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Escondido Waterfalls - Lower and Upper

Hollywood sign hike topo map

Location : Malibu

Total distance : 4 miles round-trip (out and back) 

Elevation gain : 420 ft

Peak elevation : 538 ft

Tree Cover : Partial tree cover. Sunscreen recommended.

Parking : Parking lot here. Limited spots available.  

Trailhead : Trail starts at the parking lot, here.

Landmark : Continue on to Winding Way after exiting the parking lot.

Restroom : There is a portable restroom at the trailhead.

Note: Stay away from Poison oak plants.

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Note : If you are planning to go to Upper Escondido waterfalls have a good pair of hiking shoes with good grip is strongly recommended.

Detailed directions : Park your car in the Escondido visitor parking lot or on PCH and walk to the Escondido parking lot where the trail starts.


At little more than three quarters of a mile turn left onto Escondido trail for 1.1 miles until you reach the lower waterfalls. From this point dogs should be on leash.

Take a break at the lower waterfalls and continue up the trail to go to the upper waterfalls which is a quarter mile from here.

Upper waterfall is bigger than the lower one plus its an excellent workout for both your upper and lower body. Remember coming down is more difficult than going up. It can be dangerous if you are not careful. 

You will have to cross around 5 streams before you get to the lower waterfalls. It is a good idea to carry extra pair of shoes and socks. Most of the streams are about a foot deep.  

Poison Oak

Stay away from the Poison Oak plants on this trail to avoid rashes and blisters. Typically symptoms start appearing in 12 - 24 hours after coming in contact. Apply anti-itch cream on affected areas and see a doctor. 

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