Distance: 4.7 miles round trip on trail
Summit Elevation: 2771'
Elevation Gain: 1266'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 1.01
Round trip time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Recommended water: 48 oz.
Parking/Fees: Free at Neon Way cul-de-sac
It was a short drive from Rocky Peak to the trailhead for Mission Point on Neon Way. There was room for about a half dozen cars in the cul-de-sac. Again, we were the first to arrive. The trail starts through a signed fence on a smooth path. There is an immediate short cut on the left, but we stayed on the main trail. Although it was less than 10 miles from Rocky Peak, the terrain was completely different. There were no boulders or rocks anywhere. It was round rolling hills covered in grass with a few trees near the bottom. We rounded a corner and saw a hungry looking coyote who bolted before I could get my camera aimed. At the next switchback, we spotted his head checking us out from a safe perch. Maybe he was looking for any small pets we might have brought along. He watched us move up the road, and later we could still see him watching the trail. A gas pipeline cuts directly up the hill and crosses the trail multiple times. Following the pipeline would be the most direct way to the top, but we meandered along the road.
The trail was graded and smooth with a gentle, steady gain. On the summit, a couple were resting on the bench. They must have come up a different way since we saw no sign of them beforehand. A memorial plaque to Dr. Mario DeCampos was set in stone and there were several marks. We hung around the summit for a while, but forgot to look for the register. We were busy cursing the clouds, having denied us another set of summit views. The return was uneventful and our raggedy coyote was gone from his perch. We got every possible break in the traffic on the way back, even traffic lights off the freeway. I dropped Rod off just after noon and headed home with two peaks bagged and only half the day gone.
The Californians: We took the 118 to the 405 south, then hopped on the 101 to the Ventura freeway which turns into the 210 east. Then, we took the 57 south to the 22 west and exited on Haster to the Garden Grove City Hall parking lot. From there, I took Euclid to the 405 and the 73 toll road home.