Mountain Project Logo

Routes in Saddle Peak

Block/Gully Var. S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Christmas Chronicle S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Cobble me a climb S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Last Dance S 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Morpheus S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Not Lichen This T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Outsider, The S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Path of Enlichenment S 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Proud Mary S 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Richard's Rift T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Route 1 - R.I.P Arete S 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13
Route 2 - The Roof Route S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Route 3 S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Route 4 S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Route 4 1/2 T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Route 5 S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Route 6 S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Route 7 T,S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Route 7 1/2 T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Route 8 T,S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Route 9 S 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Xeno Dance S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Elevation: 1,000 ft
GPS: 34.079, -118.659 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 32,920 total, 311/month
Shared By: Michael Bartosek on Apr 4, 2009 with updates
Admins: jt512, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
Getting weather forecast...


Saddle Peak (2600 ft), located on Stunt Road, near the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains, is a north facing sandstone outcrop. While Saddle Peak receives modest traffic from climbers the rock exhibits a grainy/ball barring feel under foot and a considerable amount of lichen throughout.

Saddle Peak hosts fifteen bolt protected "sport" routes, which often take or may require supplemental traditional gear, depending on your abilities and head for run outs on moderate grades. Remember to bring a selection of cams and nuts for most routes.

The rock is sandstone and sandstone conglomerate, with aggregate, xenoliths, or pebbles protruding from the matrix, on many routes. While Saddle Peak seems to be the perfect low commitment sport crag, the north facing aspect makes it shady and cold in the winter and sunny and hot in the summer. The best climbing days are warm fall or winter days and cool spring days.

The main wall is referred to as the "Corpse Wall" as the route developers discovered a body at the base. The crag was developed in the mid-2000s.

Getting There

Santa Monica Mountains. Park at the intersection of Stunt Road, Saddle Peak Road and Schueren Road hike up the Backbone trail to the west (towards water tower). The slabs are an obvious formation approximately 3/4 mile up the trail. The trail climbs for the first 1/2 mile and then descends slightly to the climbs - main wall to the left of the trail.

22 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Saddle Peak Change
Type:  to 
Quality: Pitches:
Sort by:   then:

Classic Climbing Routes at Saddle Peak

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in Saddle Peak »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
A socket wrench or crescent wrench won't be sufficient as the bolt spins, not just the hanger. Jun 9, 2017
The nut on one of the hangers is loose on route 7/8. Please bring a socket wrench or crescent wrench to tighten up. I climbed on it alright, but better safe than sorry.

Additionally, with all the rain we've had this year the paths to the anchors (for top rope) are becoming overgrown. Not terrible, but it could use some cleaning up. There are also some plants and moss on the wall that weren't there when I climbed here last year.

Still great climbing here as always! May 13, 2017
JTLA Tolins
Los Angeles, California
JTLA Tolins   Los Angeles, California
I believe that the missing line you are referring to is Proud Mary which goes straight up through Xeno Dance and shares the one traverse bolt before continuing straight up. It starts by going up the flake with optional gear placements to a relatively high first bolt up and right of the flake. Oct 25, 2016
Been here a few times in the past month. Climbed pretty much every line, and it seems like there's a route that hasn't been posted here yet. To the right of Proud Mary there's a line that goes straight up the face before route 4. Might be an alt finish to Xeno Dance? Looks like the start is the same as xeno, then it continues straight up where the bolt line for Xeno traverses. Definitely felt like the hardest line to me (10d/11?) with lots of friction near the top. May 24, 2016
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
It's difficult to tell who actually "owns" Corpse Wall. The hiking trail on the east side is a State Park boundary. It does not include Corpse Wall. A NPS boundary cuts directly across Corpse Wall lengthwise. Does this boundary include the cliff face itself and it's base has always been a question in my mind.

There are private property markers to the west and north and the remnants of a fence line not far from the base. Based on the location of the fence line and markers and the NPS maps, it *seems* like the climbs are on NPS land. Rangers I've run into out there while climbing never mentioned it being private land.

If the land has been resurveyed, that private property line may have been moved up to the the cliff itself. With the proximity to several heavy-use hiking trails, imminent domain already allows hikers to cross private land in at least one section of the approach BTW, but I'd just keep a low profile out there people. Stay clean and safe. Be polite with any person claiming to own the land - they may be telling the truth. Apr 19, 2015
Jake Dunn
Los Angeles, CA
Jake Dunn   Los Angeles, CA
Was at Saddle peak today, talked to some folks who found a bolt with a loose nut. It was loose enough that the hanger came off. I believe they placed the hanger near the cross.

I also found one spinner. Apr 11, 2015
Los Angeles, CA
hikingdrew   Los Angeles, CA
So a bunch of people were out at Saddle climbing today around 11 when a guy walks down the trail and tells us all that we're on private land, that he's the broker and the land was resurveyed. He didn't say we were trespassing and didn't ask us to leave. In fact he told us to take care. What's up with that? Jan 19, 2015
1986 Toyota 4x4 P/U
madge   1986 Toyota 4x4 P/U
Hi folks!
I'm gonna ge going to this spot this sunday and i've never explored these mountains and i would like some beta about stealth camping. the sites are expensive and i also have a dog. I looked on the NPS page and dogs are allowed in the park just not in the bc. is this spot considered bc or fc? I saw the approach is like 1/2 a mile long so whats the scoop. any advice would be swell. or at least a section where you know is decent and i could scope it out when i get there.
-M Jan 6, 2015
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014. Record high temps for the holidays at 86 degrees Downtown. Beautiful conditions at Saddle Peak with four parties of climbers and a group High-lining across the gap. Everyone having a great time. AWESOME!! Nov 27, 2014
Mia D  
For routes 4,5,6 I was able to top rope it using the chains up top.
Fun routes, especially the crack climbing at the beginning Jan 19, 2014
Mia D  
I went there today to check it out, and seems like there are spots to TR.

Gonna try it next weekend.

Brandon, can you post the names and ratings for me?

Thank you so much! Dec 1, 2013
Note: The topo for Corpse Wall in the most recent So Cal guide has a number of errors. Fortunately, since all the grades are moderate you won't really run into trouble. The info and topo here on MP is more accurate. Aug 13, 2013
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Visited this place for the first time today - with Sara Susca. It was a perfect day. Aug 10, 2013
About the big slab opposite Corpse Wall.

Yes- there are anchors at the top of this formation.

This west-facing pocketed face rates 11-ish (?). Top-side access up the bushy south-face gully. Some 5.0 climbing involved to get down to the bolts. You'll need LONG webbing to extend the anchor since the rope drag is gnarly. We anchored and belayed off the boulder over by the RIP Arete to reduce rope drag. The rock quality is poor compared to Corpse Wall.

The north-facing big slab-climbs are a grunge-fest. Belay is only possible from the topside-down because of the manzanita jungle* at the base. The big gullies that split the slab make it less fun than it looks.

That being said.. it definitely will liven up your day if you are bored with the 5.9 slab climbing.

  • *Please note that cutting manzanita is against state law and the park service has prohibited any new access trails being created around the formation.
Feb 1, 2013
Hey everybody.
I've been climbing here a lot lately. Cool spot.
I shot this interactive photo from the top of the wall...not really a beta shot, but cool to look at.…


Also here:…

Cheers. Jan 27, 2013
Wil Sterner
Topanga, California
Wil Sterner   Topanga, California
I am wondering about the large formation directly across the trail from corpse rock or saddle peak. Never brought my binocs but there appears to be some shiny anchors on top? Also, I found a misterious bolt on top of another rock on the trail that covers the ridge that goes from the old foundation and radio tower trail over to the top of red rock. If anyone has any idea what I'm talking about I would love to know more about it. Nov 27, 2012
All the routes can be TR'd and access to the topside is easy (follow Jim's directions). Some climbs share anchors and may need a directional clipped to a bolt. The (shared) anchor for the RIP Arete and the Roof Route requires extension with a cordalette to TR without major rope drag.

PS: @Benjamin- We are definitely interested in the real route names. If you have the time to send us the info, we'd love to edit the route index for this wall to reflect the names that were originally chosen. Apr 7, 2012
Tristan Burnham
La Crescenta, CA
Tristan Burnham   La Crescenta, CA
If you're a skater, there is a sick clean empty pool right before the water tower. You might want to throw your deck on your pack and get a little session in on your way in or out. Feb 6, 2012
Jim H
Pasadena, CA
Jim H   Pasadena, CA
Eric, The approach for setting topropes is super easy. Just keep walking along the top of the cliff (instead of turning right and walking to the bottom of the wall). Some routes have bolt anchors (reachable from the top) and placing gear for the others is possible.
I think all of the routes are toprope-able (I haven't tried, but it seems pretty possible). Jan 31, 2012
Can anyone tell me if there is an easy approach to set up a TR here for the various routes? Jan 29, 2012
Jeff K  
Not sure if it was done intentionally to keep this place quiet, but the "getting there" info is missing the turn to the right in the trail by the "boundary" sign. Jul 4, 2011
Changed area name to Saddle Peak per historical FA information from S. Edwards above. Apr 16, 2011
Michael Bartosek
Los Angeles
Michael Bartosek   Los Angeles
Benjamin - thanks for the clarification on Corpse Wall - I changed the name and it would be fantastic if you could update the information on that page.. Jul 9, 2009
Michael Bartosek
Los Angeles
Michael Bartosek   Los Angeles
Thanks Steve. Feedback appreciated. I need to get out there and get some beta on the other 7 or so routes. It is a fun area to climb in and the slabs are a nice break from the pockets and overhangs at MCSP. Jun 30, 2009
steve edwards
steve edwards   SLC, UT
I think they had gear in mind between some of the bolts. I know I brought some, and maybe placed it. If the routes were at my limit I certainly would have. I recommend a small rack if pushing limits and onsighting here. Jun 18, 2009
steve edwards
steve edwards   SLC, UT
Might want to change the name to Saddle Peak, since that's where this is. This place was developed by the same guys who did Tick Rock but they've disappeared so no route info is known. Very cool place for what it is. Jun 18, 2009
I just wanted to clear up some information about "the slabs." It is actually called Corpse Wall
due to the corpse we found at the bottom of the route "R.I.P. Arete" where the cross is located.
All the routes were put up by Abraham E. Benjamin M. Brahm H. Darren A. Mike O.
I also wanted to add that the corpse was a guy that committed suicide. We know this because he left a note.
There was a strong effort to make everything bomber. We did not put anchors on the top
of all the routes because it was not needed and would have been a much bigger footprint.

The routes have all been put up in the last 5 years. There are some more recent routes that
have not yet been bolted but can be TR.
I would also like to add that there are some random bolts on the wall that someone
put in for no known or obvious reason.
There are some routes that use pro as well as draws. In general. the routes were never intended to be sport routes.
If anyone's interested, I'll post the names and ratings of all the routes in the next couple of weeks.

Climb Safe and be good to our planet.

Benjamin M. Jun 4, 2009

More About Saddle Peak

Printer-Friendly Guide
What's New

All Photos Within Saddle Peak (129)

Most Popular · Newest