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A Hiking Tour of Rocketdyne Santa Susana Field Laboratory on April 25, 2015

My fascination with Rocketdyne's Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) nestled in the hills between Chatsworth and Simi Valley is neverending. It is one of my favorite SFV topics due in part to its secrecy and worldwide importance to helping man land on the moon. My last visit to SSFL was on June 29, 2013 when I participated on their bus tour which didnt allow photography. So you can imagine the excitement on my face when the ban was lifted sometime after that last tour and I could now use my camera on this walking tour on April 25, 2015 shown below. There were roughly 150 - 200 other SSFL enthusisasts that participated in the our led by activist John Luker. 

The hike was amazing and felt like being in a ghost town where all the citizens evacuated and structures remained empty. And we were free to roam (somewhat) a civilization that was once thriving, full of people and buildings, and bustling with all sorts of activity. Its hard to believe that earth shattering engine rocket testing was occurring on a regular basis, innovative engineering  was at the forefront with very little history or references to solve complex problems was constantly ongoing, and a tremendous amount of effort was made to keep this area secretive. Today, very little remains which is a testament to how quickly Boeing and NASA have been trying to clear out the entire place and return to the State of CA as a state park. A majority of the hiking tour took place in the undeveloped Southern Buffer Zone area which borders Bell Canyon where very little contamination and activity occurred.

One quick hiking tip, its important to have the best footwear so check out Boot Bomb to get latest recommendations on the best hiking boots to wear. 

Other posts already covered on this site include: 
  1. World's First Partial Nuclear Meltdown in the San Fernando Valley. (April 1, 2011)
  2. Rocketdyne Santa Susana Field Laboratory Still Contains High Level of Radiation. (March 6, 2012)
  3. Exploring Sage Ranch and What Remains of Rocketdyn'es Santa Susana Field Laboratory.(February 19, 2013)
  4. A Bus Tour of Rocketdyne on June 29, 2013. (July 8, 2013)
  5. Historic Rocketdyne Engine Moves Down The Street to Nordhoff and De Soto. (October 6, 2013)
  6. 90 Single Family Homes Coming to Former Rocketdyne Fitness Center in Canoga Park/West Hills. (April 17, 2015)
Best viewed in full screen mode. In Google Chrome, click on the picture and it should become full screen on your computer and you can toggle through the pics using the arrow keys. 

The Rocketship play area from the Boeing Fitness Center was removed from the site and will be permanently placed at SSFL when it becomes a state park. 

Former Bowl area that consisted of 3 test stands, today nothing remains except concrete rubble. 

Behind the chain link fence and barbed wire is rumor to be sacred Chumash land which contains a historic cave painting. Nowhere else during the tour is there barbed wire. 


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Marty Mcfly

Anything and everything about the San Fernando Valley. This blog will take you back in time when the valley was covered with dirt and orange groves to a leader in the space race to its current status as America's suburb. Come along and join me on this adventure, I guarantee you have been influenced/impacted by the San Fernando Valley in one form or another even if you have never visited or heard of the SFV.

1 comment to ''A Hiking Tour of Rocketdyne Santa Susana Field Laboratory on April 25, 2015"


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