Authorities believe bodies could be buried at the Barker Ranch from nearly 40 years ago, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Members of the Manson family killed actress Sharon Tate and six other people in Los Angeles in 1969. Later, a member of the group suggested more victims had been buried at the ranch near Death Valley.
Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze has said a total of five sites may be excavated over the coming days.
Of particular interest to investigators are two areas where cadaver dogs and soil analysis suggested bodies might be buried, the newspaper reported.
The investigation has involved forensics experts from the Utah attorney general's office, the private laboratory Evident Inc. of Virginia, an archaeologist from Cal State Long Beach and members of the Anthropology Research Facility at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.