ESCONDIDO CANYON HIKE
DISTANCE: 3.8 Miles Roundtrip (Lower Falls)
Escondido Canyon offers a gentle path through a riparian landscape of large oak trees and coastal sage scrub to a pair of seasonal waterfalls. The trail crosses Escondido Creek at several points, but unless there has been heavy rains, those crossings are generally dry. The trail begins a short distance from the Pacific Ocean and climbs moderately through a residential equestrian neighborhood before descending into the canyon itself. Once in the canyon the trail is fairly level, making this an easy hike. The lower falls grotto is a lovely shaded spot with a fairy-tale like quality even when the water isn't flowing. A scramble to the upper falls has its own rewards as you wander through the dry creek bed to the tall rocky cliff with moss hanging like stalactites from the cascade's multiple tiers. When the water flows, the upper falls are one of the finest waterfalls in southern California, but a hike through the close, tunnel-like underbrush of Escondido Canyon is always an adventure no matter what time of year you go.
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Directions to Trailhead
27807 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Take the Pacific Coast Highway (CA SR 1) to Winding Way in Malibu, CA. As you turn onto Winding Way, you will make an immediate left turn into a small parking area for the trailhead. The lot is quite small and fills up quickly even in the off season. If the lot is full, park along the Pacific Coast Highway and walk back to the parking lot. DO NOT park on the side streets or on Winding Way. These are private roads and you will be towed and ticketed.
Porta-potties are located in the northeast corner of the lot. Water is not available on the hike, so bring plenty with you. The trailhead is located at the northeast corner of the lot on Winding Way. Winding Way is a private road, so walk on the dirt path at the side of the road.