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Escondido Falls

A hidden waterfall near Los Angeles is a perfect one-day getaway from the city

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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The tallest waterfall of the Santa Monica Mountains, Escondido Falls is located in Escondido Canyon Park, Malibu. The waterfall consists of three sections or tiers, however, just one of them is fully accessible. The lower section features a drop of 50 feet (15 m), while the upper section has a much more impressive drop of 150 feet (46 m).

How to get to Escondido Falls

The trail to Escondido Falls is one of the easiest and most beautiful Malibu hikes. The Edward Albert Trail is just 4.2 miles (6 km) both ways and could be accessed from Pacific Coast Highway, south of Kanan Road in Malibu. The Edward Albert Trail can be used for walking, biking, or horseback riding.

The trail winds through Escondido Canyon Natural Area featuring oak and riparian woodland and sage scrub. After some walking, you will reach the base of the waterfall with a view of its lower tier. There is also a beautiful grotto located behind the falls. Two upper sections can be reached by a narrow steep path, but keep in mind that they are located on private property and are not accessible to the general public.

When is the best time to visit Escondido Falls

The Escondido Canyon Park is open for visitors year-round. However, the waterfall is dependent on the weather. Escondido Falls looks at its best during the winter months, especially when there is plenty of rainfall. Its flow is reduced to a minimum during the hot and dry periods. Escondido Creek usually goes dry in the summer and is easy to cross. If you go for a hike during the rainy period, the trail could be muddy, so beware of the possible difficulties in crossing the creek.

Where to stay at Escondido Falls

Escondido Falls Park doesn't have a campground. The nearest campgrounds are Malibu Creek State Park Campground in Santa Monica Mountains, Leo Carrillo State Park Campground, and Sycamore Canyon Campground at Point Mugu State Park.

Practical info

How do I get to Escondido Falls Trail?

Escondido Canyon Park can be reached from Pacific Coast Highway, about a mile south of Kanan Road. The trail starts at Winding Way parking lot.

How much does it cost to go to Escondido Falls?

Parking at Escondido Canyon Park is $12

Are dogs allowed at Escondido Falls?

Dogs are allowed on the trail, but must be kept on leash

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