California's abandoned Devil's Slide Bunker looks like it might fall off its hilltop perch at any time.

California’s Abandoned Devil’s Slide Bunker Looks Like It Might Fall off Its Hilltop Perch at Any Time

California’s Abandoned Devil’s Slide Bunker Looks Like It Might Fall off Its Hilltop Perch at Any Time

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
June 18 2015 1:04 PM

The Devil’s Slide Bunker Teeters on the Edge

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High atop California’s coastal peak known colorfully as Devil’s Slide are the crumbling remains of a squat cement building that looks as though it is about to tip off the edge of the summit and slide into the sea. 

The bunker on Devil’s Peak was built during World War II as a triangulation and observing station and was once part of a much bigger set of buildings and facilities. When in service, a watcher equipped with a set of binoculars would keep a lookout at sea. If he spotted any enemy ships, he radioed a massive, 6-inch gun, which would fire at the vessels to sink them before they got close to shore.


With the advent of more modern missile defenses, the station became obsolete and the entire site was abandoned in 1949, leaving an empty bunker atop Devil’s Slide. The land was eventually purchased by a private owner, but the bunker remained on its lonely perch.

The earth at the top of the peak was removed for a construction project sometime before 1970, but the project was never completed. The bunker now looks as though it is teetering precariously on the summit. The private owner has fenced off the site.

Today the Devil’s Slide Bunker still sits on private property and is not open to the public, yet that has not stopped graffiti artists from covering most of its surfaces with tags. By the looks of the bunker’s base, it seems like it is only a matter of time before some unlucky artist actually ends up taking the Devil’s Slide right along with the bunker.

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Eric Grundhauser is a head writer and editor at Atlas Obscura. He lives in Brooklyn with his comic book collection. Follow him on Twitter.