Saddleback Butte rises 3,651 feet above the western Mojave Desert. The solitary granite mountaintop overlooks the alluvial land of the Antelope Valley — a rich mixture of granite, sand, and silt that are the final remains of mountains eroding over millions of years. Today, the area is preserved as a state park and hosts campers from all over the world.
In the spring, visitors can enjoy vast expanses of blooming wildflowers and pleasant temperatures. In the evenings, the area is popular for stargazing and viewing meteor showers, eclipses, and other astronomical events.
Hikers and equestrians can enjoy miles of hiking trails along the base of the butte. Hikers can trek to the top of the peak and enjoy a panoramic view of the valley.
Diverse species of wildlife call the park home. Observant campers can catch glimpses of kit foxes, desert tortoise, lizards, and jack rabbits to name a few. Learn more about wildlife and the area’s natural and cultural history at the park’s visitor center.
The Saddleback Butte State Park Campground features 50 primitive camping sites for RVs, tents, and trailers. Campers have easy access to restrooms, drinking water, and a RV dump station. Sites include picnic tables, fire rings, and BBQ grills.
RV Rentals in Saddleback Butte State Park
Transportation in Saddleback Butte State Park
Saddleback Butte State Park is located 17 miles east of Lancaster California. The park entrance is located on 170th Street East, between East Avenues J and K.
Once you enter the park, roads are unpaved dirt and gravel. However, roads and pathways connecting the campsites, visitor center, campfire center, and restrooms are still ADA accessible.
Visitors must park only in designated parking spaces and may not go off road.
In the fall and winter, the weather is unpredictable and can change quickly. If you are traveling during these seasons, call ahead to monitor road conditions.
Day use fees apply to vehicles and horses, and any visitors in the park after hours must occupy a campsite.
A speed limit of 15 mph is strictly enforced throughout the park.
Campgrounds and parking in Saddleback Butte State Park
Campsites in Saddleback Butte State Park
Saddleback Butte State Park Campground
The Saddleback Butte State Park Campground offers 50 year round sites for RVs, tent, and trailer camping. Each site has a limit of eight people. There are no hookups available, but campers have access to clean restrooms, drinking water, and a RV dump station. Each site comes with a picnic table, fire ring, and BBQ grill. Firewood is available for sale at the park. Pets are allowed at the campground as long as they are kept on a leash.
Seasonal activities in Saddleback Butte State Park
Saddleback Butte State Park offers a four and a half mile horse trail through the park and a ten-mile loop horse trail that travels around the base of the butte. There is a staging area located on the north side of the park with easy pull-through and turn around access for large vehicles. It also has picnic tables and a chemical toilet. An equestrian rest area at the southwest corner of the park offers additional picnic tables and a water trough. You may also ride into the park at either end of the trail. There is a small equestrian day use fee per horse.
The Visitor Center at Saddleback Butte State Park provides visitors with an educational and interactive experience. Colorful displays and hands-on exhibits share historic information on the area’s environment and culture. Throughout the year, the visitor center features scheduled events and interactive programs including guided nature hikes and the Junior Ranger program. Learn about the wildlife that call the butte home, the native people who lived in the area, and the discovery of gold in the Antelope Valley.
Hikers of all skill levels will enjoy hitting the trails at Saddleback Butte State Park. The two and a half mile Little Butte Trail begins at the day use area and connects to the base of the butte. Once they reach the butte, visitors can choose to loop around the base or hike 3,651 feet in elevation to the top of the peak. This trail is more difficult and changes from loose sand to a combination of sand and rock. At the top, hikers can take in a panoramic, 360 degree view of the Antelope Valley and Mojave Desert.
Saddleback Butte State Park protects 2,995 acres of high desert habitat. A variety of native plants and animals call the area home. Visitors can catch glimpses of coyotes, kit foxes, desert tortoises, jack and cottontail rabbits, badgers, kangaroo rats, ground squirrels, and the occasional skunk. Many types of lizards and snakes make settle under the rocks and in the native Joshua trees. Campers should beware of desert rattlesnakes, which are most active in the evenings as they search for food.
The wide open skies and seclusion from city lights make the Saddleback Butte State Park area popular for nighttime stargazing. Visitors in the park after dark must occupy a campsite and observe park quiet hours. Search for constellations, watch a meteor shower, or visit during an eclipse or other astronomical event for a unique experience. Campsite fees apply, and fires must be contained in designated fire rings. A maximum of eight people are allowed at each campsite.
A picnic at Saddleback Butte State Park is a perfect activity any time of the year. If you are spending the day on horseback, picnic tables are available at both the equestrian staging area and the rest area. A designated day-use picnic area is located near the park entrance and features 12 picnic sites with tables, BBQ grills, and shade ramadas. Campsites in the Saddleback Butte State Park Campground also include picnic tables and shade structures.