Hike Murphy Ranch Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains for an intense stair workout and explore the abandoned Nazi camps
Trail Distance: 3.5 miles
Elevation Gain: ~300 ft.
Terrain Rating: Easy except the narrow stairs
Hike Time: 1-1.5 hours
Dog Friendly: Yes
Recommended Seasons: Any
Murphy Ranch has been on my LA hiking list for a while. I love that there are a lot of good hikes in the area, but they tend to be fairly repetitive (dry terrain with coastal views). I was excited to explore this more unique hike – an old bunker in the heart of the mountains!
The hike starts from a residential neighborhood which may seem a little strange but typical of LA hikes (see: Runyon). You’ll follow a wide paved road for the first 0.5 mile until you see a chain link fence on your left. Turn down here (you should see a set of stairs).
The stairs can get crowded if it’s a busy weekend day, but we found it to be not bad! They are definitely narrow so I would only recommend this hike if your joints/feet are capable of handling the stairs. It’s not fun otherwise.
After you reach the end of the stairs, make a left and follow the dirt path until you see the first bunker. You’ll follow the trail all the way down to a few more Nazi sites until making your way back the way you came. The stairs look more daunting on the way up 🙂
This hike only took us a little more than an hour – we chose to jog from the fire road to the bottom of the stairs. It will be on our repeat list for sure!