Our hike will be steeped in local history and lore. We’ll begin our trek at Chatsworth Park where we’ll find our way to the Old Stagecoach Rd. From the top of the Old Stagecoach Rd we’ll hook up with the Mattingly Trail and take that to the Spahn Ranch. We’ll return via the El Camino Nuevo.
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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Manson#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 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 hiking along the notorious Devils Slide segment .
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.
Florence and Charles Mattingly
The Mattingly’s lived in Los Angeles where Charles was a prominent attorney. They purchased two 160 acre properties in 1909 and 1912. We’ll be traversing this property, however, there is no evidence that they ever lived in Chatsworth.
Hike will be about 7.5 miles with about 1000′ total ascent. Bring plenty of water and snacks
Go all the way to the west end of Devonshire and enter park. Follow Shadow Oak Dr. around and bear left at Homestead Acre to large parking lot.