Saddle Peak Hiking Trail, Malibu


Hike Reports, LA / SoCal Trails / Thursday, September 11th, 2014

This past Saturday [9.6.14], I climbed the second tallest peak in the Santa Monica Mtns – the Saddle Peak Trail in Malibu.  I went w/ my gf & my sis, who I don’t hike w/ much.  Seeing as how she just moved home from Asia, she warned me she was out of shape… but I figured hey… how bad can it be.

This trail is 4.7 miles, inclines the entire way up (obviously since it’s the second highest peak in the area), and worse of all, we did this on a ridiculously hot day and there was no shade whatsoever.  Even by the ocean, it must have been 90s, although this trail wasn’t exactly along the ocean which meant no pretty view and no cool ocean breeze. Whomp whomp.

Finding the parking & entrance to the trail was a bit confusing, We went in on Malibu Canyon Rd which basically made one big loop to Piuma Rd and came back down on Las Flores Canyon Rd.  The parking and trail head we started on (I read there’s more than one) was somewhere along Piuma Rd – vague, I know, but w/ the amount of loops on that road… I have no idea how far it was.

So since the hike’s 4.7 miles, it’s 2.35 mile each way (same way there & back).  I think the girls made it prob 2 miles before they stopped.  They were gonna wait there for me while I finished, but not knowing how much further I was, I just walked to the end to peak around the corner.  It didn’t look too bad, so I didn’t to go up the next part and see how much further that got me.  Again, it wasn’t too bad, so I decided to just keep going.  Well about 5 minutes after where I left the girls, I reached what I thought was the top… only cause it had like a flat ground viewpoint spot.  But then, looking onwards, the trail kept inclining, so I knew that wasn’t it.  There was a couple coming down as I carried on so i asked how much further I was & they told me I’m very close, like 2 mins, homestretch!  That led me to believe this part of the trail was the end of it…. nope wrong again.  It was so freakin hot I was huffing and puffing and felt like I was gonna pass out.  Since I knew I was almost there, I decided to go one last stretch… and you know what, I’m glad I did cause THAT was the last of it.  There was these rocks at the end that I rested at, took a couple selfies cause no one else was there to take pix for me, and got to thinking hmm I should invest in a selfie stick.  The view was not that great though.

I heard my name called out in a distance and see this itty bitty person at the end of the trail and my gf made her way to find me.  I guess I kept them waiting too long.  As I headed back to her, my sis appeared around the corner.  Holy moly I was surprised she actually made it!  Since she was almost at the top, I pushed her to finish it but her body was not feeling it… close enough though I guess.  The hike down was hot, dry, endless with no breeze.  I always hate going down more than going up… going up is hard… def a workout… & as much as I hate it, I love every minute of it.  Going down is just tougher on your feet & legs, even w/ hiking shoes.

All in all, the hike was… an experience.  Forgot to mention we started right before 11:30am (yes, that’s the worst possible time of day to go) and finished just after 1pm.  Short, but felt like forever.  My sis is so Asian, she brought an umbrella w/ her for her personal shade… which I guess was smart since I’m noticeably tanner than I’ve been all summer.

Oh, & I lost my fitbit so I couldn’t track my steps & calories burned =(

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