Hidden infrastructural marvels of the Southern California mountains
November 12, 2017 8:37 PM   Subscribe

I've been finding many strange and unexpected infrastructural treasures on my hikes through the mountain ranges of Southern California/greater Los Angeles. Help me find more!

While hiking in the Triunfo Pass in the Santa Monica Mountains yesterday, I stumbled across the base of an abandoned fire lookout. Last year, in the same area, I found the Triunfo Pass Earth Satellite Station. And on a hike through the Boney Mountain Wilderness, I saw the Laguna Peak Tracking Station from afar. What other neat infrastructural/tech stuff is out here in the SoCal mountain ranges? (Assume I know about all the former Nike missile sites like LA-88 and LA-96C.)
posted by mykescipark to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
The Murphy Ranch
posted by hortense at 9:12 PM on November 12, 2017

Watch the fantastic Youtube series Tom Explores LA. A lot of it is urban exploration rather than hiking, but he gets out into the sticks too (and covers the Murphy Ranch, btw).

And then there's Echo Mountain:
Hiking Echo Mountain via the Sam Merrill Trail is a rewarding experience, rich with history. First, Echo Mountain itself is the site of the ruins of the Echo Mountain House — a hotel built in the late 1800’s by Thaddeus Lowe. There were no roads to this hotel — you reached it by an incline railway that climbed over 1,000 feet. The hotel burned to the ground in a fire, but there are remnants of the grandeur that once shone brightly atop Echo Mountain.
posted by caek at 9:56 PM on November 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

Are you familiar with San Vicente Mountain Park? It's a short/breezy trail in the middle of the SFV that leads to abandoned Cold War-era anti-aircraft station. The views are really something special.

posted by prosopagnosia at 12:42 AM on November 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, there's a lot. I can't even remember all the random stuff I've run into (though as per some of the links, some of their accessibility may be variable) - So, another missile base thing at Mt Gleason, icehouse canyon has a bunch of ruins, there is the old hotel site plus all sorts of random gearing things at switzer falls, big horn mine (which I've never been to). Etc. If you start digging through the hiking books or swing by an REI/Adventure 16 I'm sure they could pop up more (especially if you're specifically interested in different types of infrastructure/ruins/etc). The LA area mountains have been heavily used and are lousy with that stuff .
posted by annabear at 6:06 AM on November 13, 2017

It's not exactly under the radar so you've probably heard of it but Bridge To Nowhere fits this pretty well. If you're unfamiliar, it's the termination of a failed attempt at a highway spanning the San Gabriels. It ends at a large abandoned bridge over the East Fork of the San Gabriel River.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:58 AM on November 13, 2017

Mount Disappointment
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:16 PM on November 13, 2017

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