Murphy's Ranch outside bunker

A Review of Murphy’s Ranch Trail

Places, Reviews



Murphy's Ranch outside  bunker

Murphy’s Ranch

I visited Murphy’s Ranch about a year ago on a Sunday with a friend. I was prompted to go after getting a little too absorbed in a listicle, 18 Beautiful Places You Probably Didn’t Know Were In Los Angeles. This article was fantastic despite being so quintessentially Buzzfeed style. It prompted a flurry of Pinterest activity, as I reminisced about the places I had seen (Descanso Gardens) or thought vaguely about future plans to visit those places that I had not yet seen (Bradbury Building).

I was struck my images of Murphy’s Ranch, a former WWII militarized bunker turned 60s artists colony, which is now abandoned and covered entirely by vibrant spray paint. This set of buildings is striking for its appearance but also for it’s strange history, as it’s essentially an abandoned Nazi camp. An article on the blog California Through My Lens does a great job of articulating the controversial history of Murphy’s Ranch.

This technicolor wonderland is an oddly dystopian juxtaposition to its environment in Rustic Canyon. There have been rumors about Murphy’s Ranch being demolished for years because it’s unsafe,  this may have actually happened in February 2016! I’m glad that  I made the trek while the estate was still standing. We used this trail guide for recent reviews and I loved this video tribute to Murphy’s Ranch.


Gate of Murphy's Ranch

Gate to the compound, designed by architect Paul Williams


Murphy's Ranch water tower

Murphy’s Ranch water tower

Murphy's Ranch inside bunker

Murphy’s Ranch inside bunker

Murphy's Ranch inside bunker

Murphy's Ranch outside  bunker

Murphy’s Ranch outside bunker

Murphy's Ranch path

Murphy’s Ranch path


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