Hike to Dripping Cave in the Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness

Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park - Search Nearby - Added by Josiah Roe

Beautiful hike through a tourist-free coastal canyon, just a mile from Laguna Beach, to a hidden cave that Juan Flores and his outlaw gang used as a hideout during the 1850's.

Dripping Cave sits tucked away in a corner of Wood Canyon, part of the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, and the trail to the cave, while short, requires *at least* a 2.25 mile hike in from the nearest trailhead (West Ridge Trail to Mathis Canyon), though this is less than ideal as that route is 1,000' of decent on trails primarily used by mountain-bikers.

The most straightforward approach is to begin at the vehicle parking area just off Alicia Parkway and to take Aliso Creek Trail 1.5 miles to Wood Canyon Trail. From there go .3 miles to Dripping Cave trail. Follow the clear signs about .4 miles to the cave. 

There are numerous side trails and other loops you can do through the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness, even connecting into the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, so grab a map and have fun!

Distance

5.8 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

300 ft Gain

Type

Loop

Activities

Fitness, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

From $60/night

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Simple, but sweet

This hike was very simple and super easy. Very busy and highly trafficked. This would maybe be a better area for a run or walk with small children. Not a crazy adventure, but still cool to see the cave and read the historical perspective!

Great Flat And Short One

It takes around 2.5 hours with a stop; continue on the trail after the cave to do a tiny loop. Do get a map as advised; there's a ranger close to the parking lot.

Great Spot!

This is a really easy hike, but worth exploring for the cave! I grew up in Orange County and only discovered it a few years ago.

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