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Escondido Canyon and Falls

Winding Way, Malibu, CA
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  • 98%
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 98%
    Backpackers

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  • Escondido Canyon and Falls
    Member of
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    + 4
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    This hike is terrible. The parking lot is 1.5 miles from the trail head and it only has about 10 spaces! The only other place to park is also very limited on PCH which is a death trap. Someone gets killed once a month on PCH whether it is a cyclist or a pedestrian. After you've found parking which is the biggest adventure you get to walk through A residential neighborhood on a tiny path just off the shoulder of the asphalt road. It's hot and slightly up hill. If you don't stick to the path you run the risk of getting hit at the blind curves by the residents who aren't expecting people to be walking in the middle of the road. After you've finally reached the trail head you have a 20 minute stroll until you reach the completely dry "waterfall". There hasn't been water in years. Do not leave the trail or you will surely brush up against Poison Oak or step onto a pile of human feces. There are no restrooms here. It is nature. Be careful when standing by the dried up waterfall as hikers from the higher trail that have gone off trail have eroded the terrain and a landslide has filled the no longer existing pond with gravel. You could get hit by falling rocks. If you decide to venture further up, use great caution. The trail ledge is less the 8: inches in some areas and the loose gravel makes it slippery. Many have fallen to their deaths.
    There are several other axing hikes in Malibu. This is not one of them. Solstace Canyon, Busch Drive and Bonsal Drive all have generous parking lots and restrooms at the trail head with multiple trails.

    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersGreen Travelers
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  • Escondido Canyon and FallsPro 2014

    Boy do i feel like a champ after this hike!

    the trail reminded me a lot of this Nickelodeon tv game show called Legend of the Hidden Temple. For those that don't know what i am talking about, its basically a set design that resembles a lot like Indiana Jones' movies. As a child i always used pillow and couches to make a fake set like the show!

    i digress, so going over tree branches and climbing rocks, there is a ropes at certain spots to help you climb the slippery slope areas. Reaching the waterfall really was quite rewarding. I decided to climbed the Waterfall area it looks tough but it wasnt too bad for me as my friend said there wasn't as much water falling. I think its good to climb for one time experience as you do and will get wet! Its super slippery so be careful to hold on to the branches tight as you climb up!

    next to the main waterfall there is another rock climb that apparently leads you to the "dark forest". My friends and I attempted to climb half way and met 2 other ladies that were trying to climb down. It was a very difficult challenge itself just going over this bolder. Rocks were falling and hitting people in the heads (BE VERY CAREFUL) just with a small shift of body. Last minute we decided FREAK it, looking down and figuring out how to get up gave us a couple of minutes to realize getting down was not going to be an easy task!

    after a couple scrapes here and there, we conquered as much as we could!

    Recommended for:Backpackers
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  • Escondido Canyon and FallsPro 2014
    Member of
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    Outdoor Enthusiasts
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    + 14
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    • Art & Design Lovers

    Beautiful falls & luscious greenery of a hike...lots of shade & it seems to be a very popular hike =)

    Parking for this hike is in the small lot on Winding Road off PCH or simply along PCH itself if the lot is full.

    Make sure you select the right Winding Road because there are two, one after another and you can save yourself quite a few U-turns if you get on the right one first.

    If you are coming from Los Angles, this seems to be the first one. After you park on PCH you can simply start walking up the road to start your trek to Escondido Falls.

    Watch where you park on PCH, they give tickets & tow cars so read the parking signs.

    Trailhead address: 27807 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

    Trail head coordinates: 34.026568, -118.780067

    Length: 4 - 6 total miles (3 waterfalls)

    Elevation Gain: 400 - 700 feet

    Trail Type: Out-and-back

    Skill Level: Easy to moderate, depending on which falls you go to.

    Duration: 3 - 4 hours

    Season: Year-round (better when its cooler months)

    The first mile of this trail winds you around a residential road that showcases many of the immense mansions located in Malibu Hills. There are houses with huge pools, tennis courts, horses and even a batting cage, all with spectacular views of the ocean just outside their window.

    This part of the trail alone was an interesting trek with lots of eye candy. Once you reach the end of the road you will see a sign that marks the start of the actual trail.

    From here you will walk through about a mile and a half of foliage, small river crossings, and beautiful trees.

    This is a nice leisure hike that has a good amount of shaded protection almost the entire way.

    This trail can be more intense after it rains as the river crossings would be worse and the trail itself would be muddy. After walking for about 1.5 miles you make it to first falls.

    Take / use the ropes when climbing to the 1st falls, its the much easier route.

    The First Escondido Falls: If all you do is make it to the first falls, the hike is still worth it, but if you are up for an adventure, the third waterfall is really where the beauty is at.

    Getting to the Second and Third Waterfalls: If you are planning to go to the others be careful, it can be really dangerous after the rain or even during the dry season.

    The climb is up to the right of the first falls and it is a lot steeper then the climb there.

    You will also be crossing some narrow ledges and using a rope to pull yourself up past some of the sketchier areas. If you can make it, the trail will reward you.

    After most of the intense parts you will reach the second waterfall. This had more water then the first, but was only about 15 feet high.

    Continue on over more rocks and scrambling and you will reach the third falls.

    The Main Escondido Falls: The third falls is the real gem here. It is truly one of the best waterfalls in Southern California. Not only is it about 150 feet high, but it has a beautiful amount of plant life that lives on the falls and is something that really has to be experienced before you can believe it, it was amazing.

    But, if there's a dry season/ drought then this 3rd waterfall is not worth the extra effort to climb/ see.

    WHAT TO BRING: Water (lots @least 2-3 liters), Hat/Sunscreen, Camera, Water Shoes, Change of clothes/Towels/Swimsuit (if you decide to get in the water), wear long pants & shirt, Snacks/Foods.

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  • Escondido Canyon and Falls

    One of my favorite hikes in Southern California. By the time you get to the biggest waterfall at the top it doesn't even feel like you're in the Socal area anymore. I'd recommend staying at the top for a while to enjoy the beautiful sight!

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  • Escondido Canyon and Falls
    First to Review

    OMG! My friends and I have been hiking for a couple months now. We try to do a hike every weekend. This week we went to Escondido Falls. This is by far my favorite.

    The parking is not ideal. There is a small lot located right on Winding Way as you turn off PCH. Winding Way continues further towards many big houses, but the nearest public parking is the lot near PCH. You need to walk about 1/2 a mile to the trail head.

    While walking on Winding Way towards the trail head, be careful! As we were walking some guy came driving up super fast. He was even honking at hikers on the road. He must have been in a rush to get to his mansion.

    However the fun starts when you get past the small parking lot and walk up to the trail head. The trail starts of rather easy. Is it relatively flat and not too strenuous. You arrive at the first waterfall rather quickly. One the way there you need to cross a few stream, but nothing too crazy. All the stream crossings are ankle deep, and you can pretty much get across dry but hopping from rock to rock.

    To get to the second waterfall you continue on uphill on the right of the first one. Things begin to get a little rougher. You need to start walking up rather steep inclines and climb over rocks. At one point there is even a rope set up for people to use as they try to scale up the hill. It is all worth is once you get to the second waterfall. It is the largest one I've seen in Southern California. I absolutely loved it!

    Escondido Falls is a wonderful hike. They are great views and an awesome waterfall at the end. It is pretty challenging though. I wouldn't recommend this hike to beginners or those who wouldn't be able to do physical activity. If you do go make sure you wear shoes with proper grip, because the hills can sometimes be slippery.

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  • Escondido Canyon and Falls
    Recommended for:Outdoor Enthusiasts
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OverviewEdit

4.5 out of 5
6 members' reviews
6 people visited Escondido Canyon and Falls

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