There is no organized trailhead and the summit isn’t well known. However, there are three clear routes to the summit. It is easy to combine with nearby Slate Mountain 8,215' not far up the highway.
Saddle Mountain does have a prominence of over 1,000’, so there are excellent views all around. The best time to hike is in springtime or fall. It can get pretty hot during the summer.
About a mile into the meadow is a road. There is a sign for FS Road 514. Take this road. It is well-graded, but can get a little rutted. From here you have two options.
The first, and primary option for Saddle Mountain is to drive about a mile to the sign towards the Kendrick Cabin. Signs prohibit anyone who isn’t staying in the cabin from driving further. So, you can park on the main road and walk up to the cabin.
The second option is to continue past the Kendrick Cabin turnoff. After a mile and a half, take a left turn. Drive another almost 2 miles and there is another left turn. This is the road to the summit. There are a number of options from off of these roads.
If wanting to park just off the 180, drive another three-quarter miles north of the 514 turn off. There are small dirt roads on each side the highway. Park at the base of the road to the right. Remove all valuables. The 180 is a pretty popular road, since it is a gateway to Grand Canyon National Park. However, your car should be safe.
For the primary route, hike towards the Kendrick Cabin. Once past the cabin, hike another quarter mile. There is a jeep track on the right. It heads steeply up to a ridge, gaining over 500 feet in less than half a mile. Once at the ridge, continue on this road as it heads east (to the right) and you will reach the main summit road. The road leads up to some electrical equipment powered by solar panels. The summit is behind the solar panels next to a small building. It is about 1,060’ to the summit via this route in about 2 ¾ miles.
On the road past the Kendrick Cabin turnoff there are multiple options – from over 3 miles to the summit, or just parking on the side of the summit road and walking however far to the top. Consult a map of the area to see the roads, or view it on Google Earth™ where the options are very clear.
From the road off of 180 (which is a tiny ATV road), take the road for over a mile and then bushwhack up to the ridge on your right. That will take you to the ridgeline road mentioned above, and on to the summit road. It is about 3 ¼ miles to the summit, gaining 1,100’.