The big thing we always heard about California is the often repeated “it’s going to fall into the ocean someday!” from just about everybody. Well, unknown to many (myself included), one spot in California is well known for doing just that. That spot is Sunken City. The location is on the southern point of San Pedro, home to the San Pedro Shred Fest we attended recently. Literally a whole cliffside housing developement collapsed into the sea. Heres a quick history on it from the official Wikipedia page;
“Sunken City” is the name of a beach along the San Pedro cliffs that holds the remains of a natural landslide that occurred in 1929. The development of homes and exclusive bungalows was established in the 1920s by a man named George Peck to attract people who wanted to live with a beautiful cliffside view of the Pacific ocean (6). The land around the surrounding area called Point Fermin started to move in 1929, and continuously moved little by little until the slide that made Sunken City (6). The landslide occurred at the southern tip of San Pedro where a piece of land nearly 40,000 square feet in size started sliding away from the cliffs and into the ocean (1). Experts investigating the landslide said that the ground was shifting at a rate of 11 inches per day (1). On January 2, 1929, a waterline broke underneath the Ocean View Inn hotel on Paseo Del Mar, and a few days later a gas line broke under the same building (6). These were the first reports of damage as the landslide began to creep up on the neighborhood of Paseo Del Mar (6). Most of the houses on the 600 block of Paseo Del Mar were evacuated and relocated before the collapse (1). Most of the bungalows were moved, but there was not enough time to move two houses which slid into the ocean (5). Part of the adjoining Point Fermin Park also fell into the ocean (3). The slide displaced 10.5 acres of land filled with houses and other buildings, streets, and sidewalks.” – Wikipedia
What you actually encounter there is one of the coolest naturally occuring hang out and hiking spots I have ever seen! There are whole sections of broken road, foundations of houses, old sewer pipes, and more scattered amongst the ruins. Obviously human curiosity has led to the spot being super popular to hang out and camp, drink with friends (safely we hope), and most popular would be graffiti and mural artwork. The area has also been featured in numerous film and television works, including part of Daewon Song’s X-Games Real Street footage We found other groups mostly out there just hanging out and enjoying the killer views. You have a great view of Catalina Island along with the Port of Los Angeles, and on a clear day you should be able to spot Long Beach! We’re definitely going to come back through Sunken City and maybe bringing a skateboard or two (we found a couple cool spots) and do some more pictures and video. We do warn you, it is illegal to trespass on the location (just not as strongly enforced) and it is not the safest spot to wildly run around. There is alot of loose dirt and rocks, several drop offs and sketchy spots that will drop your ass down onto the rocks below. Wear solid shoes and dont go alone and please, just like with skateboarding, do not attempt anything outside of your comfort zone or skill level. Until then, enjoy some of the pictures we took on our little adventure through the community the Pacific Ocean and Mother Earth took back.