Past Meetup

Murphy Ranch Farewell Hike

This Meetup is past

76 people went

Location image of event venue


***ATTN: Trail head, meeting place changed and hike difficulty has changed. Keep reading***

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UPDATE: Demolition of the Murphy Ranch has begun and the gate is gone now. Final demo is scheduled for Tuesday after this hike. We'll start in Sullivan Canyon, hike over the western ridge and enter through the main gate on Sullivan Ridge. It will be about 6 miles with moderate elevation gain. This hike is not suitable for beginners

There is a creek that runs by the place. Maybe there will be some water

For those that have never heard about it, the ranch is allegedly a 1930s hideout where Third Reich sympathizers could sequester themselves until German rule had been established in the USA

The property was developed by Winona and Norman Stephens and a German national by the name of Herr Schmidt. The design implemented was an installation of several buildings, fuel tanks, and multiple massive cisterns. The entire complex, according the plans of Herr Schmidt, was to be self-sustaining even if it suffered years of isolation from the outside society

The concrete greenhouse:

The FBI raided the ranch in 1941 and that was the end of that until the 50's when an artist's colony was established.

My research indicates that this is an urban legend. There was no Herr Schmidt, it was not a Nazi compound, and there was no raid. It is true that Winona and Norman Stephens built a self-sustaining ranch here. Presumably they were convinced by a Herr Schmidt, who was a Nazi sympathizer, to build it due to a belief that German National Socialism would reach US soil. But there is absolutely no evidence that it was a Nazi hideout, compound or anything like that.

Here we are on one of our hikes in front of the power room that housed the generators. The generators were eventually donated to Loyola Marymount University in the early 1970s.

The main quarters

An old barn once owned by Will Rogers. The barn has already been torn down

Check out the pictures from our other hikes there:

Directions to Trailhead

Depending on your approach you may hit some PGA traffic. Stay off of Allenford. Plan your trip for an 8:15 arrival to allow for traffic and parking down the street from trail head

From Sunset Boulevard, turn north on Mandeville Canyon Road. After 1/3 mile turn left onto Westridge Road. Drive uphill on Westridge Road and turn left on Bayliss Road. Park on Bayliss Rd. (where its legal) as close to Queensferry Rd as you can (could be 1/4 mile away if you don't arrive early). Walk down Queensferry to the big green gate.