Murphy Ranch Hike
One of the things I love the most about Los Angeles is the access I have to so many amazing hikes. I will spend days researching and deciding what hike I will do on an upcoming Saturday morning. Through all of this research, I came across the Murphy Ranch Trail.
Nestled in a canyon in Pacific Palisades lies an abandoned Nazi compound from the 1930's. Yes. You read that right. an abandoned Nazi compound hidden in Los Angeles. 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.
Pretty insane right? After the compound lay empty, it was taken over by an artist colony in the 60's and 70's. Now, it's just some pretty spooky and vandalized ruins.
The hike starts and finishes with over 500+ extremely steep steps. Extremely steep as in you literally plan your funeral as you are walking down them. When I hiked here a few years ago, some of the steps had a hand rail but it's since been removed. You basically just brace for death as you drop 200 feet in 0.1 miles. Needless to say, you won't need to take a spin class after this hike.
I have done this hike about 4 times now and every time I go, something is different. Sometimes the buildings are blocked by fences. Sometimes fences aren't there. One constant, however, is that i won't go near any of the buildings because of the No Trespassing sign. Last time I ignored a tiny No Trespassing sign, I was arrested...so...
It's a fun hike with a ton of different trails and lots of things to explore. It can be kind of spooky so make sure to bring a friend!