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Saddleback Valley

Saddleback, sometimes called Old Saddleback or Saddleback Mountain, is the landmark formed by the two highest peaks in the Santa Ana Mountains and the ridge between them. This formation, which resembles a saddle when viewed from most of Orange County, California, dominates the county’s eastern skyline, and on the clearest days can be seen from most of the Greater Los Angeles Area.  Cities and communities in the Saddleback Valley include Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Woods, Rancho Santa Margarita, Laguna Niguel and others.

Santiago Peak is the highest peak in the range and the highest point in the county at 5,689 feet (1,734 m).  Modjeska Peak is the second highest at 5,496 feet (1,675 m). The two peaks form part of the border between Orange and Riverside Counties.

The hilly land in south Orange County is known colloquially as Saddleback Valley, and hence many institutions are named after Saddleback, including Sadddleback Church, Saddleback College and the Saddleback Valley Unified School District.

Driving up through Silverado Canyon, you will notice igneous volcanic rock, which indicates that Saddleback Mountain was formed prior to the San Andreas fault line, back when there was a subduction zone of the Pacific Ocean going under California.


Featured Communities

  • Aliso Viejo
  • Coto de Caza
  • Ladera Ranch
  • Laguna Hills
  • Laguna Niguel
  • Laguna Woods
  • Lake Forest
  • Mission Viejo
  • Rancho Santa Margarita
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