Past Meetup

Hike to former Nazi Compound (Rustic Canyon) @ Will Rogers Park

This Meetup is past

8 people went


We'll meet next to bathroom at Will Rogers Park at 1 PM, but leave at 1:15 PM. Park outside the park if you don't want to pay $12. Look for signs because the closest streets to the park are restricted. Several blocks away from the park is unrestricted parking. We're going to hike down to Rustic Canyon. It is a pretty canyon with lots of trees! There are poison oak in this area so wear long pants and long sleaves! We're going to explore the compound (buildings). Bring water, sneakers with good traction. Hike is approx. 7 miles RT with 900 feet elevation gain. Hike isn't for beginners.

We're going to hike to a former Nazi compound--you're NOT going to see Nazis running around, swatizas, etc. LOL. Fascist supporters hoped that the compound would play an important role in the reconstruction of America after Germany won World War II.

Purchased by mining heiress Jessie Murphy from screen cowboy Will Rogers in 1933, the 55-acre ranch has a long and sordid history, much of which is shrouded in mystery.

According to local historians, Murphy’s daughter Winona and her husband Norman fell prey to a Nazi sympathizer named Herr Schmidt. Schmidt convinced them that he had supernatural powers and that America would soon fall to the Third Reich and be rebuilt under German rule.

He persuaded the couple to invest $4 million in the ranch, which at its peak was equipped with a diesel power plant, a 375,000 gallon concrete water tank, giant meat locker, and bomb shelter.

However, the plans were never completed. Instead, FBI agents raided the camp in 1941, the day after the Pearl Harbor bombing. Dozens of Nazi sympathizers were rounded up, and Schmidt was arrested for transmitting short-wave radio messages to the Germans.


This hike isn't meant to glorify or honor Nazis!

There is a warning about mountain lions in Rustic Canyon.

You can park in the park, but it costs $12. The parking lot closes at 8 PM.