Explore the most popular birding trails near Aliso Viejo with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Actually a moderate hiking but look out for the bikers !!!

1.5 Miles up then 1.5 back down. Definitely grab a map at the trail head before adventuring. You can modify by making hike longer by including the willow trail. Some shade provided. Bring plenty of water. Great views. Watch out for bikers.

Pretty fun- did not see any views of ocean at top though

3 months ago

Amazing hike! The car wreck was very cool to see! It gets warm...go early! There is not much shade. It's $3 to park in the lot, but there is some street parking nearby. Definitely will do this hike again!

It's okay. Much better than accessing near Top of the World which is waaaay to busy for my liking. But this trail map leads you to a gated community so we actually had to go about 2 miles down the road to a park and access the trail head from there.

It was a pretty easy trail. There is some good elevation on the last leg of the loop along West Ridge Trail.

Tip: for directions use Canyon Vistas Park in Aliso Viejo; not a lot of shade so start early or make sure you pack sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of sunscreen. Watch out for mountain bikers cuz they ain't watching for you!

The label of the trail compared to the actual trail is not entirely accurate, bomber ridge is along the ridge line and to reach it you have a couple of different trail options. My personal favorite is big bend , a nice incline which is a bit more gradual but still a good bit of work. It is very exposed so wear sunscreen & bring a hat! Especially on a hot day.

The lizard tail trail is a small segment of the hike shown.

There's a lovely incline at the beginning and not much shade through the rest of the trail. So many wildlife to see in the spring time! Careful for snakes though, almost tripped over one on the trail!

If you're looking for the cave it's going to be closer to the south end of lizard trail. If heading north, it's going to be on the left hand side. Be on the look out for the perforated side of the mountain.

5 months ago


Well maintained trail. Nice views if you add on top of the world to the middle of it. The actual hill on Mathis is pretty challenging.

Did this trail for a Naturalist Class at Saddleback College

We did Willow Trail first then headed down Laurel Canyon Trail. Willow Trail is not shaded and all uphill going this direction, so it was pretty difficult for me. I was feeling very out of breath when we made it to the top. Laurel Canyon down was shaded and very beautiful. Definitely enjoyed the second part of the hike more.

The parking lot at Willow was full when we arrived so we had to park at the next one down and hike up to the trailhead. Added maybe another mile to our hike.

Beautiful views towards the ocean. Very exposed so bring lots of water.

Such a fun hike! We had a great day and loved seeing the car wreck..,...what a mystery!

8 months ago

Great Trail. We started with Willow Trail and came back with Laurel Canyon Trail. Laurel Canyon seemed to be more difficult than Willow.

Loved this hike

This is a fun hike. The hill back up kicks your butt and the directions are a little difficult at first, but over all it is a really great hike... and supposedly it haunted?.. if you're into that stuff.

9 months ago

This trail leads to nothing. I thought it would lead to the dome like rock as seen in the pictures, but it dosen’t. Has average views here and there, but lots of people and the sound of the freeway is present too.


Good canyon single track, no bikes on most of it. Waterfall was dry. Lovely rock and cave formations off limits.

This is an incredible beautiful hike, it is decently challenging.

Views aren’t that great. I recommend going when it’s cool out or bring more than enough water! Trail gets very hot only pockets of shade.

Friday, October 13, 2017

$3 parking fee

Sunday, October 08, 2017

very easy trail. almost too easy

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Nice hike in Laguna Canyon with great scenery. Pay to park.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Don't go in the blazing heat like we did! But it's a gorgeous hike with views that reward you for your effort

It's a bit confusing at first because you have to cross from the Aliso creek trail. If you don't cross then you end up going all the way up the Aliso creek trail and there is nothing to see at the end. the Mathis canyon however was great, it's definitely not for beginners as it's all steep up hill, there is only one car wreck to see. I recommend it as it's a great trail for people who are looking for wildlife and bit of strength building for your legs

Fun & great vistas... there's actually a car wreck on this trail! Nice hill!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Nice hike; be prepared for a ton of mountain bikers.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The spot marked as the trailhead is inside of a gated community and I could not find anyway to access it. I ended up starting at Canyon View Park and still did the majority of this marked loop.

trail running
Sunday, April 23, 2017

Did a couple variations of this & adjacent trails in the past week. Laurel & Lizard Tail have quite a bit of canopy which is rare in O.C. Was a welcome challenge. Has decent elevation gains.

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