Murphy Ranch Trail

MODERATE 378 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

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.

DISTANCE
3.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
554 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

walking

views

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.

1 day ago

Nice hike with cool scenery. Only downfall is the excessive amount of trash left behind by people.

hiking
9 days ago

The old Nazi buildings were fun to look at. There are a lot of people though. I always say hi as I am passing people. I said hi to at least one hundred people, only got two back. :( It was okay for a one time trip. Will not be back.

hiking
16 days ago

Some people are complaining that there's graffiti and concrete on this hike. LMAO! Do yourselves a favor and research the hike before jumping into it.

This is my second time going through this hike and i'm surprised that the structures are stilll standing (heard that the city of LA was going to destroy the buildings).

There's a long set of stairs near the start of the hike that you can choose to descend first to get to the different structures and ruins OR you can choose to continue on the road. The stairs descend/ascend steeply so watch your step.

There's a youtube video that briefly talks about the history of the trail: https://youtu.be/ODThe9LTC-k

Spray paint on EVERYTHING. And the concrete stairs and fire road take away from the nature setting. Certainly good for a quick elevation change, but not too esthetically pleasing.

hiking
1 month ago

Do you like stairs? Do you like graffiti? Do you hate Nazis but like their hideouts? Then this is the hike for you! Pro tip: park on Casale Street to the right and the walk down to the trailhead via Capri to the left.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this place! We found a short cut that took probably 15 -20 minutes off the hike. We were able to see a graffiti artist at work while we were hiking. Very easy hike. Perfect for a light workout. The spray painted directions on the ground was very helpful. Great scenery

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent hike. The weather was great and the scenery was just as great.

hiking
2 months ago

Really cool hike. We went down the stairs and back up the trail. You could do it either way. The stairs were difficult to go down at times, as they are uneven and there is no rail. We wondered if it would be easier to hike UP the stairs.

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorite LA hikes, absolute must-do!

hiking
3 months ago

Take sunscreen, lip balm and bug spray! Mixture of road, dirt trails and narrow stairs. Good graffiti to look at and some old buildings. You can see all the way to the ocean down the canyon on a clear day.

3 months ago

Pretty simple hike. Not very steep. Definitely interesting scenery.

4 months ago

Lived up to its hype!

hiking
5 months ago

Simple, fun stroll

hiking
6 months ago

Wow wow wow. So much cool stuff to see!!! Really great, unique trail. There's A LOT of old stairs left over and they kick your ass. I left my yellow and tortoise shell Ray Bans down there and I didn't want to go back down to get them!!! If you find them, send me a message. Haha.

6 months ago

Stairs are killer!!!

6 months ago

Parking is free if you park in the residential areas nearby. Pay attention to signs.

Very easy to manage through with plenty of points of interest. One star off for being the dirtiest hike I've done to date. Trash is plenty about!

Beautiful abandoned buildings adorned with graffiti. Careful at the stable it's gated but can easily be bypassed, bees have claimed residency.

Seems to be heavily trafficked. I started at 6am and already saw a handful of people already.

hiking
7 months ago

One of the toughest most challenging hikes by far but a great workout 1,000 stairs.

hiking
7 months ago

Great little trail. Tons of interesting graffiti and buildings. A lot of character. Park in a residential area and walk to the trailhead. My preference would be making a left where the loop starts, and going down the stairs. The ascent thereafter is very manageable. Perfect for an early morning Sunday hike. Get a good amount of privacy.

7 months ago

Very lush, easy to navigate trails with fun historical buildings and markers throughout. Unfortunately lots of trash, specifically near the white supremacist compound buildings from the 30s. You can tell people go sit there and drink a million beers and decide to leave the trash there for everybody else. No parking at the trail start so plan ahead!

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