We decided to spend the afternoon on Christmas Day checking out the Vanalden Cave after seeing it on another blog. The hike was short, probably about a half mile into the canyon… so it is a quick reward with not a lot of work.
A perfect hike for the little man.
Once we arrived, we noticed a big face carving on the left side of the cave’s entrance.
Inside, much more of the same continues, as the cave’s sandstone walls are covered with carvings of faces left behind by the generations.
Outside, there is a rope swing dangling off a tree. How fun is that?
While Tuggy played for a bit, I checked out some of the moss and plants growing on the outside walls. There was a pathway to the right of the cave that leads up to the top of the cave, but, despite its appeal, the recent rains discouraged us from any attempt to get up there.
Sadly, it is clear that this is a popular night time hangout for some — bottles, trash, graffiti, and ashes have been left behind.
In that respect, this wasn’t the ideal hike for my toddler on Christmas Day, but the cave itself was neat and worth the drive out there at least this one time.
Tuggy didn’t mind at all, only saying that the cave was “really awesome and cool” as we headed back towards the trailhead.
To Get There:
Head North on 405. Take 101 North. Exit Tampa, make a left. Left on Ventura Blvd. Right on Vanalden, and up the hill to the dead end. Street parking is plentiful.
For GPS, just navigate to the corner of Vanalden Ave & Gleneagles Dr in Tarzana. Can’t miss the trailhead at the dead end.