Escondido Canyon Park offers a unique and serene outdoor experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Let’s explore this beautiful place located in Malibu!
Located in the heart of Malibu, Escondido Canyon Park boasts stunning views of the surrounding mountains, scenic hiking trails, and a tranquil creek that runs through the park.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking for a peaceful place to spend a day outdoors, Escondido Canyon Park has something for everyone.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what makes this park such a special place and why it’s a must-visit destination. So, pack your hiking shoes, grab a picnic basket, and join us on a journey to Escondido Canyon Park.
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Table of Contents
Escondido Canyon Park Hiking Trail
Escondido Falls Trail
The Escondido Falls Trail (officially, the Edward Albert Escondido Canyon Trail, some people know it as Escondido Canyon Trail) is the most popular hike in Escondido Canyon Park, and for good reason. This 2.5-mile trail takes visitors on a journey through the park to the stunning Escondido Falls.
The trail is well-maintained, with plenty of shade and benches along the way, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
The trail begins at the park’s entrance and takes visitors through a shaded path that winds its way through the canyon. Visitors will need to cross Escondido Canyon Creek 4 to 5 times. You can avoid getting wet by crossing using rocks and fallen tree trunks. However, get your mentality prepared for the possibility of ending up with wet feet.
At the end of the trail, hikers will be greeted by the stunning Escondido Falls. The waterfall cascades down into a crystal clear pool at its base, creating a serene and peaceful environment that is perfect for picnicking or plain contemplation.
The hike is considered easy in difficulty, with a few steep climbs and rocky terrain, but is manageable for hikers of all skill levels.
Some visitors decide to continue to the upper tier of Escondido Falls. I do not recommend doing this because of the precarious condition of the “trail” used to reach the top. Please be safe!
Disclosure: Escondido Falls is a seasonal waterfall flowing after winter/spring rains. If you are visiting off-season, do not expect to find a waterfall.
In addition to its scenic hiking trails, the park also offers plenty of opportunities for picnicking, bird watching, and wildlife viewing.
Picnicking is a popular activity in the park, and there are plenty of picnic tables and grassy areas to choose from.
The park is also a haven for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. The park’s tranquil creek and lush vegetation provide a habitat for birds such as the American Robin, Western Bluebird, and Black Phoebe, as well as squirrels, lizards, and other small animals.
Escondido Canyon Park is located in Malibu, and is easily accessible by car. There is a small parking lot at the park’s entrance. The cost to park in the park’s lot is $12.
Free street parking along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is available. Do not park in restricted areas. You will get a ticket. Also, exercise caution if you need to cross PCH.
Notice you will need to walk about three-quarters of a mile on Winding Road (from the parking lot) to the park’s trailhead. This will add 1.5 miles (round trip) to the 2.5 miles of trail (roundtrip). Except to hike/walk about 4 miles total (more if you park in PCH)
Visitors are encouraged to arrive early, as the parking lot can fill up quickly on weekends and during peak hiking season.
There is a portable restroom located in the park’s parking lot.
Safety Tips for Hikers
Preparation is key when hiking. Please take to heart the following advice.
Importance of Staying on the Trail
One of the most important things to keep in mind when hiking is to stay on the designated trail. Venturing off the trail can damage the park’s sensitive ecosystem and put you at risk of getting lost or injured. Additionally, staying on the trail helps to preserve the park for future generations of hikers and nature lovers.
Awareness of Wildlife
Escondido Canyon Park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including deer, squirrels, rabbits, and a variety of bird species. While these creatures are generally harmless, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and give wildlife plenty of space. Hikers should never approach or feed wildlife, as this can cause harm to the animals and put you at risk.
Carrying Adequate Supplies
Before heading out on your hike, it’s important to carry adequate supplies to ensure your safety. This includes plenty of water, food, a first aid kit, and appropriate clothing and footwear. Additionally, it’s a good idea to carry a map of the park and a charged cell phone in case of an emergency.
Sun and Heat Protection
Winter, early spring, and late fall are the best times to hike in the park. Temperatures can get quite hot during the summer months. I do not recommend hiking if the temperature is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I would reconsider hiking even if the temperature is over 90.
Regardless of temperature, it is important to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses, and applying sunscreen. Additionally, it’s a good idea to hike during the cooler parts of the day and take plenty of breaks in the shade.
Ask for help if you start feeling ill.
Escondido Canyon Park Hiking Gear
I recommend taking into consideration the following gear for day hikes:
- Wearing the right shoes is essential when hiking or walking. I recommend investing in a good pair. Merrell shoes have always been good for my crooked feet. My husband is more of a fan of the Salomon brand.
- I take the minimum with me when I go on trails. I keep everything organized in a small crossbody bag. My husband prefers to take a light day pack.
- Hiking poles are lifesavers on trails with an incline (more if you have wobbly knees).
- I protect myself from the sun with a wide bream hat, sunscreen, lip balm, and a long sleeve tee.
- Do not forget to bring water! We pack a cold beverage or hot coffee to enjoy after a hike. The THERMOS Tumblers keep drinks hot for 7 hours and cold for over 10 hours.
- I have never gotten used to taking pictures exclusively with my phone. I prefer to use the Sony Alpha a6000. It is compact and takes gorgeous pictures.
Santa Monica Mountains
There is way more to discover in the Santa Monica Mountains. I recommend checking places such as Corral Canyon, Solstice Canyon, Tuna Canyon Park, and Temescal Gateway Canyon.
I have tons of recommendations in my Malibu Hikes article.
Since you are in the area, I recommend checking out secluded Escondido Beach. The beach is located pretty much across the Escondido Canyon area (you do not have to move the car). There are two accesses to the beach: next to Geoffrey’s (a restaurant) and the other across Via Escondido Drive.
The views from the top of Point Dume are incredible! There is a lot to do around here. You can hike to the top of the promontory, chill out at Paradise Cove, stop by Zuma Beach, or check the tide pools at Dume Cove.
If you’re looking for a chance to escape the city and experience the beauty of nature, I highly recommend a visit to Escondido Canyon and Falls Park. With its serene environment and endless opportunities for adventure, it’s the perfect place to relax, recharge, and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors.
More Hikes in Southern California
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