The caves in the Ozark Mountains are some of the coolest locations that I have ever visited.
You can go to areas that are easily accessible by the public, or you can strap on gear and weave in and out of tight spaces to go even deeper.
I was reluctant to leave Arkansas even when my company announced its plans to open a new location in Tarzana, California. I knew that I would miss exploring the caves of Arkansas, but I wondered if there was something comparable in the San Fernando Valley or in southern California as a whole. People think about the beaches in California before considering all of the beautiful forests and countryside. I was excited to learn that Tarzana sits right at the base of the Santa Monica Mountain range, and initial explorations proved fruitful. Although the mediterranean climate of Tarzana is different from the Ozarks of northwest Arkansas, there is still plenty of vegetation and tree cover. Best of all, I learned about Vanalden Cave and its proximity to my apartment in Tarzana. My friend and I packed food in our backpacks with pre-rolled joints of marijuana we bought from a dispensary in Tarzana. Vanalden Cave is great because it’s not a tiny cave that you have to crawl through, it’s over 25 feet high and is a massive opening within the sandstone of the Santa Monica mountains. We made sure that we smoked our joints in places where we weren’t too close to other members of the public. The last thing we wanted to do was ruin someone’s afternoon with a cloud of second hand cannabis smoke.