Sunken City - Atlas Obscura

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Sunken City

Remants of foundations, streets, and streetcar tracks inhabit the cliffs where a landslide occurred in 1929. 


In 1929, a landslide in San Pedro, California, causing several of the neighborhood’s wood-frame homes to tumble into the ocean. At its peak, the land movement was measured at an astounding 11 inches a day. The land that collapsed connected Pacific Ave to Paseo Del Mar was outside the perimeter of Point Fermin Park, and took several of the wood frame homes as well as the street, Red Car rail tracks, and sidewalks with it. Homes unaffected were relocated to other parts of town, and the wrecked remnants were demolished. 

Today, the area is called “Sunken City” by locals. The area has long been a posted “No Trespassing” spot, frequented by stoners, tagging crews, and people wanting to say they’ve been there. Trespassers gain $450 citations during sweeps by the LA Police Dept, Park Rangers, and Los Angeles Port Police. Vehicles of scofflaws are towed for $375 + $175 a day for storage day until they’re bailed out.

Rescues by the LA Fire Dept are a weekly occurrence due to falls along the unstable terrain by adventurous visitors. 

The surrounding community is quick to report trespassers as they’re tired of the attempted home and car break-ins, graffiti, loud partying, raging bonfires, and of the assaults and rapes awaiting people inside and out, as they exit the fences surrounding the no-trespassing zone. 

Despite the pervasive interest encouraged by previous visitors to “jump the fence,” be mindful that the entry fee starts at $450 per person for all ages, payable to the LA County Court system. Enjoy the 3,000+ online photos and videos to take you there instead. 

Know Before You Go

Do not attempt to enter the Sunken City. Not only is trespassing not tolerated, but accessing the ruins is dangerous and therefore should not be attempted. Due to the danger of the ruins, the site is strictly off-limits to the public.

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