Mission Point

A short but often steep hike in Santa Clarita.  The view from Mission Point was huge but, sadly, obscured by a nasty layer of smog.

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I parked in the lot at O’Melveny Park.  My guidebook mentioned the names of a few trails to look out for – the Grassland and Mission Point Trails – but I saw no signs with these names.  I followed the paved road into Bee Canyon along O’Melveny Trail.

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Bee Canyon runs between some interesting looking sedimentary cliffs.  I began to climb out of the canyon on what I assumed was Mission Point Trail, although it was not signed.  Photo 2 looks back into Bee Canyon.

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After climbing a short ways I reached a junction in the trail.  A sharp right led up a steep hill, and was the beginning of a long steep climb.  Although I was told by another hiker that the trail that ran straight ahead dead ended at a vista, I now suspect this is really Grasslands Trail.  Both Mission Point Trail and Grasslands Trail will take you up to the top.  This trail is seriously steep.  It reminded me of trails in the nearby Verdugo Mountains and the trails on Catalina Island.

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Photo 1 – Looking across to the east, I spot the antennae I came near on my Placerita Canyon hike.

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Although choked with smog, I could make out a few familiar landmarks.  From left to right and shrinking in size, that’s Mount Lukens, the Verdugo Mountains and the relatively small mountains of Griffith Park.

14     15     18   Photo 1 – Close-up of the hills in Griffith Park  Photo 2 – I believe that’s the LA reservoir  Photo 3 – A close-up of a small bit of the San Gabriel Mountains, in the foreground to the right is Mount Lukens.  In the background, I believe the highpoint is Strawberry Peak, and the peak to the right of it is San Gabriel Peak.  Could be wrong though.

16     17     19   Photo 3 – Here is a small section of the Santa Monica Mountain Range, with Saddle Peak on the right.  The view of the Santa Monicas was fantastic, stretching end to end all the way from Point Mugu to Griffith Park.

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As I continued my eye was drawn first to that large metal structure below, and then to the smaller “thing” right below it.  I had seen it before, this pole with a metal “X” in the center, on my Porter Ranch hike.  I then recognized part of the trail I followed on that day.  Shown in photo 2 in the middle and to the right, you can see Senson Blvd. come to a dead end and a trail breaking to the right.  This trail then swings around and heads down into the canyon on the left.

22     23   Now getting close to Mission Point, my guide book mentioned a small cluster of oak trees.  That must be them on the top of photo 1.

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Rocky Peak Park in Simi Valley

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29       30      31   I reached the three oak trees.  This is one of the few spots along the trail that has some shade.  A primitive looking swing is tied to one of the trees.  This is probably the best spot to eat lunch after you have made it to the top.  But there is still one more level to go before reaching Mission Point.  I could see the stone monument at the top that was mentioned in my book.  Very close to the top, the right the trail continues on East Canyon Fire Road a couple more miles.  I took a left at the junction and hiked a few yards to the top.  Photo 6 – The stone monument on top of Mission Point.

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Panoramic views from the top.

36     37     38   I headed back down, this time taking a different route, for a short while, which runs above the trail I took before.  The two trails meet at the gate that was shown earlier and then meet again just a ways down the trail.  Usually I look forward to the downhill portion of my hikes, but this was really steep.

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I headed toward those sedimentary cliffs in Bee Canyon.  Photo 2 – This eroded part looks like a heart to me.

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Nice trail, thank you Mission Point.

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