Escondido Falls Trail

Difficulty
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Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1.5-2h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
6.0 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
163 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The Escondido Falls Trail is a fun hiking adventure in Southern California that will take you to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the region. While out on the trail, you will traverse the terrain of the Escondido Canyon, eventually arriving at the 3-tiered cascade. Hikers should take note that the upper level of the falls are located on private property and should not be climbed by the public in order to preserve the fragile habitat.

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Route Description for Escondido Falls Trail

With a short overall distance and incredibly scenic Malibu views, the Escondido Falls Trail has all the makings of an extremely popular trail. Be sure to arrive early in order to secure parking at the trailhead and enjoy the magic of the falls before the crowds show up. Additionally, there is a $12 fee to park at the trailhead, so keep that in mind or plan to park elsewhere. Lastly, hikers should not attempt to climb to the upper tiers of the falls, as it is quite dangerous and can damage the delicate ecosystem found in the area.

It kind of makes sense that the Escondido Falls Trail will almost certainly be packed with visitors, as it is one of the most beautiful and popular adventures in Malibu. Gorgeous waterfall views and a relatively easy to traverse trail make this a great hike that is suitable for all ages and skill levels. If you find yourself in the area, this is an easy hike that you definitely won’t want to miss out on!

Setting out from your vehicle, you will make your way east through the parking lot for a short distance until you meet up with the edge of Windy Way. From here, you will turn left and follow the road as it leads northeast through a residential area for the next 0.8 mi.

At the fork in the road, you will find a footpath branching off to the left. Take this and follow it north towards the trees, making sure to keep left at the first junction. From this point on there are few intersecting trails, so keep straight along the trail in order to traverse the serene landscape of the Escondido Canyon.

After roughly 1.0 mi of hiking along the footpath, the terrain will become slightly more rugged as you make the approach to the falls. Continue on to the northeast for another 0.1 mi and you will quickly arrive at the site of Escondido Falls.

Take some time here to relax and appreciate the stunning views of the majestic falls. If you are able to time your hike for the spring when the water levels are a bit higher, you will be met with an even more spectacular view.

Once you have finished exploring the area around the falls, simply turn back along the trail and retrace your steps to return to the trailhead where you began your adventure along the Escondido Falls Trail.

Trail Highlights

Escondido Falls

Located in Malibu, California, Escondido Falls is a beautifully scenic waterfall that attracts visitors from all over. The three tiered waterfall features an easily accessible lower level that is 50 ft tall and a difficult to reach upper tier that is 150 ft tall. When the water level is high, the falls have a strong cascade that makes them one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Los Angeles area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Escondido Falls Trail a hard hike?

Overall, the hike to Escondido Falls is a fairly easy adventure, at least to reach the first tier of the waterfall. Two other tiers are accessible, but must be approached with caution.

Can I bring my dog to Escondido Falls?

Yes, dogs are permitted on the Escondido Falls Trail, although they must be kept on a leash at all times.

Insider Hints for Escondido Falls Trail

  • Wear comfortable hiking footwear.
  • Be prepared to pay a $12 fee to park at the trailhead.
  • Arrive early, as this is one of the most popular hikes in Malibu.

Getting to the Escondido Falls Trail Trailhead

The starting point for the Escondido Falls Trail can be found at the Escondido Canyon Trailhead parking lot at the corner of Old Road and Winding Way.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-Round

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Escondido Falls Trail Elevation Graph

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