Malibu, Trail Guides

Two Falls, One Hike [Escondido Falls]

13 Jan , 2020  

If you’re looking for a mild, near-flat stroll with waterfall ending then check out the Edward Albert Escondido Canyon Trail and Waterfalls.

The trailhead starts right off of The 1 in Malibu, minutes north of Pepperdine University, and leads to a waterfall known as the Lower Escondido Falls.

The Lower Falls hike can be heavily trafficked at times, but for the more adventurous types, there’s a lesser seen speakeasy known as the Upper Falls. This short, hella steep section is a bit challenging, and I saw several people slip/fall/roll down a few times. It’s worth the scramble, which involves strategically maneuvering up the rocky terrain and optionally trusting a sketchy rope (anchored by a dead tree root at the time of my hike).

Expect to get dusty and be sure to wear proper shoes for the Upper Falls – my Vans were barely cutting it!



SCREENSHOT THESE DIRECTIONS: Hike to Escondido Falls from Pacific Coast Highway

  • Trailhead Address: ‘Visitor parking for Escondido Falls,’ Malibu, CA 90265
  • Parking: $8 for parking lot, but there is FREE street parking on PCH
  • Distance: Approx 3.8 miles round-trip
  • Difficulty: 🌮 out of 5 (+ 🌮🌮🌮 for Upper Escondido Falls)
  • Step-By-Step Instructions: 
    1. Begin from PCH or visitor parking lot and head north along Winding Way, following the paved road for .8 miles.
    2. Turn right on Escondido Canyon Trail.
    3. Stay to the left when the trail forks after about half a mile, then follow trail all the way to the Lower Falls.
    4. From the Lower Falls, take the trail to the right of the creek and head up the mountain. There are several paths up, but generally head up and to the left. If you see a rope, you can take that at your own risk to reach the Upper Falls area.


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