California State Parks will sponsor free guided hikes at Saddleback Butte State Park and Red Rock Canyon State Park on New Year’s Day, 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 on Jan. 1, 2016 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 the hikes which vary from an easy half mile to a strenuous five mile hike up the butte. Kids are welcome, but dogs are not allowed on trails in California State Parks. Bring a lunch to enjoy in the park’s Picnic Area after returning from the hikes.
Fundraising activities will also be offered to benefit the Support Saddleback Committee (cash or checks only).
All hikes leave from the picnic area, 17102 East Avenue J, Lancaster (corner of 170th St E and East Avenue J, 19 miles east of Highway 14, near Lake Los Angeles). Visit www.Facebook.com/SaddlebackButte for more information and updates.
9 a.m. – Red Rock Canyon State Park, meet at the dirt lot on East side of Highway 14, ¾ mile north of Abbot Road.
9 a.m. – Hike to top of Saddleback Butte
Moderately strenuous. Five miles roundtrip, 1000 ft of elevation gain. Bring water for the hike and wear good hiking shoes and layered clothing; it can be very windy at the top.
10 a.m. – Hike to the south end of the park
Easy to moderate. 4.3 miles with little elevation gain; about 1 ¾ hours. Dress for the weather; bring water and hat, and walking sticks 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. Ranger-lead 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; wheelchair and stroller accessible.
An all-day hike will also be led at Red Rock Canyon State Park, 22 miles north of Mojave on Highway 14:
A 9 mile, all day hike into Nightmare Gulch with a side trip into the well hidden “Secret Silent City”; participants will be back by approximately 4pm. The strenuous route option begins with a scramble over three ridges to enjoy the fabulous views, with an elevation gain/loss of approximately 3000’.
A moderately strenuous alternate route along dirt roads below the ridges is also offered, with gain/loss of 1000 ft.
Dogs are not allowed on this hike.
Wear layered clothing and bring plenty of water and snacks/lunch. Hikers are responsible for their own health and safety; only heavy rain will cancel. Visit www.Facebook.com/RedRockCanyonStatePark for more information and updates.
Nation-wide information about First Day Hikes offered, their difficulty and length, and tips regarding proper clothing can be found at www.naspd.org. America’s State Parks boast a variety of beautiful settings for year-round outdoor recreation, and each First Day Hike will offer an opportunity to explore the unique natural and cultural treasures close to home.
From California to Maine, hikers can climb hills and mountain tops, walk along ponds and beaches, and traverse trails through forests, fields and prairies.
Visitors can listen to birds, breathe in the fresh air, discover wildlife tracks, and feel the wind and the warmth of the sun or the coldness of the snow. Visitors can expect to be surrounded by the quiet beauty of nature in winter, experience spectacular views and vistas and benefit from the company of a knowledgeable state park guide.
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.