Though most of this trail is fairly easy running, with low grades and nice paths, there is one section as you descend Car Wreck Trail
where the grade becomes quite steep and you'll need to watch your footing. If you're not an avid runner, you may question your decision to follow this trail.
To start the run, head west from the park office on Aliso Creek Trail
; this trail parallels the road and Aliso Creek. At 1.5 miles turn right onto Wood Canyon Trail
, a dirt road. Follow this to the intersection with Mathis Canyon Trail
, turn left and then quickly right onto Coyote Run Trail
. Head north to 3.5 miles then take a left onto Rock-It Trail
; this starts to climb a little more steeply. The trail dead-ends at West Ridge Trail
; turn left to head south to 5.9 miles and turn left onto Mathis Canyon Trail
before quickly turning right onto Car Wreck Trail
Car Wreck Trail
very steeply descends for about 0.5 miles. It becomes Oak Grove Trail
before intersecting with Mathis Canyon Trail
again. Take a right to head east on Mathis Canyon Trail
to the intersection with Wood Canyon Trail
. From here, turn right and head south to the intersection with Aliso Creek Trail
. Turn left to head east and carry-on back to the trailhead.
Most of these trails are multi-use, therefore be sure to know the right-of-way rules and be aware of other users.
Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store
The park is designated as a wildlife sanctuary; there are many rare and endangered plants and animals in the park.
Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park was originally part of the Juaneno or Acajchemem tribal land. Ownership then transferred between several individuals and companies before falling to Orange County Parks.