Michael's Missionary Mondays via Neon Way (with MOE Junction option)
[ ---- Just the Facts ---- ]
The basic hike is <5.0 miles and 1340' of gain, and 2 hours. If the steeper shortcuts going up and coming down are used, that will reduce the mileage and time.
The MOE junction add on hike adds an additional 2.3 miles to the water tanks, 400' of gain, and 1 hour to the basic hike profile for an overall total of 7.3 miles, 1700; of gain, and 3 hours.
The optional hike is relatively flat compared to the basic hike.
[ ---- Primary Hike Description ---- ]
Become a Missionary and join us on this Monday evening intermediate level hike conditioning hike to 2771' Mission Point in the eastern edge of the Santa Susana range above Granada Hills, in the San Fernando Valley.
This hike will occur periodically on Monday evenings but rarely ever on the sacred 3rd Monday of the month.
This hike is about 2 hours depending on the flock.
Mission Point, at 2,771 feet, is the highest of three peaks in the San Fernando Valley on the Sierra Club's Great Lower Peaks List, a compilation of about 75 climbable Southern California peaks that are less than 5,000 feet in elevation. (The two other Valley points are Simi Peak and Rocky Peak.)
The locals also call this hike Three Trees, because a grove of trees stands just below the summit. It's an optical illusion, because there are actually 3.5 trees up there but depending on where you are standing, it can look like three or four. If you close your eyes, it'll look like there aren't any trees!
At the start of the hike, there's an immense willow tree. In late spring, the hills are covered with California poppies and lupine and mustard, and in winter, it is lusciously green and somewhat grassy. After you pass the namesake trees that are about a quarter-mile from the top, it gets steeper again. You won't see much wildlife, mostly birds and rabbits. We did see a Barn Owl checking us out the first week.
The views from the top are spectacular. You can see all of the San Fernando Valley, downtown and — on clear days — Catalina Island and Ventura Harbor. To the north, you can spot Lake Castaic and to the east, Mt. Baldy covered in snow during the winter. If you go up in time to catch the sunset, the sun sometimes strikes downtown Los Angeles buildings just the right way and they look as if they are on fire. It's breathtaking.
At the top, there's a stone monument with a plaque that says the trail is dedicated to Mario A. De Campos. He was a physician and active hiker who loved the local mountains.
In late March of 2012, a concrete and stone bench was installed for your sitting pleasure thanks to a local church. It's twin is above Sylmar.
In this area in the past, I have seen a mountain lion (above pic), owls, rabbits, birds, a western toad, grass spiders with eyes that sparkle in one's headlamp, hawks, coyotes, a California black headed snake, grey fox, tarantula, and skunks. There are sometimes fish in Sulphur Spring, but I would hardly call them wild.
[ ---- Secondary Hike to MOE Junction ----]
If there is enough interest within the group to extend the hike to the water tanks, we can do so only as long as those extending the hike are comfortable doing so and those electing to stick with the Basic hike are comfortable heading back down.
For safety, nobody will hike alone!
[ ---- Route Description ---- ]
The route is a combination of single and double track class 1.
Click here to learn about the YDS. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yosemite_Decimal_System)
[ ---- Pace and Ability ---- ]
This is a moderately paced hike for the intermediate hiker. No beginners please! If you are unsure of your level, please contact me beforehand.
[ ---- Responsibility ---- ]
I am an organizer, not a leader. I am not liable for you and any way, shape, or form. Think of us as just a bunch of friends going hiking.
I reserve the right to exclude you from the hike, but would typically only do so if I was concerned about safety.
You must be self sufficient! If you find yourself alone in the middle of the wilderness, you must possess the skill set and common sense necessary to get yourself out of the bind.
Although I am a pretty slow hiker, I will not be acting as a sweep. There will be no sweep on this hike.
[ ---- Headlamps ----]
You must bring a headlamp for night hikes. No, a cell phone flashlight app is not a viable option. No, I don't care what color your headlamp is. I do however ask you respect your fellow hikers by:
1. Using the lowest power setting on your headlamp to get the job done and
2. Not shining your headlamp in anybody else's eyes and
3. Turning it off when not needed.
[ ---- Directions to the Trailhead ---- ]
From the 405 fwy heading north get on the 118 fwy going west and exit Balboa Blvd and turn right, going north. After a few blocks make a left on Jolette Ave and take it all the way up past Sesnon Blvd. and then make a left on Doric St. Turn right on Neon Way and soon it will dead end into a cul-de-sac. Plenty of free parking on Neon Way, a residential street. This is the trailhead.
Trailhead coordinates:[masked], [masked]
** Click here for custom directions from your location** (https://goo.gl/maps/uR9zr)
[ ---- Parking ---- ]
Free parking is available at the trailhead on a residential street.
Please be respectful and limit the noise at the trailhead.
DO NOT leave any valuables in your car in plain sight, better yet, just leave your valuables at home. Either you or a thief can remove your valuables from your car. I suggest you do it first.
[ ---- Permits & Fees ---- ]
No permits or fees of any kind are required.
[ ---- What to Bring ---- ]
1/2 liter of water, a charged cell phone, trekking poles, a headlamp, an extra layer for when the sun goes down, and a good sense of humor and a great attitude.
[ ---- Dogs ---- ]
DO NOT bring your dog if the temperature at the start of the hike is above 80 degrees! Check the weather link below. Below 80 degrees, well behaved dogs are OK, but be sure they are protected against ticks. Be sure you have a leash available.
[ ---- Weather Forecast ----]
[ ---- Event Cancellation Disclaimer - Please Read Carefully ----]
As a member on the Santa Clarita Valley Search and Rescue Team, there may be a very rare occasion I would need to cancel an event at the last minute when duty calls.
If a suitable alternate organizer is not available, I will cancel at least 60 minutes before the scheduled start of the event. Please double check this page and/or your email before you head to the trailhead to verify the hike is in fact still on. I would not want you to drive to the trailhead just to find nobody there.
[ ---- What if you have to cancel? ---- ]
I do understand from time to time emergencies come up and plans change, and if it does, please remove yourself as soon as you realize you can't make the event. Just because this is a web based venue doesn't mean it's OK to throw out common courtesy and flake.