Vanalden Cave Near Los Angeles

While reading and issue of LA magazine I saw this place as a recommended adventure in the Tarzana area. Since we were already out there for Cave of Munits I figured I might as well check out this half mile round trip walk to the cave as well.

Vanalden Cave 3

Details

  • Half mile round trip
  • No designated parking area

After getting off the freeway and winding around on the road for a good 10 minutes, which included a wide selection of homes I will never be able to afford, we made it to the end of the road and the start of the hike. There is no sign telling you where to go, when you reach the end of the road just look for this big tree.

Vanalden Cave 17

After passing the tree and starting the gradual incline of the trail you will reach a bend in the trail. The left goes to the cave and the right up the ridge line so we took the left.

Vanalden Cave 2

The path enters and shady area and proceeds down the hill to another split. Up the canyon from here leads to the base of the cave while the higher trail takes you above it. I would reccomend the lower as you can easily get above it when you get there

Split from above

Split from above

Proceed up for another couple of minutes and you will reach Vanalden Cave.

Vanalden Cave 4

 

The cave itself is actually pretty big in the inside and I would say its about 15 feet tall with a lot of skylights that let in the sun.

Vanalden Cave 6

The sad thing though is that Vanalden Cave is mostly covered in graffiti, trash and cravings, you could smell the ash from a fire the night before and there were some people having a beer on top.

Vanalden Cave 8

All of this really takes away from the experience of the area. It was a cool cave for sure and I enjoyed walking around it and taking pictures but it has been not kept up by the visitors which is sad to see, look at the below walls and the carvings in them.

Vanalden Cave 9

After exploring the inside I walked up the small side trail to the top of the cave. The cave has holes in the roof which let light down below and make for cool pictures on top. Just be careful you do not slip.

Vanalden Cave 12

There are also some stair like foot holes carved into the side of the exterior near the cave that it looks like people use to climb as well.

Vanalden Cave 11

I took some pictures and walked around but after about 15 minutes we headed back. This is a cool hike since it is so close to the city and the road but in that it has not been taking care of well. I mean there were even plants spray painted on the trail, who does that?

Vanalden Cave 16

If you are looking for a cave in LA I wold recommend the Cave of Munits which is much more preserved but if you go there make sure to try to keep it beautiful. As it stands though, this is a fun hike though for only a half mile round trip and it is is worth checking out if you are interested.

Vanalden Cave 7

Let me know if you have been here and have comments below.

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  • nina

    that place looks really awesome! i cant wait to go, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • No problem, thanks for the comment!

  • dawn

    Amazing place and best directions ever!! Thanks for posting. We’re from WI and hike LA every spring break. This was a great one!

    • Glad you had fun and that the directions worked for you!

  • Bonnie

    I’ve been wanting to visit the vanalden cave! Made my way over about a year ago, however I was too nervous to continue without knowing the correct path.

    I did however, visit the Cave Munits! It’s amazingly beautiful! The first time I made my way over, I took the wrong path and ended up in castle peak. It was a super steep and difficult trail, but the view was breath taking and well worth it.

  • Bonnie

    I’ve been wanting to visit the vanalden cave! Made my way over about a year ago, however I was too nervous to continue without knowing the correct path.

    I did however, visit the Cave Munits! It’s amazingly beautiful! The first time I made my way over, I took the wrong path and ended up in castle peak. It was a super steep and difficult trail, but the view was breath taking and well worth it.