The Ghost Town Above Rancho Cucamonga

While walking along my favorite walking trail today I got bored and took a left-turn off the electrical line service road and stumbled upon quite a surprise!  A complete little ghost town, or "ghost neighborhood"!

This this little ghost town is in the hills above Rancho Cucamonga, a few miles north and just east of Los Osos High School, about midway between the North Etiwanda Preserve on the East and the dam/spillway above Milliken Avenue on the West.  I have walked this trail literally 200 or more times in the last few years and had no idea these old houses or structures were here!  Because they sit low in the canyon you have to be above them to get a view, although I have been to the top of both the Milliken Avenue Dam/spillway and the Day Creek Dam and still never saw them.

The structures appear to be either houses or maybe some sort of old Ranger type stations or perhaps some kind of buildings related to water collection efforts for Rancho Cucamonga from over 70 years ago.  I found three structures (took pictures of two of them) and when looking at the area using the Google Maps for this post, I spotted what might be a fourth building hidden in the brush and several more structures to the south.

What I call "structure #1" is the most interesting.  It's nothing more than a fireplace, but it has a stamp that reads "Built For CG.1346 CCC F.L. Graves 1934".  I was not able to find anything on the internet about "F.L. Graves", but I am assuming that the "CCC" is for "California Conservation Corp".  The date leaves no guessing - it was built in 1934, making this structure (and probably the others) almost 80 years old.

Ghost Town building #1 rear view

Rancho Cucamonga ghost town structure #1 front view

Built for F.L. Graves 1934


Structure #2 is about 1/8th of a mile south of structure #1 and has a similar fireplace.  However this structure has a rather large foundation, and another structure made of cinder-block a few feet away.

Ghost town structure #2 in Rancho Cucamonga hills


The third structure (no pictures) was about 1/8th of a mile east of structure #1 and was nothing more than pieces of a foundation and a wall up against the side of the hill.  There was also the remains of a rusted-out car about 100 feet to the south on what looks like was once a road.  There was not enough left of the car for me to figure out what model or year it was, but it looked like it could have been a station wagon from the 1960's or 1970's.

I didn't see structure #4 while I was there and only discovered it while writing this post.  You can click on the satellite image to get a Google Map of the exact location. (Lat & Lon: 34.171173, -117.559163)

Rancho Cucamonga ghost town map view


There also appears to be a whole string of other structures (not shown on the map) just to the south that I plan on exploring next.


If anyone has any information about what these buildings might be or who "F.L. Graves" was, please post a comment.



An update after more exploring today:

We found more structures made of stone on either side of what's left of the road, about 100 feet from structure #1. One is what looks like a flagpole mount in the top center of a very large boulder. On the other side of the road is what looks like the remains of a large stone and iron gate and not far from that some stone walls or planters. So from the looks of it (as I guessed already) it feels like less of a ghost town and more like a Forestry Service camp, C.C.C. Camp, or water reclamation camp.

I also realized that now that I know where to look, these buildings can easily be seen from a few points on the Electric Service Road..

Now to lug the metal detector up there for some relic hunting!

I thought your finding very interisting. I know this lady who has lived here most of her life. She is in her late 80's. So I asked her about that area. She remembers a ranger station and a lookout out for fires. We also found in her stuff a map from 1965 of the San Bernardino Mountain area. It is hard to tell because most of the streets in that are not on the map.The map show 2 area that are private land.

I am also interest in history and old houses.

Thanks for sharing your find.

I just hiked up there yesterday and I found it very strange, I'm glad I'm not the only one who was interested in finding out what those old buildings were. On my way up to the trail I found many concrete looking pipes sticking out of the ground. I don't know what they were used for but they definitely lead to the old ghost town up there. They are off the left side (western side) of the trail if you are walking north along that path.

I found this website that gives an in depth history into the purpose of this old Civilian Conservation Camp.

They were camps built to employ young men during the depression. They fought fires, built bridges, cut trails etc. The corps came to an end around the start of WWII.

Can someone tell me how to get there? I grew up in rancho my whole life and had no clue that there's a ghost town in rancho.

Cara, i think we've determined that it doesn't officially count as a 'ghost town', but the buildings are cool! Click the map, above, and it will take you to a Google map of the location, which you can zoom-out, and see exactly how to get there.

I have clicked it and I don't see a discernable way of getting there. Is it just a hiking trail?

If you zoom-out on the map, you can see the Electric Service Road (where the big electrical lines run) to the south. That Road meets up on the west with the flood-channel/walking trail (see this page: best walking trail in Rancho ) which you can get to from Wilson or Banyan, about 100 yards west of Milliken. You can also get there from the East by following the flood channel near Day Creek.

Can you email me please it's easier for me

I finally found it. It was back farther than I thought. I found a map from 1965 and it show it as the Day Canyon Station (Fireman Station. I am going to see if it will scan well and if it does I will post it at a later date. Thanks it was a great adventure :)


Add new comment