Saturday, May 14, 2011

Aliso Canyon

Last Friday, I finally made it to Aliso canyon I have been wanting to go to for some time now. It was HOT but the people were super friendly - even the guy I ran into who was taking a pee. Ha! I ran about 1 1/2 miles on a main paved road (no idea what it was called) to get to the trails. 

I decided I wanted to see dripping cave so I went to that site first. 

It was really cool.

I decided I wasn't quite done so when I noticed a trail leading out of the other side of the little cave clearing I took it. I wanted to see if I could do a loop somehow. When I got to the end of the trail there was the option between oak grove and mathis trails but I couldn't tell from the map which would provide  a loop around. Luckily, an older gentleman who had stopped to take a leak saw me perusing my trail maps and asked me if I needed help. He told me that if I went up Mathis I could go left (he stressed left) at the end of the trail at the top of the world and take Meadows back down. 

 So up Mathis I went - I did NOT run. I walked the entire way up that trail. I was super glad I brought my camelback. On the way up I ran into another older man riding up the trail on a bike and he told me that indeed meadows would make a loop and take me back to the right parking lot. As he was leaving me he shouted back "Stay to the left! Did you hear me? Do not go right!" I started to get a little nervous about accidentally turning right since everyone seems very adamant about NOT taking the right. :)

The Sea :)

When I got to the top I made sure to go left and I ended up at a little park I began to search for meadows trail. I was already 4.5 miles into my "8 miles" and the last trail was really intense so I was getting a bit tired. Eventually I ran into another man who told me that I should turn around and go the other way because the meadows trail was about 4 miles down a regular road and was really hard to find. After I got to the trail he said it would be another 4 miles back to the lot. I was a bit bummed out because I really wanted to do a loop. However, the guy told me that I could take Car Wreck to Oak Grove and end up back at Dripping Cave. So I decided to take his advice and I went back to Car Wreck and ran down that trail.

It was a steep single track! Really fun! I was running along and then out of nowhere a random car emerged from the trees. It was weird so I snapped a lot of pictures. 

 Lucky for me the trail did end up back at the correct trails to take me to my car. 

It was a beautiful place. The people were very friendly and helpful too. 

Cool snake I saw.

I ended up doing a little more than 9 miles. Awesome place. :)


  1. That whole area is so cool! I generally stick to the other side of Laguna Canyon (Laguna Coast Wilderness), but only because I live in Newport Beach. All those hills are so cool. We're lucky tonhave them so close.

  2. I loved reading this Kate! I'm so glad you went to Dripping Cave and also Car Wreck Trail. Mathis is pretty brutal. It took me at least 3 attempts to run the entire thing. I did the loop that you were looking for (Meadows) on Friday (but in opposite direction). It was 9.5 miles total. That 1.5 mi paved area you ran in on is Aliso Creek Trail. After .75 mi. (when it veers left) you can go straight and hop onto the dirt portion of that trail. Great pics! Great post! So fun to see others enjoy the vert trails that I love.

  3. What beautiful pictures. I need to check out these trails one of these days.

  4. Great pictures! What a fun adventure. I love the car pictures, too. The friends I run with are always taking pictures of random things in the woods.

  5. I really wish I'd run there when my parents lived in Lake Forest and it was so much closer. Loved the photos.

  6. Hey Glen,

    We are lucky to have them so close. I really enjoy living here in CA. Newport is fun too!! :D

  7. Lauren, I got to check out the meadows trail... I really wanted to do a loop! That canyon was insane - it makes Sycamore Canyon (the one I used to do in Riverside) seem like it is for beginners. Mathis kicked my butt! I think it will be a long time before I can run up that sucker!! I am so happy to finally see for my own eyes what I always see on your blog! It is SO beautiful there! I am excited to go back!

  8. Green Girl, they are really fun! I want to check out where you kick it next.. it is a little bit further from me but those coastal runs look amazing!!

  9. Kate, that car was crazy. I wonder if there is some sort of story to it.. It was seriously in the middle of nowhere. I have no idea how one would get a car to that location. It reminded me of Harry Potter - in that book there is a flying car that crashes into a tree called the womping willow. It was totally random. :)

  10. Thanks Anne! It was a really nice time there. :)