Santiago Peak also known as Saddleback Mountain is the southern mountain of Orange County’s Saddleback formation and is part of the Cleveland National Forest. It is the highest and most prominent peak of both the Santa Ana Mountains and Orange County, and also marks a border point with Riverside County. The top of it is covered with many microwave and telecommunication antennas. It is named for Santiago Creek, which begins on its southwestern flank.
Santiago Peak is a radio site with buildings owned by American Tower, Crown Castle, Mobile Relay, Day Wireless, Orange County Communications, the United States Federal Government, the State of California, and Southern California Edison, among others.
Providing radio coverage over much of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego counties. It houses both broadcast and two-way communications facilities on virtually every frequency band, including FM broadcast, VHF low- and high-band, UHF, 800/900 MHz, and microwave.
Santiago Peak is a favorite Southern California hiking destination at an Elevation of 5,689 ft. More than one trail leads to the top of Santiago Peak, but the most popular among hikers is the Holy Jim trail. The Holy Jim trail gains about 4,000 feet (1,200 m) in elevation and is a 16 miles (26 km) round trip. It is a rather strenuous hike particularly the last 4 miles. It is most enjoyable during spring and winter due to the large number of insects during warmer times of the year.
From the summit of Santiago Peak, one can see the larger Southern California peaks like Mount San Gorgonio, Mount San Jacinto, and Mount San Antonio. Once at the top you can walk approximately a quarter-mile around the perimeter of all the antennas to take in a full 360-degree view of the surrounding landscapes, which include Catalina Island, Lake Elsinore and one of Orange Counties newest communities “Sendero” located of Ortega Hwy and San Antonio Parkway.