Point Mugu, Saddle Peak, Simi Peak
Santa Monica Mts.
Santa Monica Mts
“The whole of life is about another chance, and while we are alive, till the very end, there is always another chance.” – Jeanette Winterson
Why These Peaks?
Point Mugu, Saddle Peak, and Simi Peak are three peaks that I hiked when I was training for Half Dome and are sentimental favorites. Saddle Peak is part of the 72 miles Backbone Trail that runs through the Santa Monica Mountains. I hiked the entire Backbone Trail in 2014.
Peak & Route Facts
Point Mugu Peak is a 3.5 mile out and back route with 1,378′ of elevation gain. The first .6 mile has about a thousand feet of gain.
Saddle Peak starts at the Piuma Trailhead. The hike is 9.7 miles round trip with about 2,415′ of elevation gain.
Simi Peak is in the Simi Hills. The peak can be reached several ways. We will be hiking the China Flats Trail. It’s 6.4 miles with 1,706′ of gain.
Historical and Cultural Information
Point Mugu and Saddle Peak are in the Santa Monica Mountains in southern California. Simi Peak is in the Simi Hills near Malibu.
California is the most populous state in the US. It is also the third most extensive in area (after Alaska and Texas). Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the US behind New York. The state’s capitol is Sacramento, which is located in Northern California.
California contains both the highest point (Mount Whitney) and the lowest point (Death Valley) in the contiguous United States. Earthquakes are common because of the state’s location along the Pacific Ring of Fire. About 37,000 earthquakes are recorded each year, but most are too small to be felt.
What is now California was first settled by various Native American tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries. It was then claimed by the Spanish Empire as part of Alta California in the larger territory of New Spain. Alta California became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence, but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War. The western portion of Alta California was organized as the State of California, which was admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale immigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom.