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Escondido Falls Trail

EASY 1178 reviews
#1 of 1 trails in

Escondido Falls Trail is a 3.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Malibu, California that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.7 miles Elevation Gain: 626 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

Take I - 10 freeway west to the PCH. Head towards Malibu and make a right turn onto Winding Way. Park in the lot and follow the trail signs. There is a $8 fee for parking in the lot. The very beginning of this trail may be on private property.

hiking
muddy
8 days ago

hiking
muddy
12 days ago

hiking
fee
off trail
rocky
scramble
washed out
12 days ago

I don’t normally write details reviews but this needs it. As many have said, the first mile or so is through a residential road (be courteous of horses and locals), I cycled so this was quick for me. Then, the initial trial to the first waterfall, is easy, low elevation, suitable for kids & dogs. Do NOT take your bike as some posts indicate, I left mine locked to the entrance sign (before the trail start not the car park, you can take it up the public road) The first fall has a low water flow (it had been raining), kids were paddling and posing for photos. What I can’t believe is there is no sign (visible) for falling rocks, specifically as you face the fall, when I moved onto fall 2, small stones and rocks were falling down. Next, fall 2. There are no signposts and you are left to find you own way. I bumped into 4 sets of people no-one really had a clue where to go, I stopped and debated turning back twice, I deemed it pretty dangerous, I was on all fours at a few points, rocks and slate rolled down often. The only reason I carried on was because I could hear voices pointing me to the fall and actually see the fall (albeit the wrong way). You can make the fall, but no-one could work out the correct route. When I hit the fall, I asked the group there how they got there - they pointed me on the correct ‘trail’ but there is no indication of this from the foot of the trail, agree this route is slightly easier. I have no idea who is responsible for rating this easy, it is far from that - the starting part on the public road and waroiute to fall one, yes, easy. Easy, something like Runyon Canyon where you can take kids and dogs, the second part of this trail HARD without a doubt. Check my photos, at one point there is even a rope to make the climb!

hiking
muddy
no shade
rocky
22 days ago

Small parking lot could be an issue on the weekends. Must walk a mile through residential area before getting to the trailhead. Plenty of signs along the way, and easy to follow. Some poison oak once you get closer to the falls.

hiking
fee
26 days ago

fee
no shade
private property
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Nice, easy in and out hike woth no shade so bring a hat. Thr falls were not full bloom , but had some water trickling down. would do again after a good rain

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Very cool but you have to do some risky scrambling to get to the second water fall. I have a skilled climbing dog that’s used to handoffs between me and my hiking partner but alone could be rather precarious. Lots of loose rock and gravel that comes tumbling down so be smart about spacing. Also be cool butt-scooting down some of the terrain.

hiking
2 months ago

Good workout! 3.4 miles in 70 minutes on a 83°F summer day around 3pm with the sun beating down on me. Not much shade on this one. Bring a hat for sure. Very dusty dirt trails. Not much of a water fall at all.

recorded Escondido Falls Trail

hiking
2 months ago

The trail is pretty dusty and dry this September. The first “waterfall” was a trickle of water along a rock wall but the green moss was really pretty! We couldn’t figure out how to make it up to the second waterfall though. It may have washed out.

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
private property
2 months ago

Before we started the hike we parked in a small parking structure and paid $8. No one was there to claim the money you either pay in cash and use the envelope that is station by the parking lot or use a digital machine to use card. When I went the machine was not working so we paid cash. We decided to hike this trail on a weekday at around 6:50am. We had to go up hill and pass by private property homes. When we reach to the destination there is a sign that mentions where the trail starts. Tail is easy enough not to get lost and with little shade but it didn’t matter because it was the morning. As we arrived to the destination there was little water due to summer time. P.S.. Took two small (10lbs) dogs with me on the hike and they loved it

hiking
2 months ago

the way to 2nd water fall is difficult.

hiking
muddy
over grown
private property
3 months ago

$8 parking but I don’t know how often they enforce that. Small parking lot but we got there early enough we found a good spot. The trail itself is a bit underwhelming, with the beginning being paved and partially on a private road. We only went to the lower falls as the hillside didn’t look stable enough to safely continue the hike. There’s not much water right now, but it’s summer time so what can one expect? Some muddy areas, I slipped and almost fell once. The bushes next to the trail are high and slightly overgrown at the moment.

hiking
3 months ago

The trail is amazing. Good views on the way. However there is almost no water fall right now. Very less water flowing.

hiking
3 months ago

Loved this trail! Felt like a little kid all over again as we followed the river up and down. The waterfall wasn’t gorging but it was still beautiful and a peaceful rendezvous area. It’s a popular trail so don’t expect to be alone.

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