Text and photography copyright 2011 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. The author does not take any responsibility for injuries sustained during hikes or walks on the routes described here. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.
Mission Point from O’Melveny Park
- Location: Granada Hills. From the 118 freeway, take the Balboa Blvd. exit and head north (left if you’re coming from the west or right if from the east) and go 2.3 miles. Take a left on Senson Blvd. and drive 0.6 miles to the entrance of O’Melveny Park, on the right. From the north, take the 5 freeway to Sierra Highway. Take a left on Sierra Highway, and a quick right on Foothill Blvd. Take Foothill 1.1 miles and take a right on Balboa. Go 0.9 miles to Senson and take a right.
- Agency: Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation
- Distance: 5.4 miles
- Elevation gain: 1,450 feet
- Suggested time: 3 hours
- Difficulty rating: PG-13 (Steepness, elevation gain)
- Best season: November – May
- USGS topo map: “Oat Mountain”
- Recommended gear: sunblock
- More information: Trip descriptions here and here
- Rating: 6
Though it’s not as well known as Griffith Park, the San Fernando Valley’s O’Melveny Park is actually the second largest park in the city of Los Angeles. While O’Melveny’s front area may seem to be a typical suburban park, it also serves as the gateway to a nice network of trails, culminating in Mission Point (elevation 2,771). In addition to the route described here, Mission Point can also be done as a loop hike or a straight out and back from the residential street Neon Way. From the parking lot, walk through the front area of O’Melveny on the main trail, past picnic areas and restrooms. At the back of the park, bear right onto a fire road and head up into Bee Canyon, noted for its towering sandstone walls. Sometimes water can be heard trickling through the canyon.Soon, the trail takes a hairpin turn and starts ascending. You reach a flat area where you get a nice aerial view of the park. The trail takes another hairpin turn to the right and begins the most strenuous part of the whole route. About half a mile of nearly relentless ascent takes you to a point where you are almost parallel with the sandstone walls. The grade mellows out somewhat and then levels out at a saddle, where you can see Mission Point to the right and the San Fernando Valley to the left.
After crossing the saddle, take a sharp right and climb a firebreak. It is steep, although not quite as difficult as the lower stretch. This take you to a nice, quiet flat area where you can see a presumably seasonal pond on the right. The trail joins a fire road in front of an imposing metal gate. At this point you can see the monument at the summit. Take a right and ascend a few switchbacks marked by trail ducks, which brings you to another fire road. Here, you can either take a short but steep route to the summit straight in front of you, or take a right on the fire road and make a more gradual ascent. Either way you will soon be on Mission Point, where you can enjoy a 360 degree view that includes the Valley, the Santa Monica Mountains and the San Gabriels.