to a creek and make a left at the trail junction. Follow the Stunt High Trail across a service road then across Stunt Road two times until it hooks up with the Backbone Trail. Note: walk down to the right each time to find the trail again across Stunt Rd. Turn left onto the Backbone Trail going to Saddle Peak.
Trailhead: From the 101 Freeway exit Las Virgenes Rd. heading south towards Malibu. Make a left turn on Mulholland Highway about 5 miles then turn right onto Stunt Rd. Take Stunt Rd. 2.9 miles to a turn out on the right hand side. Find the trailhead with a sign that says "Stunt High Trail" to your left. (Lat:34.09493 Lon:-118.64743)
Trail Guides for Saddle Peak from Stunt High Trail:
Afoot and Afield in Los Angeles
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy (310) 589-3200
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Eric Altizer, who has posted 13 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Dan on 11/18/2014
Given the stats on this hike (8.2 miles, 1400 ft. elevation gain/loss, it was not as challenging as I expected. Still, it is a workout, and one worth doing. However, I prefer reaching Saddle Peak from the Backbone Trail head off Piuma Road, which intersects this trail above the second crossing of Stunt Road, so avoids the need to hike that highway, however briefly. It also offers good and expanding views to the south and west as you ascend the switchbacks during the first mile or so. Note, however, that parking at the Piuma Road trailhead is very limited (2-3 cars), though pullouts on Piuma Road on either side of the trailhead are just a short stroll away. After all, you are out for the exercise.
Reviewed by sm on 5/10/2011
The is a pretty good hike with one of the best views of LA at the top. Clear views of the ocean, Santa Monica, LAX, West LA, LA Downtown, San Fernando Valley and all the way up to Calabasas. We did get lost on this trail in the beginning of the hike. There's a splitting point on this trail about a half mile or so from the trail head. There's a sharp left(almost looks like it's going back to the trail head) that you need to take. There are no markers here that tells which split to take to go to Saddle Peak.
Reviewed by JR on 4/17/2011
It is 8.2 miles to the top and back, not 6. Also, "down to the right" is an awkward way to describe locating the trail at the 1st Stunt Rd crossing. Walk to your right, UPHILL, and then cross when you see the trail on the other side.
Reviewed by CMo on 4/19/2010
Very nice- be prepared for the sounds of the road, though. This hike goes from foresty woods and a stream to rocks straight out of Joshua Tree. The weather was great in mid- April. Seems like it would be a bit much in hotter temps. The view from the top is worth the trek.
Reviewed by Greg H on 4/11/2010
Took more like 5.5 hours if you stop for a bit to have lunch etc. I suggest doing this on a cool day. It's not a good hike for a hot day. Perhaps bring 3 liters of water on a hot day and 1.5 liter on a cool day When you make a right on the first road look for the trail on the other side Easy to pass, not marked. Wildflowers, scenery. 60s and 70s cloudy day is good or partly sunny
Reviewed by DLF on 1/1/2010
I liked this hike so much I did it 2 days in a row. The first time I went with a buddy and we started at the bottom of Stunt High Trail at mile marker 1 on Stunt Rd. It was very challenging with a variety of scenery. You barely even notice the road except of course when you cross it twice. Not a lot of signage, just walk to the right. We kept a pretty good pace with very few stops and made it to the peak in about an hour and 20 minutes. Since we got a late start, it was dark before we made it down. I would highly recommend this hike.
Reviewed by AH on 9/28/2009
Before I begin, I must qualify my response as being in no way tied to the number of stars I gave this hike. I feel that by rating a hike with a certain quantity of stars I am attaching a false, numerical, and objective value to an experience that is extremely personal and subjective. That being said, I found it annoying that I had to cross Stunt Road twice. The road seems to function only as a place where men rev their motorcycles to soothe their gnawing insecurities. Other than the road crossings, the view from the top is pretty and the gentle climb through the chapparal is a nice workout.
Reviewed by DD on 12/10/2008
If you are looking for a challenging hike, this is not the hike for you. It is more of a short stroll, not steep or long. The view at the top was nice, but noisy from the traffic on Stunt Road. I made the summit in 1.5 hours, but it was an enjoyable day.
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