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.



I was just there Monday! (look what I found: CCC Stone Carving !) and was planning to go back today (i walk up there most days).. I'll try to get up tomorrow to survey the damage..

Glad to see the stone monument is still there. I've wondered about it many times over the years. I'm certain the area has survived fire before, but it's timing is crazy. I'm wondering if that wasn't what the cops had an issue with on Sunday - fire danger. They were at the bottom parking area, and the middle parking area in the housing tract, on the concrete wash East of the one you mentioned. I had planned to ride in via mountain bike from Haven Ave, along the pole line road, which would be almost flat ground traveling West to East and back, but now I see it will pay to wait until fall or winter.
The only plus will be the loss of any excess vegetation around the old camp if anyone has a good metal detector

I once saw a fact giving plaque up there next to one of the stone chimney remnants that said it was the remains of a house built for Chaffey Garcia and was the first house west of the Mississippi with hydroelectricity in the US. Also, up the Day Creek wash area (about a mile north of the east/west fire road is the remains of an old water treatment/facility. I love the history of this area but I am so disappointed in the damage visitors make.

This was an old California conservation corp camp. There was an old circle drive area with a boulder with a plaque telling about it and the person who was in. Charge of it.

I was up there yesterday for a couple of hours with a good metal detector. It's the first time I'd seen any of the ruins so I spent more time exploring than detecting. I came across two separate guys going up while coming back down the hill who saw my detector and asked if I found anything up there. The area is loaded with bullets, shell casings, bottle caps, nails, etc. If there is anything interesting in the ground, which I'm sure there is considering the time the camp was active, it's beneath a blanket of junk metal. I may go back to detect again soon, now that I've seen the entire site. If anyone else finds anything interesting, post it up!

I was one of those guys (shorts, backpack & walking stick)!
Did you check around what I think was the campfire area, a hundred yards or so from the biggest standing chimney, in the ring of trees ?

Ha! I had a feeling it may have been someone from this conversation! Cool. Nice meeting you. I did go to the ring of trees and found the monument. At that point I had hit a few other points of interest fairly heavily so I only detected for a few minutes near the trees. There were a lot of shell casings and bottle caps so I stopped, wanting to conserve some energy for the other buildings up there. I'll look a little more thoroughly now that I've had a chance to explore. Hopefully this week.

A friend and I came across this Camp about 25 yrs ago while riding our ATC's. Naturally we stopped and explored. There is a large rock with the engraving of the name of the Officer that was in charge and the year 1930+ and other writing on it (I can't remember). I do know it was a California Conservation Corps Camp. There are several concrete pads where the billets or tent structures that the men lived in set. I also remember a rock lined wading pool that was made so the men could cool off during the summer. I'm glad it was rediscovered! I will definitely have to hike back up there and visit the location again.

This looks like the old ranger station. This was active still when we moved from etiwanda in 79.

I came across this thread because I was looking into the source and story behind a stack of love letters I found in my Mother's belongings after she died. There is a series of letters from a young man named Howard Winkle who was "stationed" at this camp in May-August of 1940. He does describe conditions there a bit...but with these physical descriptions I plan to go back through his letters and see if any specific location sounds familiar or is referenced by him.


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