Explore the most popular walking 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.

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.

21 days 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!

3 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.

4 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.

Great trail, especially considering how close it is to the suburbs. Offers a good range of activity; saw both recent mothers taking a light hike and experienced bikers on the trail.

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.

$3 parking fee

very easy trail. almost too easy

8 months ago

Great hike, with lots of other hikes in the immediate vicinity. Free parking. Lots of wildlife.

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

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!

Nice scenic trail

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

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.

Took us 2:15

Thursday, May 11, 2017

It's nice and supplies good views of Laguna and the ocean from time to time. Def a biking trail, as most paths are wide enough for 2-3 bikes across.

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.

Very challenging for a beginner. Do this after you're in decent shape and have hiked for some time with brutal inclines.

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