Monday, January 9, 2012

#223: Vanalden Cave

Even though we were alone in Tarzana's Vanalden Cave, I couldn't shake the feeling that we were being watched. Of course, it didn't help that there were dozens of googly eyed faces peering out at us from the cave's sandstone walls:

Judging from the broken bottles and the ashes of a fireplace, this cave seems like a popular spot for a late night gathering. In the daytime, however, we were the only visitors. The walls of the cave are soft sandstone, so people have carved faces and messages all over the inside.

The hike to the cave is short--it takes roughly 30 minutes round trip. There are other trails to take if you want to extend your hike.  The trailhead to Vanalden Cave is located at the southern dead end of Vanalden Ave, near the intersection of Gleneagles Drive and Vanalden Ave. Street parking is plentiful and the trail is not crowded at all (we only saw one other group). 

The trail climbs steadily in the beginning. When we went this past weekend, there was a lot of pollen from these plants blowing around:

Not long into the hike we encountered a fork in the trail:

Take the left fork to see the cave. We encountered a group of people here who told us that the right fork leads to Mulholland Drive.

When you see this tree, follow the trail as it curves to the right. The cave is not far!

Here's the entrance to the cave. To get to the cave, there is a semi-steep descent from the trail. Also, notice how the top of the cave is flat. You can actually follow the trail on the right of the cave to walk around the top of the cave to peer down the holes. 

Here's the view from the top of the cave:

Watch where you step--it's a long way down through one of those holes!

 Views from inside the cave:

 Little plants living high in the cave walls:

Have you been to Vanalden Cave? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!


  1. Your blog has immediately become my favorite website. I've long been ashamed of being an LA native and not having gone to most of these destinations. I have made a greater effort in exploring since last year and the discovery of your website should make everything much easier for me.

    Thank You and also love the pictures!


  2. Thanks for the compliment Walt--Have fun exploring L.A.! :)

  3. I haven't been but I will now. I like how you added all the sign posts to make sure we don't get lost. I get lost easy despite rip Jarry Shaud's written instructions

  4. Such a fun experience and a very mellow hike! If you want to go on top to look down through the holes go to the RIGHT of the caves and follow the small path that way. I tried to go left around the caves and it was very dangerous.

  5. Anonymous: yes, thanks for clarifying that. I'll change the directions on the post to make it more specific!

  6. i went today...there were "cavemen" sleeping in it, so I couldn't really get in there but it was still a nice trip!

  7. Aw that sucks. Well glad you still had fun :)