Hiking Lower Escondido Canyon Falls Malibu Santa Monica Mountains

Jun 9, 2013 by

Hiking Lower Escondido Canyon Falls Malibu Santa Monica Mountains

Hiking Lower Escondido Canyon Falls Malibu Santa Monica Mountains

Location: Malibu, CA
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 3.8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 400 ft
Hike Time:  3 hours round trip
Parking: Free
Best seasons: 
Year Round
Trailhead coordinates: 34.026568, -118.780067

Trail-head: From PCH, take Winding Way, in Malibu and head north. Winding Way is a small street after Latigo Canyon, if you’re coming from Los Angeles or Winding Way is after Kanan Dune Rd, if you’re coming from the Oxnard area. Either way, there is free but limited parking on the southwest corner of Windng Way and Old Road. Additional parking can be found on PCH, where permitted. Although this is not the actual trail-head, you must park here then walk into the trail-head on the paved road surrounded by beautiful houses. The trail-head can be found at the end of Winding Way, about 3/4 of a mile up, on the left side of the street and should be fairly obvious.

Write-Up: I let Lexi pick this hike the night before. At first I thought it was too far, because of the name, but after a bit of research, I realized that it was located in Malibu, near Pepperdine University. I was looking for a hike that we hadn’t done before, and Lexi was looking for something that was refreshing, which usually means a waterfall. We found this hike online and when we clicked on the link to gave us directions, it took us to an entrance to a ranch. We quickly realized that it was wrong and dowloaded a track and followed that to the trail-head. Although finding parking and getting the trail-head was a bit tricky, we managed to make it there. We arrived at the parking lot just after 7am. There are very few parking spaces at this location, but we arrived early, so we were the second ones from a maximum of about 15-18 cars. After arriving here and starting to walk in between the beautiful houses, I remembered that I had been here a long time ago. This was actual the first time that I had met Ramiro. This hike is familiar to Sapphire Canyon Falls in Rancho Cucamonga in that you walk through the streets as beautiful homes to get to the trail-head. It’s about 3/4 of a mile up Winding Way, near the end of the street, that you come across the trail-head on the left. We didn’t see anything that mentioned Escondido Falls specifically, but we know, based on research that we were on the right track.

There are a few forks on the trail, but just after the trail-head, stick to the left and follow the creek up and that will lead you straight to the waterfall. At times you will have to cross the creek, but with the water level as low as it was, not even the soles of you shoes will get wet. It was only until after about a mile before we actually heard the sound of water trickling. It was dry in the creek, but the area around was lush and green. On our way to the falls, we heard many small animals such as Woodpeckers and Squirrels.

Surprisingly, we got to the falls a whole lot faster that we thought we would. The water was barely trickling down the falls, but you could see plant life springing up all around the mouth of the falls. We scanned the area surrounding the falls. We noticed that there was a big tree to the right of the falls that had a root system you could use to get up. We decided to give it a shot, but barely used the roots at all as holds. We did not want to damage the tree unnecessarily. The path up was slippery but not very hard to get up. At the top we encountered a few people. We once again scanned the area around so that we could try to get to the upper falls. The route up seemed a bit sketchy and we decided not to attempt it because Lexi’s arm and ankle were still a bit weak from our hike to Balanced Rock where she got hurt. We did take note of places we might safely attempt to climb up the next time we are up there. We ate and chatted with some of the people at the top of the lower falls. We were only there about 30 minutes when we decided to head back. On the way back down the lower falls, we found an easier and more obvious route, so we took that instead. We took pictures in some trees then made it back to the car. The day was still young, so we decided to head to the Santa Monica Pier and the nearby beach. A great trip on a great overcast day, and as always, we can’t wait to go back.

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1 Comment

  1. That’s a clever answer to a trikcy question

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