Rustic Canyon Nazi Camp – Winona Stephens Complex

This past weekend Constantine and I explored a few different areas of abandoned LA. First we went to the Griffith Park Old LA Zoo. On Sunday we went to the Rustic Canyon Nazi Camp up in Pacific Palisades.

In the early 1930’s Winona Stephens, a heir to a mining fortune created the Murphy Ranch on 50 secluded acres near what is now Topanga State Park. The person in charge of building all this was a Nazi spy named Schmidt. Herr Schmidt persuaded Stephens to invest more than $4 million to create a self-supporting community where a chosen few would live until the day anarchy fell on the United States after a presumed Nazi victory over England.

By 1940, they had built a garage with living quarters overhead, a huge concrete water tank, a diesel fuel tank and a dual-generator power station. Stephens, Schmidt and 50 other future master racers lived on the site, cultivating a vegetable garden and waiting for the New World Order. Guards stood at the gates, and the sounds of military drills often rang through the canyon.

The day after the United States entered World War II, Schmidt was arrested by the FBI and the community soon began to disintegrate. Now the buildings lie in ruins, littered with the remains of bonfires and plastered with graffiti, including swastikas. The canyon walls above are cut by four staircases of crumbling, treacherous concrete.

To get to Murphy Ranch, park at the corner of Capri road and Casale. Hike down the dirt/paved fire road which can been seen google maps here. You wil have to go around a gate to Camp Josepho.

The main gate to the complex is about a mile up the road from where the fire road starts, however if you keep an eye out you will see a set of stairs heading down into the canyon about 7tenths of a mile from the start. You can either take these or continue on to the main gate. You can easily walk around the gate and follow the road down behind. About .2 mile down the road will split. You can take either direction to get to the camp. We went to the left which lead to the main pumping/power station and an old garage/house.

You can still see many of the flowers and trees which were planted by the group back in the days. They continue to bloom on their own each year. It really is pretty amazing how well this is all being preserved even though it’s open to the elements and human destruction. The power plant is COVERED in graffiti, and the pits where pumps were once housed are now home to mounds and mounds of trash and empty beer cans.

Someone has even gone to the trouble of creating an artistic sculpture out of a bunch of old trash and building parts. Continue following the small trail past the old garage and once it ends, follow the river for a while. You will come across a very well preserved building which is enclosed in fencing. Here you will find the other end of the main gate’s road. You can either take this back up or continue to explore.

We didn’t have any more time once we got here, so we headed back up the road. But you can be sure that I will be back there soon to finish exploring this huge Nazi complex!

You can download or tracks for Google Earth here, and see just how easy it is to see. This is easily a 3 mile hike, but you could make it much much more. Take your time and enjoy it. We even saw a few people having a picnic down there!

Our pictures of the Rustic Canyon Nazi Camp are here. Or you can view the GoogleEarth GeoTagged photos here. Lastly you can view the other hard data from the weekend here.

Here’s some more references:
Nazi Commune Ruins
Rustic Canyon Local Hikes
I Hate Illinois Nazis

It Wasn’t Me

So I was listening to the radio the other day and “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy came on the radio. It got to the line where the song goes:

now we were both caught making love on the bathroom floor

and instead of that it now says:

now we were both caught love on the bathroom floor

Umm. WTF?! Since when did “making love” become something you can’t say on the radio!? WHAT!? Are you serious!? This has to be one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard!

So then. Friday night I was supposed to go out to Weho with people but everyone backed out at the last minute and it was just annoying. Instead I spent the night working on some stuff for one of my contract jobs and I just couldn’t get it figured out. The View is returning 4 rows and I need to take data from the two identical rows and join it together…. Well, it’s harder then that, I’m just not explaining it right. Either way I couldn’t figure it out. I went to bed about 11 and woke up around 9ish Saturday.

Got up and went to Ikea and the SouthBay Pavilion. GHETTO! Ikea was good. I spent $65 there, got a shoe rack, a rack for the bathroom, some spoons, and a huge coffee mug for the newport beach office. Came home and put things together and cleaned.

So remember the camera I lost? It’s STILL not found. I have spent 15-20 minutes every day looking for it. Today I pulled EvERYTHING off my desk, out from under my desk, out of the closets, turned the couch up side down, moved the coffee tables, I even searched through my underwear drawer!! It’s GONE. I’m really starting to think I might have thrown it away or something, but I went out and searched through the two bags of trash that I’ve taken out in the last week.. NOTHING. So now I have to find a new one. I’ve been WANTING a Digital SLR forever, but I think that’s just way too much to spend on it right now. So I don’t know what to do. I’m thining the Canon Powershot SD630. It looks like a really nice camera and I _love_ the 3″ screen! I really want to have a camera before this weekend’s ride.

I also went out and did a quick bike ride. That was good. Less then one week till my 100 mile ride.

Saturday night Robert and I hit up Weho. Had a really good time, and checked out a few boys. 🙂 Fun fun! Surpised we didn’t run into you know who. But thank god. The lines at HERE were HUGE! Something special must have been going on. Either way we had a great time. Got home about 3am and crashed.

Sunday got up and looked for my camera a little more. But there’s really no where LEFT to look, but I just know that as soon as I go buy a new one, it’s going to turn up somewhere.

Went flying in the afternoon with Jason and Carlito. We flew inland over downtown LA, up to Santa Monica, south over LAX and then back into Hawthorne. While we were flying up towards downtown LA we came within what seemed like a couple hundred feet of an Airbus A320 that was coming into LAX. They said that they were really low or what not. Either way it was COOL and scary at the same time being that close to such a huge jet.

After that Jason and I went over to Torrance Airport and talked to a guy who knows the guy who was in a plane crasha over the weekend. Pretty amazing story. Now that’s a real pilot!

Ben came over that afternoon about 3 hours after I had expected him, but either way we had an enjoyable evening talking and watching Scrubs.