WILL ROGERS STATE PARK
Will made his home in Beverly Hills during the early twenties. In 1922 Will bought the property above Sunset Boulevard commanding a view of western Los Angeles, Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean, where he built a small weekend cottage. In 1926, he built a polo field on the land. In 1928 Will, his wife Betty, and their three children - Will Jr., Mary, and Jimmy - moved to the ranch, and the home was enlarged to it's present size of thirty-one rooms.
Today, the grounds and the ranch buildings are maintained as they were when the family lived here. The living room - with it's comfortable furniture, porch swing in the center room, and many Indian rugs and baskets - is most revealing of Will's personality. The mounted calf was given to him to rope in place of roping his friends.
The attractive patio was often used for dining. The north wing of the house contains the family's bedrooms. Will's study, the library, and Betty's favorite, the sunroom.
His ranch reflects his roots in horsemanship, starting with the polo field, which is the first thing you see when you look south from the parking area. The field is the only outdoor polo field in Los Angeles county. Featured in many movies and TV shows, the polo field features a gentle slope that forms an area for viewing the polo action.
Up from the parking area are the ranch buildings, including the visitor center, which once the ranch guest house. The visitor center features a film on the life of Will Rogers, literature and an audio tour of the grounds. The ranch buildings and grounds are maintained as they were when the Rogers family lived there in the late 1920s and 1930s. But the park is more than just an historic site, it's also a working ranch. The park still retains many of the western equestrian activities that were a part of Will Rogers' life. Up the hill from the main guest ranch, above the green expanse of lawn, are the stables, which have recently been renovated.
WHEN YOU VISIT...
The ranch became a state park in 1944 after the death of Mrs. Rogers. The admission charge includes access to the trails on it's 186 acres as well as admission to the ranch house, a film on Will Roger's life, and an audio tour of the grounds: the two-mile (three kilometer) loop trail to Inspiration Point is particularly popular, and a nature trail and longer hikes are available - check with the ranger. There is also a small picnic area and nature center.
The park is open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m; the house opens at 10 a.m. Fires and barbeques are not allowed. Dogs must be on a leash, and are not allowed on the trails. Call the park headquarters to arrange tours for groups of ten or more.
The Will Rogers volunteers are presently giving tours. Visitors are advised to call the park for details. The park also features a roping and training area for horses where visitors can watch the horses being put through their paces. Beyond the ranch and the stables are the trails that lead to spectacular views of the countryside around the park. Since Will Rogers State Historic Park is on the tip of the Santa Monica Mountains, the trails offer vistas of both the sea and the mountains. Visitors can hike to Inspiration Point or take the Rogers trail around the perimeter of the park. Whether visitors spent a few hours - or all day, Will Rogers State Historic Park truly has something for everyone - with both historic and natural features.
Operating Hours: Call for information.
Seasons/Climate/Recommended Clothing: summer and spring are warm; fall and winter can be cool. Layered clothing is advised.
Will Rogers State Historic Park
1501 Will Rogers State Park Road
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272