I’ll try to make this quick and easy since I imagine you’re probably on your way to the trail now or desperately searching for the Murphy Ranch since its not always obvious how to find it. Â In short, you need to descend to the canyon floor from the Sullivan Fire Road Trail but keep reading for more details. Â Try not to get lost out there, because the Murphy Ranch turns into a labyrinth of small trails once you leave the main trail.
WHAT IS MURPHY RANCH:
Murphy Ranch is an abandoned compound located in Rustic Canyon in the city of Los Angeles. Â It was built by former Nazi sympathizers in the 1930’s. Â The facilities were designed to be self-sustaining for long periods of time, however after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 the property was seized by police and the members detained. Â It has been abandoned since 1990 and is currently owned by the City of Los Angeles.
For simplicity, just type this address into your GPS. Â You can find free parking anywhere on these residential streets.
1600 Capri Dr
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
The trailhead starts where Casale Rd turns into Sullivan Fire Rd. Â The road will turn from paved to gravel, but just keep walking. Â You’ll come to a yellow gate that will be locked. Â You can just walk around it but no cars can get through. Â This is the main trail…Sullivan Fire Road!
HOW TO REACH MURPHY RANCH FROM THE MAIN TRAIL:
To find the graffiti’ed remains of the Murphy Ranch compound you need to go DOWN. Â To reach them, there are a few options to descend to the canyon floor.
SIDE TRAIL: Â As you walk along the main trail, you’ll probably notice a break in the chain-link fence. Â This is an old stairwell that will take you past the Water Tower and to the canyon floor where the other buildings are.
MAIN FIRE ROAD TRAIL: Â This will eventually fork into two paths, but you want to stay LEFT and go DOWN. Â There will be graffiti spray-painted on the road to indicate the way. Â This is probably the most common and obvious way to get there.
THINGS TO SEE AT MURPHY RANCH:
When I was there, I noticed four main “sites”…
- PowerHouse: Â This is the MAIN ATTRACTION. Â The old powerhouse that is still standing with lots of cool graffiti.
- Barn: Â This thing is pretty much ready to collapse and is encircled by a chain link fence. Â Although there is an opening in the fence that can allow you access, keep in mind it may very well crumble to pieces on top of you. Â It’s a pretty cool old barn covered in graffiti that is located off the main trail. Â You need to walk deeper into the canyon to find it.
- Gate: Â This is the original gate to the compound
- Water Tower: Â This is located halfway to the canyon floor…and of course, covered in graffiti.