adventure #2: murphy ranch – santa monica

Adventure #2 crossed off my list!  Just one more that needs to be marked off on my chalkboard, then I get to research and find new destinations.  I wanted a buddy for this hike since it’s more secluded so I took Bruce with me.

Murphy Ranch is a nazi compound in Rustic Canyon.  Work began on it in the 30’s and stopped the day after Pearl Harbor when it was seized and the inhabitants arrested.  The plan was for it to be a self-sustained community where “Silver Shirts” (a pro-nazi organization) could hide out during the war until Hitler won.  There were plans for a 4-story mansion to be built on the property but that didn’t happen.  What was built though; was a powerhouse, water tower, machine shed, storage tank, gardens, stables, and many many sets of stairs leading down and around the canyon floor.

We parked in a fancy-pants neighborhood and walked down the fire road into Topanga Canyon for about a mile before hitting the first set of stairs down into the canyon.  The stairs go down in elevation pretty rapidly and the steps are short so it was a little nerve-wracking.  Once on the floor though, it was a really easy walk and it’s possible to get back up to the trail head by going a little further and using the road instead of the stairs.


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