Saddle & Calabasas Peaks, Topanga Lookout

Final Stats:

Gain: 4000 ft
Distance: 15 miles
Ascent: 540 ft / mile

A good time in the Santa Monica mountains.

View Album

Others’ photos and Meetup link here

GPS track here

KML Google Earth file

We ventured out into the Santa Monica mountains for this hike, starting in Topanga. We parked at the beginning of Red Rock road at Old Topanga Canyon road, and hiked up Red Rock canyon up toward Calabasas Peak. 16 people showed up for this one.

I’ve never heard of this specific Red Rock canyon, and I’m not sure why…it is very nice. The smoothed rock all over allows for very cool shapes and small caves carved out of most rock formations. One can spend hours just bouldering / scrambling around these, and I plan on coming back to do just that.

We hit a saddle and headed up the fireroad to Calabasas Peak. Andy and I decided to take a fun route and veered off the fire road and ascended some long sections of tilted rock, then traversed over toward the peak. We hiked around a few other bumps in the area, then headed back down to the saddle.

At this point we took the use trail that traverses the ridge heading toward Topanga Lookout. This was one of the highlights of the hike as it involved a decent amount of scrambling mixed in with use trail. Views to the northeast gave a glimse of the entire San Gabriel range, including the very snowy eastern portion.

We hit Topanga lookout, ate lunch, then headed south toward Saddle Peak. Along the way we traveled along the Backbone trail, which happens to cross paved roads and traffic a few times. While the Santa Monica’s are definitely nice, the intermixing of nature and civilization leaves some solitude to be desired. Yet, it is still a great way to be outside.

Saddle Peak is quite anti-climatic as it has many antennae on top blocking some of the views, but still acts as a great overlook into the Pacific Ocean. From here, we headed down the Stunt High trail, passing up 3 or 4 groups of army reserves (I think) doing some sort of training. Well there weren’t doing really anything when we passed so I can’t say just what they were training, but I hope it involved capture of anyone littering!

At the bottom of the Stunt High trail, we picked up a fire road which took us back to the first saddle. From there, it was the final 2 mile decent into Red Rock canyon and back to the cars. Along the way we veered off trail to play on some the rocks.

Afterwards, we went to Abuelitas in Topanga for some great Mexican food. A great day in all.


Related posts:

Double Hike: Altadena Exploration
San Jacinto 7 Peak Loop
Village to Baldy Pace Hike + 3T's

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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 at 1:11 pm and is filed under Trip Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Saddle & Calabasas Peaks, Topanga Lookout”


Seth March 16th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

I just hiked up Stunt High Trail to Saddle Peak over the weekend. The whole area is green and beautiful. I’ve hiked Red Rocks and scrambled around Calabas Peak, but never done a loop like this. Very impressive! I need to make it out to Los Even Overlook next. Keep up the good hiking.


March 18th, 2010 at 4:45 pm

thanks Seth. nice website. I remember you also had stuff on some sierra hikes on another site (was looking up stuff about Langley & Cirque peaks), good job with the detail on all of it.

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