Saddleback Butte

State Park - California

Saddleback Butte State Park is in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert, in Southern California. It is located east of Lancaster, north of the community of Lake Los Angeles, and south of the city of Edwards in the unincorporated city of Hi Vista. The prominent feature and namesake of the park is Saddleback Butte, a butte that is 3,651 feet (1,113 m) high. Saddleback Butte State Park includes over 2,955 acres (4.617 sq mi) of land, and was created in 1960 to protect the area's Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia) desert habitat.
https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=618 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddleback_Butte_State_Park Saddleback Butte State Park is in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert, in Southern California. It is located east of Lancaster, north of the community of Lake Los Angeles, and south of the city of Edwards in the unincorporated city of Hi Vista. The prominent feature and namesake of the park is Saddleback Butte, a butte that is 3,651 feet (1,113 m) high. Saddleback Butte State Park includes over 2,955 acres (4.617 sq mi) of land, and was created in 1960 to protect the area's Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia) desert habitat.
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 interp@parks.ca.gov. 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 www.parks.ca.gov 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-mi

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