Continuing to post about our adventures in Malibu, California, the last hike we did that day was Escondido Falls. This was a pretty interesting hike as you actually had to park on the highway or in a tiny parking lot at the end of a street and walk through a lavish Malibu neighborhood to get to the trail head. The other interesting part is finding the right road and finding a spot, not only are there two streets near each other with the same name but it was a little difficult to find a spot to park on the highway, this is a pretty popular hike. The time it takes you to find it though is worth it.
Once you get through the neighborhood, which is a decent walk in its own right, see the trail head sign and head into a small canyon. You almost immediately forget you just walked through a Malibu neighborhood and disappear into the Escondido Canyon Park. Besides the crowds and at times the smell, you can completely forget you the just minuets from a major highway in the middle of a beach city.
The hike is an easy 4 miles round trip, without a lot of elevation gain (although should you decide to make it to the second and third falls its almost straight up). Getting to the first waterfall, once past the residential area, is a nice walk through a wooded area, party shaded with the occasional stream passing. Like I mentioned above, expect to see plenty of people on the trail, we hiked Escondido Falls in March and were consistently passing people on the trail.
Getting to the first falls you are presented with a shallow pool and a tropical moss covered waterfall. Fare warning, depending on the season and flow of water if the can be a little stale but it improves as you move onto the second waterfall. Continuing onto the second waterfall you must scale up a hill side which is supported by ropes in a couple of areas to help with some of the steeper place. Make sure you are smart when you do this as people get badly hurt every year because they try to do more then they should. Also, depending on how crowded the trail is, these are can take a bit of extra time to get past and be a little sketch when there are lots of people.
The trek is certainly worth it though, getting to the third falls you are presented with a tropical, 150 foot multi tiered waterfall. With a nice area to hang out at a rest next to the falls, its a great area to relax, take some pictures and soak in the wonderful California weather.
Heading back down and out of the canyon you are thrust back into an amazing Malibu neighborhood, big houses, tennis courts, reality. Overall this was a really interesting hike, certainly worth doing and short enough to do along with some other hikes or activities like Point Dume and Solstice Canyon. Malibu CA is definitely a neat area to hike in and I think we really only scratched the surface. Let us know if you have some other recommendations for us.
Duration: 2 hours and 14 minutes
Length: 4.2 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 850 ft
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate depending on which falls you go to
Trail map: Click Here