Monday, April 5, 2010

#118: Escondido Falls Hike

This past weekend a couple of friends invited us to Malibu for a leisurely hike to Escondido falls. This was just my kind of hike--the trail was mostly shaded and you are rewarded at the end of the trail with a beautiful waterfall (or two)!

Trail: The hike took about 2.5 hours total. There are a few narrow stream crossings where you will have to balance on rocks to get to the other side. If you have waterproof hiking boots, this is a good hike to wear them on. The trail branches off at various points. As a rule of thumb, stay to your left whenever it forks. That will get you to the waterfalls the fastest.

Photo of the trail head by Shimage

Waterfalls: There are actually two waterfalls. If you plan to go to just the first one, it's an easy, flat walk. If you plan to reach the second (bigger) waterfall, you must do a short and slightly dangerous steep climb up some rocks and dirt. It was a little tricky for me to do it in walking shoes so Brad and I stayed behind while our friends continued to the bigger falls.

Photo of the upper falls by Shimage

Parking: park at the base of Winding Way for free. When we got there at around 10:30 on Saturday the lot was full so we parked along a short road. When we left at around 1, both the lot and road were pretty much full. Walk along the paved road past some gorgeous homes until you see a sign for the trail.

Warnings: Other reviews that I read mentioned poison ivy/oak in the area. We spotted some plants that looked like poison oak, but we're not experts so we couldn't be 100% sure. With that said, it might be a good precaution to wear long pants if you plan on going to the second waterfall.

Traffic: There was a good amount of people there on a Saturday, so I felt safe (mountain lions are always in the back of my mind!). People brought their dogs too, and apparently there are horses that also go along the trail because we saw a bunch of horse poop!

Have you been to Escondido Falls? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!

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  1. I really liked this hike! :) Couple places you may want to check out (you may already know of them): Descando Gardens in La Canada, Sturtevant Falls & Sam Merril Trail which are both in the Altadena area, South Coast Botanical Garden, and Wayfarers Chapel in Palos Verdes. That's all I can think of for now. LOL :)

  2. Thanks Hybrid!!! You just reminded me about Descanso Gardens... I definitely want to check that out as well as all these other places you recommend. The Wayfarers Chapel looks gorgeous :)

  3. Just did this hike on Saturday and it was absolutely amazing. We made our way to the Upper Falls as well - (not too shabby for first timers). If you haven't returned to do so, I highly recommend you do so. It was SOOOO worth it - just beautiful. You may also want to check out Vazquez Rocks.

  4. OMG Jenn, I just googled Vasquez Rocks and the pictures look AMAZING. Definitely going! Thanks!!! :)