Saddle Peak hike, April 14, 2017.

Even though my rear end was still recovering from a bad fall two weeks earlier, I decided to do a short hike in the Santa Monica mountains with Jorge. 

Since this was going to be a one way hike, we drove both our cars to a parking area on Schueren Road, where we parked Jorge's car, and drove via the spectacular Piuma Road to the junction with Las Virginess Road, where we parked my car to start the hike. 

From the parking area we hiked back on Piuma Road for about 300 yards, to where we entered the Backbone Trail.  The first 2 miles of the trail, we walked through a beautiful forested area with many flowers and birds singing in the early morning sun.  Once the trail crossed Piuma Road, we started to climb quickly via a number of switchbacks to  about 1,200 feet, after which the trail meandered through grassy fields and more forest until we reached the junction for the trail to Saddle Peak.  We took a short break here to rest my feet that had started to hurt badly the last few miles.  Back at it, we now started to hike above the trees, through some rocky areas, turning off the Backbone Trail to the summit of Saddle Peak. 

From the Peak, you get a 360 degree view of the surrounding area, with the most striking part being the view south east along the shore line all the way to Palos Verdes!  After taking in the amazing views, we hiked back down to the junction with the Backbone trail, and took it to where Jorge's car was parked.  A little before we got to the car, we passed by some incredibly beautiful flowers, in bright yellow and red collars.  Jorge later told me they are called Gazanias. 

Once we loaded our gear in Jorge's car, we drove back down Schueren Road, where we saw large clusters of the same Gazanias along the road.  A short while later we got to where my car was parked, and after saying our goodbuy's I drove back home, dealing with a very slow crawl on the 405 all the way to the 110.