Saddleback Butte

Park Brochure

brochure Saddleback Butte - Park Brochure
Saddleback Butte State Park Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. an Pablo Bay’s . . .“reveals theSdesert intertidal salt marshlands its true character only ideal habitat toprovide those who come with for grass shrimp and courage, tolerance, shorebirds near the and understanding. California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (661) 946-6092. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service Saddleback Butte State Park 43230 172nd Street East Lancaster, CA 93534 (661) 946-6092 © 2009 California State Parks (Rev. 2015) remnants a former For those, of the desert Chinese village. holdsfishing rare gifts.” — Randall Henderson “On Desert Trails” I n the western Mojave Desert, Saddleback Butte overlooks an alluvial plain — vast blankets of decomposed granite, sand, and silt shed from mountains that eroded over millions of years. About 15 miles east of Lancaster, the park protects the butte and the contorted Joshua trees dotting the high desert landscape. The photogenic shapes of these venerable trees stand tall amid the fragrant creosote bushes. The February through May spring season brings breathtaking displays of wildflowers. Summer temperatures can range from 95 to 115 degrees. October and November are usually mild, but can change suddenly. Frost and temperatures below freezing are common in winter. PARK HISTORY Native People Archaeological evidence reveals that this area has been used by various native groups for at least 10,000 years, when lakes covered large portions of Antelope Valley. These groups lived nearby until dramatic climate changes dried up the lakes, forcing the people to adapt their living patterns to desert conditions. Although natives lived in the area, no evidence exists of them dwelling within the park boundaries. Antelope Valley Settled After the 1848 gold discovery, gold, silver, and other minerals were mined in Antelope Valley. When the railroad came to the valley in 1876, new towns sprang up and led to widespread land speculation. Successive wet years produced new settlements based on livestock and agriculture, but a series of dry years caused many to lose their land and animals. Following World War II, new irrigation technology allowed access to Antelope Valley’s Desert groundwater supplies. tortoise Water-hungry crops such as alfalfa and onions now grow throughout the valley, even during dry years. Since the end of World War II, defense and aerospace industries have dominated the region. NATURAL RESOuRCES Saddleback Butte is a 3,651-foot solitary mountain dating to the Cretaceous geologic period, roughly 70 million years ago. The 2,955-acre park preserves habitat for disappearing native plants and animals. Daytime visitors may see foxes, rabbits, and desert tortoises — a burrowing reptile and threatened species. Beware of desert rattlesnakes searching for rodents in the evenings. Among rattlesnakes, Mojave Mojave desert rain clouds “green” rattlers have the most toxic venom while Mojave sidewinders have the least toxic venom. Joshua trees shelter desert night lizards, wood rats, ladder-backed woodpeckers, yucca moths, termites, and night snakes. All of these creatures live in a mutually beneficial relationship within the Joshua tree, a member of the agave family. Bird watchers will find many migratory species; permanent avian residents include golden eagles, hawks, owls, cactus wrens, shrikes, and horned larks. recreation Visitor Center — The visitor center has colorful displays and hands-on exhibits on the area’s natural and cultural history. Call (661) 946-6092 for visitor center hours. Hiking — 2.5-mile Little Butte Trail begins at the day-use area. At the butte’s base, the trail merges with 2-mile Saddleback Horses may use only the designated equestrian trails and staging area; there is no horse-camping area. Park Programs — Call for group programs, events, nature hikes, or Junior Ranger program schedules. Campsites at sunset NEARBY STATE PARKS • Antelope Valley Indian Museum, 20 mi. east of Lancaster, E. Avenue M between 150th and 170th Sts. (661) 946-6092 • Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve 15 mi. west of Lancaster, Avenue I (661) 724-1206 • Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park, 5 mi. west of Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve via Lancaster Rd. (661) 724-1206 Photo courtesy of Elaine Macdonald Butte Peak Trail. The main park road links these two trails in a three-mile loop, or climb to the peak and enjoy a 360-degree view over Antelope Valley and the Mojave desert. Camping — The family camp has 50 nonreservable sites with tables, barbecue grills, fire rings, and shade ramadas. RVs and trailers up to 30 feet are welcome; a sanitation station is available. The Joshua group camp holds up to 30 people. Call (800) 444-7275 for reservations, or visit Picnicking — There are 27 picnic sites with tables, barbecue grills, and shade ramadas. Drinkable water and restrooms are nearby. Equestrians — A 4.5-mile horse trail skirts the north and west bases of the butte. Please stay on the trail, which is outlined by rocks and a fence. A 10-mile loop equestrian trail begins at the equestrian staging area and goes through the park, out the service yard gate, and follows the south and east boundaries of the park along unpaved roads. The staging area has pull-through trailer access. Call (661) 946-6092 for gate access or to schedule group riding events. ACCESSIBLe features The park has accessible campsites and picnic tables. The visitor center, self-guided Dowen Nature Trail, campfire center, and restrooms are all accessible. For updates, call the Saddleback Butte Visitor Center at (661) 946-6092 or visit Riders enjoy the equestrian trail. PLEASE REMEMBER • All park features are protected by law and may not be disturbed. Do not burn dead Joshua trees or shrubs for firewood. • Secure trash; the desert winds are unpredictable. • Use only designated parking spaces and do not go off road. Speed limit is 15 mph. • Pay fees upon arrival, using fee envelope posts at the entrance; place the completed receipt on your dashboard. • Pets must be kept on a six-foot leash during the day and within an enclosed tent or vehicle at night. Only designated service dogs are allowed on park trails. • Loaded firearms, fireworks, and loud, disturbing noises are prohibited. • Fires are allowed only in the provided fire rings. Use portable barbecues and stoves only within your campsite. Be careful when burning anything; wildfires cause damage that takes decades to heal. • Carry and drink plenty of water. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. • Bring a hat, sunglasses, sunblock, cell phone, trail map, compass, flashlight, snacks, first aid kit, long-sleeved clothing, camera, and above all, extra water. This park receives support in part from a nonprofit organization. For more information, contact: Poppy Reserve/Mojave Desert Interpretive Association P.O. Box 1408, Lancaster, CA 93584-9008 Avenue J 190th Street E to 14 , 138 , Lancaster Park Entrance 2800 Day-Use Area Avenue J Saddleback Butte 3000 260 32 B 00 32 00 3000 Saddleback K l 3651ft 1113m C i Tra B LE D SA D Maintenance Yard Park Entrance Fee Station P 3400 SADDLEBACK BUTTE S TAT E PA R K 30 D AY USE AREA 00 3200 280 0 3000 26 00 0 375 Ft Joshua 0 0.25 0 0.5 0.5 0.75 1.0 00 Park Entrance Saddleback Butte Peak Trail © 2009 California State Parks (Rev. 2015) 2600 170th Street E Avenue M 1 Mile 0 14 Paved Road Drinking Water Unpaved Road Group Campground Trail: Accessible Horse Staging Area Trail: Hiking Locked Gate Trail: Hike & Horse Nature Trail Intermittent Stream Accessible Feature to Campground 100 M 1.5 Kilometers Legend 26 50 l 0 Fee Station P P r ai tt e T CAMPGROUND AREA 34 le Bu Litt 100 Meters E N a t ure Trail 50 T A es an tri 00 Eq u Campground Area to Day-Use Area 375 Feet T en 0 00 Do w Avenue K-8 U 3000 back Butte Peak Tra Saddle il Avenue K-4 State Park 200th Street E utt e T r a il 2802ft 854m Park Entrance 160th Street East le B Little Butte detail map below 0 Lit t 28 170th Street E 0 detail map on right E questrian Trail P Rosamond Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland SP 138 Restrooms Campfire Center RV Sanitation Station Campground Viewpoint Visitor Center Lancaster 14 California Placerita Canyon SP Picnic Area 405 5 30 Km Verdugo Mountains 58 395 Saddleback Butte SP Antelope Valley Indian Adelanto Museum Aqueduct Wrightwood San Fernando Los Encinos SHP 20 EDWARDS AFB Palmdale Angeles NF 20 Mi 10 10 Antelope Valley CA Poppy Reserve ANTELOPE VALLEY Parking Camp Host/Information 0 18 138 138 Angeles NF Pasadena 15 Rio de Los 66 Angeles SP/SRA 605 Pomona LOS Pio Pico 60 SHP Riverside Topanga SP Kenneth Hahn SRA ANGELES 15

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