Murphy Ranch Trail is a 3.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Pacific Palisades, California 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.
Good easy trail - big chunks are on pavement. There are stairs you can go down or up depending on which way you go. We went down the second set of stairs.
Lots of people on the trail, but there was always lots of space and time between seeing someone else, which is nice.
The abandoned structures are cool, but the trash is disgusting. Next time I'll bring a trash bag to do some cleanup.
The stream at the bottom was lovely, and we had wild flowers in bloom. The trail has a lot of tree cover which is nice when it's hot out.
Short hike of average grade. Worth checking out if you live in LA.
great hike,the stream was so surreal then lunch at the getty!
Love this hike. Once down at the bottom, the staircase back to the top of the trail if you want a good leg burn. Fun exploring the remnants of the site, crazy that this is located not to far from Sunset Blvd. Parking on street, usually not too hard to find a spot.
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.