Past Meetup

Corriganville Movie Ranch Walk

This Meetup is past

48 people went

Location image of event venue

Details

Meet at 1:15 PM in the parking lot. We'll explore this former movie ranch. If your parents grew up in LA, they probably heard about this place. At one time it had more visitors than Knott's Berry Farm! Unfortunately it got burned down. All you'll see are the foundations of the sets. This walk is around 1- 2 miles RT. It is an easy flat walk! This hike is for beginners! This hike is for movie buffs, people who like nature (cool rock formations around), and people interested in plants (lots of signs explaining the different plants you are looking at), and history buffs (you'll see a site where Chinese workers camped building the railroad). This hike is for everyone! This is at a park, so it is ALL FREE!

3 Options you can do after the hike:

1. After the Walk Potluck

There are some picnic tables people/group can meet afterwards. Optional to bring something to share.

2. Or Explore "Garden of the Gods" Neat Rock Formations Afterwards (it is nearby)

http://www.lamountains.com/parks.asp?parkid=16

3. Or Explore Rocky Peak Park Afterwards:

I haven't done Rocky Peak Park before. It will be exploratory hike for me. Only come if you don't mind not knowing where we are going--like exploring. I'll bring a map.

Directions: From the San Fernando Valley, head west on the 118 Freeway and exit at Rocky Peak Road. Park on the north side of the off-ramp. PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON THE BRIDGE or in front of the gate.

From Simi Valley, head east on the 118 and exit at Kuehner Drive. Go right (south) on Kuehner until it becomes Santa Susana pass Road. Follow it east to the top of the pass and the parking area.

Parking:

Address: 118 Freeway to Yosemite Avenue going north. Turn right on Flanagan and follow to the end., Simi Valley. We'll meet in parking lot.

http://lamountains.com/parks.asp?parkid=51

More Info:

Corriganville is a lovely 246 acre park. The interpretive trail meanders down an oak shaded trail on both sides of a small creek, with interpretive signs detailing both nature and the 3500 movies made at this location almost 40 years ago. The slightly longer Loop trail takes you though some of the spectacular sandstone formations.

The park featured stuntmen shows, movie lots, a working western town, Indian crafts, stagecoach rides, pony rides, and boating on a lake. It attracted as many as 20,000 people on weekends.

Built on land purchased by Corrigan in 1937, the ranch provided scenery as well as man-made structures and sets, and was the backdrop for movies and television programs such as Ambush, Circus Boy, Cisco Kid, Death Valley Days, Fort Apache, Gene Autry, The Juggler, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, Kit Carson, Mississippi Gambler, Nebraskan, Range Buster, Rin Tin Tin, The Robe, Robin Hood, Roy Rogers, Sheriff of Cochise, Tales of Wells Fargo, Three Mesquiteers, Wyatt Earp, Fort Apache (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Apache_(film)), Buffalo Bill in Tomahawk Territory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_Bill_in_Tomahawk_Territory), The Robe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Robe_(film)), Creature from the Black Lagoon, The African Queen, The Lone Ranger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lone_Ranger_(TV_series)), The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Rin_Tin_Tin), Sky King (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky_King), and Star Trek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek).

The visual environment was that of a picturesque California oak woodland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_oak_woodland). The ranch provided terrain such as lakes, mountains, caves, large boulders, and rock outcroppings and overhangs. The small man-made lake featured a bunker with windows that would allow underwater scenes to be shot. Estimates of the number of movies and television shows filmed there range from the hundreds to the thousands.

Tourism

The ranch was open to the public on weekends and holidays from 1949 to 1965. For an admission price of one dollar, one could experience stuntman shows, actors (often Crash himself) signing autographs, and movie locations including a western town (“Silvertown”), frontier fort ("Fort Apache"), and Mexican village, all made up of real structures and not just set fronts.

Transition

In 1965 Ray Corrigan sold the property, which was acquired by comedian and property speculator Bob Hope (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Hope). A housing subdivision called Hopetown was developed and built on a parcel near the park entrance. In the late 1960s and early 1970s part of the site was used for motorcycle racing. In 1970 the ranch was swept by fire. One of the last movies filmed there was Vigilante Force (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigilante_Force) (1976). In 1979 another fire destroyed virtually all of the remaining structures. In 1988, 190 acres (0.77 km2) of land comprising the principal working areas of the original Corriganville Ranch were purchased by the City of Simi Valley for use as a Regional Park.

Regional Park

Now named Corriganville Regional Park, the site of Corriganville Movie Ranch is a public park operated by Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District.

The park has various concrete and brick foundations, the remains of movie and theme park buildings. Several signs present photographs and descriptions of filming locations. Hiking trails provide views from dramatic rock formations that made the park a popular filming location from 1930s to 1960s. The park and the entire Santa Susana Pass area has many sites and vistas seen in movies and especially 1950s television "westerns".

The park's eastern area is part of the Santa Susana Pass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Susana_Pass) wildlife corridor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildlife_corridor) connecting the Simi Hills (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simi_Hills) (and the Santa Monica Mountains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Monica_Mountains)) with the Santa Susana Mountains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Susana_Mountains) (and Tehachapi Mountains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehachapi_Mountains) and San Gabriel Mountains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Gabriel_Mountains)). Hiking trails provide exploration and views. Rocky Peak Park is adjacent to the east.[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corriganville#cite_note-4) Several historic photos and pieces of memorabilia from Corriganville are on display at the nearby Santa Susana Depot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Susana_Depot).

See also

Links: http://www.corriganville.net/

http://www.lamountains.com/parks.asp?parkid=99

http://www.phantomranch.net/bwestern/thingstosee.htm