Once upon a time, my little brother and I were researching cool places to shoot his album cover when we happened to stumble upon one of LA’s historic hidden gems, Murphy Ranch Trail. (P.S. Blake is an incredible hip-hop artist. Follow him on SoundCloud and Instagram for when his new album, “I’ll Take It from Here,” drops this year!).
Located in Pacific Palisades, Murphy Ranch was a refuge for Nazi sympathizers during the 1930’s. The ranch was then raided by U.S. authorities and shut down in 1941. During the 60s and 70s, the buildings became a haven for an artists’ colony and a graffiti paradise. After the Mandeville Fire in 1978, the structures were abandoned. Then, Ta-Da! The historic location became a popular 3.8-mile hike and a photographer’s dream!
How to Get There
Type this address into your GPS: Capri Drive & Casale Road, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
There is free street parking at the intersection of Capri Drive and Casale Road. Once you park, begin walking up Sulivan Ridge Fire Road. Towards the end of the road on the left, you will see an opening through a chain-link fence. Walk through the gap and you will hit the top of a never-ending staircase that leads straight down into the canyon. There are over 500 steps and it goes on forever! I thought we were never going to make it down or back up for that matter. The journey is so worth it though! The views are incredible and it is an awesome exercise. Make sure to bring plenty of water!💧
Murphy Ranch is a 3.8-mile Moderate hike with an elevation of 325 feet. The signage is pretty nonexistent and most of the trails aren’t marked. It can be very easy to get lost, so I recommend picking out markers to help you find your way back! Aside from the stairs to nowhere, the hiking down in the canyon is easy and enjoyable! Make sure to watch out for debris from the crumbling structures and if you decide to adventure into the buildings, please be careful! None of these buildings are stable and you must explore them at your own risk!
Once in the canyon, it is a super fun hike through the forests and the abandoned landmarks are a sight to see! You can still hike to the power station, water tank, gardens, barn, and the collapsed machine shed. Not only do you get to experience one of LA’s most historic locations, but the scenery is beautiful, rustic, and overgrown. Make sure to bring your camera for some unique graffiti shots!📷
Check out My Pictures Below from Murphy Ranch Trail!
The sights at Murphy Ranch are beyond amazing! I highly recommend taking this hike before the beautiful structures are demolished or blocked off. Not to mention, you are getting to experience a huge part of LA’s young history! Check out my pictures below and then get out there and hike! Ciao Bellas!