Murphy Ranch Trail is a 3.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Pacific Palisades, CA that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and walking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
A moderate hike out to the remains of a Nazi camp. In the 1930s Nazi sympathizers built a refuge in the Pacific Palisades. Herr Schmidt, Winona and Norman Stephens, and their followers occupied a self-contained stronghold in what is now Rustic Canyon between Sullivan Ridge and Will Rodgers State Park. Murphy Ranch was designed to serve as a hold out for fans of the Third Reich waiting for America to fall to the Nazis. Instead, the ranch was raided by U.S. authorities and closed in 1941. The abandoned buildings were transformed into an artists colony in the 60s and 70s, but were abandoned after the Mandeville Canyon Fire in 1978. Today the grounds of Murphy Ranch are uninhabited, dilapidated, covered in graffiti, and open to hikers. While much of the history is lost, several structures remain, along with long cement staircases that still link Murphy Ranch to Sullivan Ridge Fire Road, providing a 3.85-mile hike with 325 feet of elevation gain.
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.
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!!
There was a lot of things to look out which was good, but this was no loop. We followed the map and the path just stopped. We had to turn and go back. We also saw a dog that was NOT a dog, so watch out for whatever animal that was.
Amazing hike. it was awesome. There's so much to see here. Jus be careful because there are tons of stairs everywhere. The first flight of stairs were 549. Jus aweaome. I will be back. Great workout.
Really good trail. If you follow the stairs down you can visit an abandoned Nazi camp. The stairs are killer, but you feel good after.
it was amazing!!!...my vizsla is exhausted, something hard to achieve.
This was an interesting hike if you like to find stuff or explore for buildings. My friend and I were only able to find the old barn, the main building you see in the photo of the hike, and an old house. The only remains of the house are the fire place, the foundation, and an old bathtub. There are also lots of old concrete stair cases that lead to nowhere. You start by parking on the street then hiking up the fire road. From there you see a chain link fence on your left side and a set of concrete stairs that seem to descend forever. From what I hear, there are probably about 500. They can be quite steep and there are no hand rails. Once at the bottom, hang a left and follow the trail. It will lead you to the first set of ruins. By just hiking around the trails at the bottom, you’ll stumble upon other remnants of what seems to have been a large compound. If you keep going along the trail, it will lead you back to the stair case. Now the worst part begins, ascending the 500 steps back up. Once at the top, just follow the fire road back to your car. This is a fun, semi-strenuous (because of the stairs), and interesting hike. Try and get out there before they take down the rest of the buildings. Have fun! (6/12/16)
Fairly easy hike. Park on street, no time restrictions. Small incline. To have more of a workout you can climb the stairs, there's maybe 500 steps in two parts. I saw several stairs...the ones we took we found at the base of the hill, hidden to the left behind some bushes. It's not too visible but leads you through some ruins, graffiti, and then back up to the main trail. We veered left off the main trail where there's no pavement but a large trail with little rock and grassy path. No washrooms. Not much shade. The hike is really cool, lots to explore even though they said they were removing structures. June 4/16
Highly enjoyed the hike. I went from the southern trail at Will Rogers Park. Did have to walk through creeks but was an amazing trail. I want to go back and find these underground tunnels.