Rustic Canyon’s Murphy Ranch: Nazi Ruin Hike

Last Saturday [11.08.14], my friend and I went for a little adventure in Pacific Palisades. This hike was to the old Nazi base.  By the time we decided to go, we didn’t arrive until 4pm… and the sun sets just before 5 pm w/ daylight savings now.  Needless to say, we didn’t finish it all…

History of Rustic Canyon’s Murphy Ranch Nazi Ruins

This compound acted as the Nazi-activity base in the United States.  Murphy built this for pro-Nazi people to ride out WWII until Hitler wins… until America falls to the Nazi…….obviously, that didn’t happen.  The U.S. government seized the compound after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  The Nazi-sympathizers were arrested, and artists used the abandoned buildings as a canvas years later… hence all the graffiti.

Getting to Murphy Ranch in California:  

405N.
Exit left onto Sunset Blvd.  
Right onto Capri Dr.  
Right on Casale Rd and park there.

Hiking Rustic Canyon’s Murphy Ranch

The hike starts off on the fire road and you will pass a yellow gate closure and the park sign.  It must have been at least a mile by the time we reached the opening in the fence that goes down the stairs and into the wilderness.

The steps were very small, nothing like the culver city stairs I’m used to.  I counted roughly 500 steps.  I know I uploaded a lot of very similar pictures, but I love stairs/steps and paths and nature.

rustic canyon murphy ranch hike in los angeles

Once we got to the bottom, we headed down the path and kept left.  This took us to the first abandoned building.  There were some students filming inside so we didn’t want to explore and interrupt.

rustic canyon murphy ranch hike

Continuing on, the trail splits in two.  One is a dead end, so we headed back down to the other one which led to another abandoned building.  The sun was already setting by this time.  There was graffiti everywhere which made the place look more alive.  Right after we went through the fence, there was this kinda creepy white blanket someone hung to look like a ghost.  Spooky…

From there, we went up.  There was no more clear path, but you do kind of see some dirt trails staggered upwards.  Unsure if this was the way to go or if we should just turn around before the sun is completely gone, we decided to move forward and seek what’s out there.  The first part was doable since there’s kind of steps built in (pictured left), but the other 3 parts were…….. more challenging.  The trail were staggered in maybe 20-30 ft each, just upward, with nothing but a few trees along the sides to hold onto.  It was easier for me since I have actual hiking shoes, but it was more slippery for my roomy since she wore regular shoes (gotta invest in those shoes Leonie)!  We soon realized these trails weren’t leading anywhere obvious and with darkness upon us, we had to turn back.  I thought going up was a struggle, but going down was a struggle.  

The first path down had a tree halfway, so I bent down (to be closer to the ground) and ran fast into the tree.  That was ok.  But the part afterwards had nothing to stop us… so I squatted all the way down until I got to the bottom… then I got up and ran it. These were all super short distances, but I’m scared of falling (like most normal human beings).  I have to put it out there again though – the hiking shoes really helped.

From the bottom, it was dark by the time we went up.  I only had the flashlight on my phone with 40% battery charged, but it sufficed.  We went the same way back, so I know we didn’t finish this hike, but I don’t know how much we’re missing.

Booking travel soon?
Please consider using my affiliate links below. It costs nothing additional for you but helps me maintain the ever-increasing costs of running a travel blog:

General travel through Tripadvisor here.

Book your flights here.
Book your accommodations here on Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, and VRBO.
Book your car rentals here.
Book your tours here.

Book your travel insurance here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top