In the early 1930s, Will Rogers
was the most popular and highest paid actor in Hollywood. From his start in vaudeville theater with a trick roping act, he rose to world-wide fame as a columnist, philosopher, radio personality, and movie star. During the 1920s, he bought land in Santa Monica, where he developed a ranch. Eventually, Will Rogers owned 186 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in what is now known as Pacific Palisades.
The ranch became the place where Will Rogers could relax with his family and friends, pursuing his favorite pastimes of riding and roping. At his untimely death in a plane crash in 1935, Will Rogers's ranch consisted of a 31-room ranch house, a stable, corrals, riding ring, roping arena, polo field, golf course, and hiking trails. His widow, Betty, in 1944 gave the ranch to California State Parks and it became a state historic park.
Ranch House Tours
>> Thursdays and Fridays, from 11a.m. – 3p.m., at the top of the hour.
>> Saturdays and Sundays, from 10a.m. – 4p.m., at the top of the hour.
>> No tours Monday through Wednesday except by special arrangement.
>> School group tours and special group tours are scheduled on a case by case basis.
>> All tours are led by park staff and docents.
For more information, call the State Parks interpretive staff at (310) 454-8212, ext. 100.
The Will Roger's Polo Field will be closed starting February 15th to May 1st 2014 for reseeding and repair.
The Will Rogers Polo Club plays polo every weekend from April to October. Riding Lessons are available on Monday through Saturday; please see our Horseback Riding Lessons Information Page. Equestrians are welcome to bring their horses to the park for day-use to enjoy the riding and roping arena, Sarah's Point, and the trail to Inspiration Point.
Will Rogers Trail Rides provide guided trail rides on safe, reliable horses on the beautiful trails of Will Rogers State Historic Park. You will experience the park in the way Will Rogers used to love to experience it, on horseback. Our wranglers are experienced and safety oriented, so you can relax and enjoy the trails of one of the most beloved parks in Los Angeles. Will Rogers guided trail rides are available every day except Mondays. Tuesday through Fridays you can book a private guided ride by calling 310-662-3707 or go online at http://www.willrogerstrailrides.com more information.
Hikers can enjoy a moderate 2-mile loop to Inspiration Point. Dogs are allowed on leash not in excess of six feet. Adventurous hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians can tackle the Backbone Trail into the Santa Monica Mountains, which can take you all the way to Point Mugu. No dogs allowed in Topanga State Park, including the Backbone Trail.
The Park Interpretive Staff offers tours of the ranch house and grounds. However, you and your family can enjoy many features of our Park on your own. Download our Self-Guided Ranch Tour Card.
The Visitor Center is open to the public after a major renovation and has new exhibits. The Gift Store in the Visitor Center contains Will Rogers books, Will Rogers DVDs and Will Rogers radio broadcasts. It also carries polo mallets and polo balls and a fine line of Indian Jewelry. Gift Store Hours: Thursday-Sunday 10:30 am to 5:30 pm
Activities at the Park
The Park is undergoing a major historic renovation project that will restore the landscape to its appearance during Will Rogers' time. In the past two years, the Department has restored the ranch house and completed significant portions of the landscape restoration program. Over the next several years, the Department will be restoring the historic structures and relocating the maintenance facilities away from the historic zone. Details of the restoration program may be found in the Historic Landscape Management Plan.
Special Event and Filming Permits
All varieties of commercial filming, student filming, or photography beyond point and shoot require a permit. Film permits are issued through the State Park Film Coordinator at 818-880-0358. If you would like to hold an event at the park, please contact the Special Event Coordinator at 310-454-8212 Ext.104 or email John.Conroy@parks.ca.gov.
Become a Will Rogers State Historic Park Docent!
Are you, or someone you know, interested in the Will Rogers Ranch and its historical collection? Are you drawn to learn more about California history and the American West, western art and architecture, cowboys and ranch traditions, Native Americans, horses and horse sports, the early development of the “Hollywood Industry” and how Will Rogers fits into all of this? Do you enjoy learning and working with the public? Are you seeking a rewarding volunteer experience?
Lead tours of the Will Rogers historic ranch house & the historic ranch grounds. Work with visitors from all around the world and “all walks of life.” Conduct research related to Will Rogers, his ranch, and his life and times.
A commitment of 4 – 8 hours a month is expected after training is completed.
Please contact the park interpretive staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 454-8212 ext. 100 for more information about joining us. We hope to hear from you soon!