Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
Hearst Ranch Airfield
LOCATION: The site, of unknown acreage,
is located north of the Hearst Castle Visitor's Center off Highway
1 at Ranch Road. It is situated on the Rancho Piedra Blanca approximately
1.3 miles northwest of San Simeon in the County of San Luis Obispo.
SITE HISTORY: Two airfields were built at this site by Hearst.
The first was located at the present site of the Hearst Castle
Visitors' Center parking lot. In the early 1950s, when the original
airfield became too short for the newer planes, a second airfield
was built just north of the old field to shuttle Hearst's friends
and business associates to and from the castle. On 1 June 1951,
Lease DA-04-353-Eng-1668 was signed with the Hearst Corporation
and the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, South Pacific
Division granting joint use of the Hearst Ranch Airfield (north
The site was used for all usual procedures of landing and takeoff
by aircraft engaged in business of the Government, their authorized
personnel, passengers, and cargo, pertinent to operation of the
Cambria Air Force Station near
the town of Cambria, some ten miles to the south, and not for
any other purposes.
On 9 March 1961 Supplemental Agreement No. 1 extended the original
lease to 31 May 1971. However, on 14 August 1962, Supplemental
Agreement No. 2 terminated the lease on 15 August 1962. In this
agreement the Hearst Corporation accepted $10,000 in lieu of
the Government's restoration of the leased property.