Dripping Cave – Aliso and Wood Canyons

Aliso & Wood Canyons Regional Park is the largest park in the hills above Laguna Beach which preserves 3,400 acres of pastoral Orange County.

Most locals and other hikers refer to the low hills that back the Orange County coast from Corona del Mar to Dana Point as the Laguna Hills or “the mountains behind Laguna Beach.”

Actually, the northerly hills are the San Joaquin Hills, their cousins to the south the Sheep Hills.

The shallow caves have been formed by erosion where old time bandits have found refuge. Heavy ceiling soot is the only evidence of its storied past.

Spring and autumn are the best seasons for this hike since it can get hot in this canyon. You will be sharing the trail with numerous mountain bikers. The park has many trails to choose from. Click here for a park map.

  • Highlights:Sycamore grove, meadows, bird watching, wildflowers, caves
  • Near: Laguna Niguel, CA
  • Distance: 8 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 400 ft
  • Hike Time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: 4/10
  • Trail Condition: Well maintained trail
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: Yes
  • GPX File Download: >>CLICK HERE<<
  • Rating: 3/5

Getting to the Trailhead:

From Los Angeles: 405 fwy (south) to 5 fwy (south) to Alicia Pkwy (west) to Awma Rd. (right) to parking lot.

Google Map Link


Trail Detail Map


Trail Profile


aliso and wood canyon

Aliso and Wood Canyon Overview

aliso caves

Aliso Caves


Dudleya – Looks like Rock Art

Flowering Calabazilla

Flowering Calabazilla


One thought on “Dripping Cave – Aliso and Wood Canyons

  1. Great information, but one correction. The bottom picture is marked as “Flowering Calabazilla”, which is also known as Buffalo Gourd. However that appears to be a picture of Datura Stramonium, also known as Jimsonweed.

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