Spahn Ranch – Stagecoach Rd – Corriganville – Rock House – El Camino Nuevo Loop

What a way to start the New Year! Our hike will be steeped in local history and lore. We’ll begin our trek at the top of the Old Stagecoach Rd and venture west through Twilight Canyon to Corriganville. After a little site-seeing and a loop around Corriganville we’ll head up a hill to the 118 and cross under it using the wildlife corridor. From there we’ll take a seldom-used trail to the fork at the Hummingbird Trail and Rocky Peak Trails. We’ll visit the Rock House and have our snack break.

We’ll continue the loop by heading down Rocky Peak Rd and catch the El Camino Nuevo which will bring us to the Spahn Ranch. And then its back to The Old Stagecoach Rd

Enjoy the history lessons below 🙂

The Spahn Ranch

The ranch took its name from dairy farmer George Spahn, who purchased the property in 1948. Many western-themed movies and television shows were filmed on the ranch, including Duel in the Sun (1946) and television episodes of Bonanza, The Lone Ranger, and Zorro. It was also the filming location for the B-movie The Creeping Terror.

The Spahn Ranch is notorious for having been the primary residence of Charles Manson and his followers, the “Manson Family,” for much of 1968 and 1969. Spahn was 80 years old and living at the ranch when he allowed The Manson Family to move in, rent-free, in exchange for labor.

A wildfire destroyed all of the Spahn Movie Ranch’s film sets and residential structures on September 26, 1970. George Spahn died on September 22, 1974, and is buried in Eternal Valley Memorial Park in nearby Newhall, California.

The Rock House

The rock house is a small room under a rock overhang. It was built as part of a movie set. Across the trail from the rock house is a natural cave above the road. Rumor has it that an entire family lived there at one time. Its a perfect spot for our snack break!

Corriganville

We’ve been here many times.  From 1937 to 1965 Corriganville Movie Ranch, owned by stuntman Ray “Crash” Corrigan, was a working film studio and movie ranch for outdoor location shooting. In 1949, it opened to the public on weekends and holidays.

In 1965 Ray Corrigan sold the property to Bob Hope. A housing subdivision called Hopetown was developed and built on a parcel near the park entrance. In the late 1960s and early 1970s part of the site was used for motorcycle racing. In 1970 the ranch was swept by fire. In 1979 another fire destroyed virtually all of the remaining structures.

In 1988 The land was acquired by the City of Simi Valley for use as a regional park

Here is a video of the “Jungle Jim Rock” and “Robin Hood Lake”

http://youtu.be/G-MeZdkkeFo

Here is a video showing Fort Apache location.

http://youtu.be/YK7ajTUHHrY

The Old Stagecoach Road

Another HWD regular, The Old Stagecoach Road was built In 1859.  It provided an inland route between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara that was shorter than the coastal route. The first overland stagecoach to use the pass made its run between San Francisco and Los Angeles on April 6, 1861. We’ll be starting and ending our loop hike at the top of the Devils Slide segment and hiking along the Twilight Canyon section

Descending into Twilight Canyon

El Camino Nuevo

More appropriately known as the Chatsworth Grade Road it replaced the stagecoach route in 1895 and provided an easier and smoother route to transport goods. It was also able to accommodate motorized vehicles. We’ll be hiking along this old grade which was replaced by our familiar Old Santa Susana Pass in 1917.

The Santa Susana Wildlife Corridor

This wildlife corridor under the 118 helps provide a vital linkage between the Santa Susana Mountains and the Santa Monica Mountains. It also means us animals don’t have to dodge cars on the 118 when we go from Corriganville to the Hummingbird Trail

Hike will be about 8 miles with about 1500′ total ascent. Bring plenty of water and snacks

Note:I am not sure how and in what order I am going to do this hike yet. Expect the unexpected. But it will be in the opposite direction as a similar hike we did in November,2014. https://www.meetup.com/localhikers/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=25740853

Directions

The lot won’t hold all of us so here are some parking options: https://goo.gl/2kCoLi

From the 118 – Exit Rocky Peak Rd, turn right on Santa Susana Rd. After you pass the Rocky Peak exit off the 118 Freeway, start looking to your left for Lilac Lane. Turn left on Lilac Lane. Drive a short way and look to your left for a large dirt parking lot with a State Parks wooden kiosk. Park in the dirt parking lot and meet at the kiosk. There is no street parking on Lilac Ln.

From Topanga Cyn Blvd – go north, and just past Stoney Point is the Santa Susana Pass Road. Turn left, go past Rocky Peak Rd and turn left on Lilac Ln. Drive a short way and look to your left for a large dirt parking lot with a State Parks wooden kiosk. Park in the dirt parking lot and meet at the kiosk. There is no street parking on Lilac Ln.

The lot won’t hold all of us so here are some parking options: https://goo.gl/2kCoLi