Vanalden Cave Trail

EASY 25 reviews
#11 of 27 trails in

Vanalden Cave Trail is a 2.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Los Angeles, California that features a cave and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
2.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
446 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

cave

views

From the Ventura Freeway (Highway 101) in Tarzana, exit on Reseda Boulevard. Drive 3.4 miles south into Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park, and park at the end of the road. Inside the park gate is a white line painted across the road. Parking is free north of the white line, located 0.2 miles away from the trailhead. A parking fee is required south of the white line. An alternate direction is to enter from Vanalden Avenue by exiting from the Ventura Freeway onto Tampa Avenue. Drive one block south to Ventura Boulevard. Turn left (east) and go 3 blocks to Vanalden Avenue. Turn right (south) and continue 2.9 miles south to the trailhead at the end of the road.

The single track trail to the actual cave is rather overgrown and strewn with litter. As you get closer to the cave there's a lot of graffiti and other simply creepy things (like a chain hanging from a tree shaped into a noose!?). There's also a ton of trash. Such a shame as these caves, if left alone and protected, would certainly be an amazing little treat. The single track itself is also challenging in parts and as others have suggested, wear long pants (or find another trail all together).

hiking
18 days ago

Good amount of shade/sun ratio. Never made to the actual caves due to the poorly marked entrance, over growth, and disgusting boxers with used tissue and poop ....but it was still a great hike on the main trail...especially while carrying a 1 yr old on your back.

hiking
21 days ago

Arrived via Reseda Blvd. I believe it's a little more difficult a route than starting at Vanalden. I never made it to the actual cave because as I was about to approach it about 6 police officers came towards me on the path with a prisoner who ran up to hide in it. They informed me that I should turn around as there were two more guys at the cave.

I definitely will not return to such a shady place. A great deal of the trail was littered with garbage and just before the cave there were used tissue and boxer shorts. GROSS!

hiking
26 days ago

Great trail, the last loop you have to look for off the main trail. The last part was much more fun and there was a part I had to use my hands to get up past the rocks at the cave. Wear long pants! The trail near the cave is overgrown.

hiking
4 months ago

Like to see a sandstone cave or a Bigfoot sign?

That's all the excitement you'll get out of this hike.

Watch out for poison oak!!

This trail is much like the many trails in Southern California. Offering good skyline views and plenty of coastal flora.

At dusk you may spot a few bats or rattlesnakes.

There is plenty of parking.

The main attractions here is the sandstone cave with its vandalized walls which is a good kick back spot. Although it could use a touch up.

Also did mention there is a "warning Bigfoot sign"

No kidding.

7 months ago

Makes for decent photos but the graffiti & litter is a bit much

7 months ago

8 months ago

It's a pretty cool cave/den. It is just ridiculously littered and full of graffiti. Tried picking up trash but cut myself(there is ALOT of broken glass on floor).

8 months ago

Easy hike. Trail is a little overgrown when making your way down there. Lots of trash and broken glass at the cave area.

hiking
9 months ago

The cave is an okay side trip from Mulholland if you're okay with steep eroded trails. Also be aware that there is poison oak adjacent to the trail as you approach the cave area,

10 months ago

The cave is interesting and a nice detour from the main trails. The map is not correct (try the path I took), the cave is covered in graffiti and carvings (which I also thought were kind of interesting, but also disappointing) and the main trail is kind of crowded, which is why I gave it 3 stars.

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