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“First Day Hikes”: Free Hikes in California

01 January 2022

Saddleback Butte State Park, 17102 East Avenue J, Lancaster (corner of 170th St E and East Avenue J, near Lake Los Angeles)

9:00 AM

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“First Day Hikes”: Free Hikes in California

Celebrate the New Year with “First Day Hikes” at Saddleback Butte

Rejuvenate by taking a family friendly trek through a state park close to home.

Make a New Year’s resolution to your health and happiness by kicking off 2020 with an invigorating First Day Hike at Saddleback Butte State Park on January 1st, as part of America’s State Parks’ First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states.  America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike at a state park.  First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family. 

At Saddleback Butte State Park, staff and volunteers will lead three hikes, which vary from an easy half-mile stroll to a strenuous five-mile hike up the butte. Check-in for all hikes is at the park Visitor Center, 17102 East Avenue J, Lancaster (corner of 170th St E and East Avenue J, near Lake Los Angeles). Bring a lunch to enjoy in the park’s Picnic Area after returning from the hikes!  Kids are welcome, but dogs are not allowed on trails in California State Parks (with the exception of trained service animals/no comfort animals). Visit for more information and updates.

  • 9 a.m. – Hike to top of Saddleback Butte

Moderately strenuous. Five miles and about three hours roundtrip; 1000 ft of elevation gain to an incredible view across the Mojave Desert.  Bring water and wear good hiking shoes and layered clothing; it can be very windy at the top. 

  • 10 a.m. – Loop Hike across the park

Easy to moderate.  3.3 miles with little elevation gain; about 1 ¾ hours. Dress for the weather; bring water and hat, walking sticks are optional. Enjoy the beautiful high desert views over the Antelope Valley; this is a great winter’s hike. 

  • 11 a.m. – Dowen Nature Trail

Easy.  Guided interpretive tour along the nature trail.  Learn about the unique natural and cultural history of the local area. 1/2 mile loop with mild elevation gain, about 1 hour; wheelchair/stroller accessible.

Nation-wide information about First Day Hikes offered, their difficulty and length, and tips can be found at America’s State Parks is committed to promoting outdoor recreation in state parks as a way to address obesity, especially among children.  Getting kids outside and unplugged from video games and other electronic media creates a unique connection with nature that promotes physical and mental well-being and encourages creativity and stewardship of our shared resources.