Read about a fun little “hike” through a ghost town near downtown Los Angeles. Turns out near downtown Los Angeles = Santa Clarita. Ha! Almost made me cancel my plans to go explore, but so glad I didn’t.
Mentryville was an 1880’s oil boom town built around its oil well, Pico No. 4. Named for Charles Alexander Mentry, the oil well’s tenacious driller—and later superintendent of the company that would become Chevron—Mentryville was home to over 100 families until the early 1930’s. Pico No. 4 went on to become the longest continually operating oil well in the world, closing in 1990. Historic buildings still stand including Charles Mentry’s grand thirteen-room mansion, a one-room school house, and a period barn. Usually said historic buildings are locked up, but we turned the handle and lo and behold…we got to go inside the houses.
The “hike” is pretty short, mostly on a paved path. There is an option to go up a steep trail which we did not do (too hot). The town is basically at the start of the path, but we opted to explore it at the end. Points of interest include Johnston Park with a replica oil derrick as well as the site of Pico No. 4 complete with signage and old equipment.
Parking is $5 unless you park outside of the park gate and walk in. You’ll need cash and a pen. Also, carefully coordinate arrival/meeting place as cell service once inside the park is spotty.
Taken while strolling in the heat with JLLA buddies and pretending I was in Westworld minus the killer robots (or was it Little House on the Prairie?) on Saturday, August 5, 2017.
fun with friends la la land the golden state ghost town Santa Clarita
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