O’Melveny Park spreads over 672 acres, second on the list of largest parks within the City of Los Angeles, right after Griffith Park. Noted for its picture-perfect picnic grounds with white fences and towering eucalyptus trees, O’Melveny Park also challenges hikers with several miles of steep, backcountry fire roads and primitive trails.
Our hike here constitutes a comprehensive hiking tour that includes wandering through grasslands, the highest spot in the San Fernando Valley known as Mission Point and down into steep and shady Bee Canyon .
Hike is a 5 mile loop and strenuous with all 1,500′ of elevation gain during the first 2 miles. Here are some pics of the tougher sections (click to enlarge):
To get there, exit the 118 freeway at Balboa Boulevard in Granada Hills. Drive north two miles to Sesnon Boulevard. Go left (west) and continue 0.6 mile to the parking lot for O’Melveny Park on the right. The lot fills up fast; expect to park on street.
O’Melveny Park takes its name from the well-known family of Los Angeles lawyers who once owned a gentleman’s ranch here. John O’Melveny bought the land in 1941 and called it CJ Ranch. Cattle roamed the hills, a citrus orchard was planted, and family members enjoyed spending weekends roaming the mountains. Although areas near the ranch were oil-rich, exploration on the ranch was unsuccessful. The O’Melvenys deeded half their ranch to Los Angeles, and the city purchased the rest.