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.
Went to hike this because of all the wonderful reviews and the recent rain would make for a great waterfall! We got half a mile from the trailhead and had to stop because we lost sight of the trail with the stream and the overgrowth! We later saw a warning for poison oak, bee swarms and snakes!
I have done this Trail before but found other alternatives to the come in and out of it, hence a secondary review.
A group of TrailDolls went on a journey to explore the remnants of the Murphy Ranch Trail.
Something I didn't read in any of the reviews was how long you were going to be there. So give yourself a few hours to truly explore the compound.
Google maps takes you right to the corner of Capri Drive and Casale Road.
Parking is limited as this is a residential area. Park at the intersection on the right side.
At Capri Drive and Casale Road, walk left (on Casale Rd) through the residential area until you get to a yellow gate. That's the trail head begins.
By the Gate there is a wooden super step stair case, that takes you down to the stream where the water runs from Will Rogers State Park. I don't recommend this as it is dangerous, but it's an alternate adventure.
Keeping hiking past the Yellow gate about a 1/4 mile and you'll see 2 white Graffiti'd post. If you down this hillside trail you can avoid the stairs altogether. This leads you up and down to the compound. Also for those that asked about the Yellow car wreck on the Hillside. It's over the cliff before you get to the Stairwell. So just keep walking on the side and look over the edge every now and then.
Now once you get to the gate you'll see the entrance on the left this is where the 500+ stairwell. These Stairs are no joke. They are different sizes, some narrow, some normal, some slanted. So watch your footing. The view down these stairs is also spectacular and good for pics. This hike is also okay for regular sneakers. Not to many places here require traction.
Now to get the the 3rd Stairwell. Walk past the gate about 5 minutes and you'll see a water tank. Those Stairs are about 300+ and they have a rail. So if you want less stairs up and down this is your alternative. Our like in our case, we did all Three routes, lol.
It's Definitely a must see before they completely demolish the structures. Bring plenty of water. And on a side note. The trail itself is easy. But I felt like dying when coming Back up those stairs.
It was a fairly easy hike.
Parking: You'll have to park in the residential area off Capri (can't remember the cross street). I had no trouble looking for a spot and I was there on a Saturday. I walked to the start of the hiking trail and it was about a less than 10 minute hike.
The trail: I personally am a sucker for scenic views. While this hike didn't have any extraordinary ocean views (although you could see the water in the far distance) there was some pretty cool graffiti art. I especially liked the WWII Bunker; I took a few pics.
The trail was not difficult at all. The killers are the stairs and walking those things up. Great workout nonetheless.
Interesting the see the abandoned buildings, but many have been boarded up. You can get into the first floor of the house by going around and entering where the fence has come down. Really wish I'd had this app when we went as the trails are not marked whatsoever. You can take multiple routes but at no point were we certain that specific paths would take us the right way. Alternatively, we ended up cutting straight through by using the insane number of stairs leading down to the site. If you want a good stair workout, it might be worth going for this alone, just not on a hot, sunny day. Be warned though, these stairs are extremely steep, uneven and once you start, there's really no turning back.
The river was flowing and it was a beautiful day. I went after 10am and I would say half the trail was shaded by the mountain. If you take any of the stairs there are trees and shade down below. The river flows down from the Will Rogers state park trail which and as cool! I didn't know that- although I wish I knew how to hike the entire riverbed. There is a trail but it seemed to be blocked when I tried to do it last year.
Really cool hike, lots of different areas to explore and there's even a fantastic set of stairs you can climb up and down for that good cardio. Look for the old VW Beetle in the bushes - something we just happened to spot while wandering through the brush. Note - some areas are pretty active with ticks so be aware.