Aliso and Woods Canyons Wilderness Park is a great place for any van or RV nomad to hike and mountain bike. The park offers miles of trails throughout the park that range from easy to hard. There’s a nice pay for parking lot at the trailhead with a restroom. Its a great place to spend the day. 



If you want to go hiking and mountain biking in the middle of Orange County, Aliso and Woods Canyon Wilderness Park is perfect. The park also has picnic tables, portable restrooms, equestrian trails, and a visitor center. 

The park is approximately 4,500 acres of wilderness and natural open space land. Originally part of the Juaneno or Acajchemem tribal land, it later was owned by Don Juan Avila, Louis Moulton, The Mission Viejo Company, and now is under the jurisdiction of OC Parks.

There are mature oaks, sycamores, and elderberry trees within the park and two year-round streams. Many rare and endangered plants and animals make this park their home. This park is designated as a wildlife sanctuary.

Hiking and Mountain Biking

There are over 30 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails within the park. My favorite trails within the park are:

  • Mathis Canyon Trail
  • Car Wreck Trail
  • West Ridge Trail

Each of these hikes works its way up to the Top of The World. The Top of The World is an overlook in Laguna Beach where you have a 360-degree view of the ocean all the way to Saddleback Mountain and beyond.  

Map: Aliso and Woods Canyon Trail Map


  • Parking Fee: $3 daily. The machine accepts $1 bills and quarters or Visa/Master Card. 
  • Annual passes are available to purchase in the park office. 
  • The parking lot opens at 7 am and closes at sunset.
  • There is free street parking outside the front gate. 

It’s a privilege to have Aliso and Woods Canyon Wilderness Park for our enjoyment, so please practice Leave No Trace principles.

References and Other Adventures:


Doheny State Beach

Doheny State Beach is one of my favorite places to spend the day in my van. It makes the perfect place for any van or RV nomad looking to enjoy the beach and go surfing. The beach has restrooms, showers, an aquarium, a cafe, trash bins, and ample parking. Doheny also has a campground where you can spend a few nights.

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O’Neil Regional Park

O’Neill Regional Park is 4,500 acres and is situated in beautiful Trabuco and Live Oak Canyons. The park serves both as overnight camping and a day-use/picnic facility. The park is heavily wooded with coastal live oak and sycamore trees. The hillsides surrounding the park are filled with cactus, wild buckwheat, sagebrush, and chaparral of scrub oak, buckthorn, and mountain mahogany.

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