Hiking at Escondido Falls, near Malibu, CA

Spectacular 150 ft waterfall, lush creekside landscape, and pleasant oaks

Near: Malibu, CA

Distance: 4.2 miles round trip

Elevation Gain: 400 ft

Hike Time: 2.5 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Hike Type: Out and Back

This hike takes you to one of the gems in the Santa Monica Mountains. The hike starts out on the pavement along Winding Way. After about a mile, an obvious trail takes you down into the lovely Escondido Canyon, crisscrossing creek 4 or 5 times. As you approach the base of the lower falls, you can see the water dropping over the lip of the 150 ft upper falls in the distance. The lower falls are about 50 foot high and trickle over a moss covered wall into a lovely shallow pool. This is the turn around point for those not comfortable with a bit of rock scrambling.

To get to the upper falls, take the trail to the right of the lower falls up an obvious gully. At the top of the gully, go left and follow the stream over some small cascades and boulders to the base of the upper falls. This is an amazing site, with water tumbling over 3 or 4 tiers, finally falling into a deep pool.

Attempts to climb beyond the base of the upper falls could result in serious injury!

++ Hiking Clothing Guide


From Kanan Road, drive south a mile or so on Pacific Coast Highway (1) to East Winding Way and turn left. The signed parking lot is on the left side of Winding Way. The trail actually follows the paved Winding Way for about a mile, after which you will see an obvious trail to the left. Follow the trail until it hits the stream, then just follow the trail upstream until you come to the lower falls. (Lat:34.0258 Lon:-118.78376)