Hike to Dripping Cave in the Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness

Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park

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!

Pack List

  • Good hiking/running shoes
  • Water
  • Map
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RT Distance 5.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 300 Feet
Activities Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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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