In the early 1930s, Will Rogers was the most popular and highest paid actor in Hollywood. From his start in vaudeville theater with a trick roping act, he rose to world-wide fame as a columnist, philosopher, radio personality, and movie star. During the 1920s, he bought land in Santa Monica, where he developed a ranch. Eventually, Will Rogers owned 186 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in what is now known as Pacific Palisades. The ranch became the place where Will Rogers could relax with his family and friends, pursuing his favorite pastimes of riding and roping. At his untimely death in a plane crash in 1935, Will Rogers' ranch consisted of a 31-room ranch house, a stable, corrals, riding ring, roping arena, polo field, golf course, and hiking trails. When his widow, Betty, died in 1944, the ranch became a state park.
I really loved this trail/fire road. once I found a place to park, I headed up the fire trail. I decided to descend the 1st set of stairs. at the bottom I went right where I saw the fireplace and bath tub. there were lots of little trails that ran off the fire road. being as I was alone, I chose to stay on the main path. I saw a few water towers with beautiful graffiti. I didn't find much else. hope there is more still. I want to go back.
the views are breathtaking. the hike appears to be moderate because of the fire road. however, you are traveling uphill the majority of the way. the stairs make for a great work out. beware, they are steep and not deep. there is no railing and they are covered with pine needles. make sure you get your footing so you don't slide.
*side note. no restrooms but plenty of places to go if needed.
This is an extraordinary, beautiful hike that is moderately challenging.
K P. on Murphy Ranch Trail
Training for the US bank building stair climb and this place rocks for that. Two sets of stairs, both steep and long. Highly recommended for stair climbing training as you can do each set of stairs a couple of times and loop around for a nice workout.
I absolutely loved this hike! I can't believe I hadn't gone sooner. If you haven't been, I suggest going ASAP as they plan to demolish this site and no one really knows when. My friend took her kids (7&8) and we all had a ton of fun. Pictures came out beautiful and there are plenty of places to explore. If you follow the map I posted, you will come across the barn, chimney, 2 water towers (one is behind the powerhouse), the powerhouse, the garden and you will go up the evil stairs. You really do feel amazing when finishing the stairs! You do not need an adventure pass for this hike, but I suggest going early as it gets very crowded at later times. We got there at 7:30am and there was plenty of parking on Casale and Umeo. Happy trails!!
This was perfect for my family of novice and "less physical" hikers. The views were great (and there were plenty of rest stops with clean benches to rest and soak in the sights if interested). Views are from downtown LA to the coast and the Santa Monica mountains. The grade was gradual but enough to work up a sweat. The path was a fire road so nice and wide and relatively even (so no need to worry about ankle twisting). We went on a Monday late morning and ran into only a few people (including a few runners). Although the trail is used by horses, there was very little horse dung whch required careful navigation. Two miles around the loop. It could be a little better marked (since there are a few side trails/forks). Our family would highly recommend this trail for all types of explorers, especially beginners and those who are "less physical".