The Escondido Falls hike is an easy way to see one of the most unique and spectacular waterfalls in Southern California. Unlike most falls, Escondido Falls is covered in moss, giving the waterfall a "bearded" look. Overall the trail is easy to follow and is a great beginner and family-friendly hike.
- Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions to Escondido Falls
- Where to Park for the Escondido Falls Hike
- Insider Tips & Recommendations
When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.
The upper falls, the highest in the Santa Monica Mountains, are now closed and on private property. This guide will get you to the safe and accessible lower falls.
Where is Escondido Falls?
This hike is a little different than most. You'll park at the official start and then walk along a paved road (on the dirt sidewalk) until you reach the "trail trail" at about 0.8 miles in. Use this trailhead address:
27751 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Gear For the Hike
There's nothing too tricky about this hike and you can do it in fitness clothes or light hiking gear. It can be hot here, so bring at least 1L of water with you.
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Escondido Falls Trail Maps
- The upper falls, the highest in the Santa Monica Mountains at 150 feet, used to be accessible via a dangerous scramble, but now it is closed. Before it was closed, it was the busiest area for the local search and rescue teams. Know that if you break the rules and go to the upper falls, you will be trespassing, financially responsible for any rescue, and potentially fined by rangers. Just enjoy the lower falls, they're pretty great.
- Escondido means "hidden."
- Escondido Falls are often dry. The best time to go is after rain or in the winter.
Escondido Falls Hike Directions
Edward Albert was an actor, Oxford attendee, godson of Laurence Oliver, and local champion of the outdoors, the environment, and Native American rights. The trail is named in his honor.
From here, just turn around and head back the way you came!
The upper falls are located on private property and are not open to the public. Hikers are asked not to climb to the upper falls to preserve the fragile habitat and to avoid the risk of serious fall injuries.Escondido Canyon Park
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This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!).
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