Barker Ranch

Death Valley, Death Valley, CA 92328

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Quick Facts

Killer(s): Charles Manson, Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten, Susan Atkins, Steve “Clem” Grogan,

Written by: Jewls Krueger

About This Location:

The Manson Family, led by Charles Manson, are now known as some of the most infamous criminals in modern history, but at the time of their crimes they were much less famous. Throughout the 60s the family would travel together from temporary home to temporary home, finding a place to crash for a year or two before moving on to the next location.

During the Tate-LaBianca murders in 1969, some of the Manson family were living at Barker Ranch. In October of the same year, Manson and several family members were arrested at Barker Ranch, but at the time they were only arrested for suspicion of vandalism in Death Valley National Park. Only later would it be discovered that they were responsible for the crimes that shocked the nation. At the time of his arrest, Charles Manson was found hiding under a sink in the small cabin at Barker Ranch, and he was almost missed by the authorities who conducted the raid.

Finding the Location

In 1994 the area was converted into National Park land as part of Death Valley National Park. Most of the wooden structures have burned down in various fires over the years, but some of the stone foundation can still be found. The road leading to the ranch is not consistently well maintained and can be very dangerous, having an SUV is suggested. The Ranch is located a little over an hour’s drive from Ballarat, a California ghost town and also the last flush toilet you’ll encounter before reaching the ranch. It is suggested that you bring extra water as temperatures can reach well above 100 degrees in the summer months.