People forget that the San Fernando Valley was formed by powerful geologic and tectonic forces over millennia, leaving behind many quirky features. One is the Vanalden Cave, well known to locals in Tarzana who through the decades have etched its soft, mostly sandstone walls with messages, graffiti and modern-day hieroglyphics. This is not a hike, and not really exercise, so relax. To reach the cave, take Ventura Boulevard to Vanalden, turn south, and proceed on that long, pretty residential road until it dead-ends. Park and walk to the trailhead that you’ll see to your left. The cave is well under a mile down the trail. Wear good shoes, but only because this very urban cave’s floor can be a mess at times (watch out for broken glass). Vanalden where it dead-ends, Tarzana. —N. Jenssen
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