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This is bound to be one of the most popular posts. My business has become very busy and it hasn’t been easy to get out this week. Especially because of a last minute trip to Phoenix.
Luckily, I prepared for such an inevitability. To make sure we could keep the challenge rolling I saved a few posts for just such an occasion.
Okay let’s get to it. This completely free activity may fall under hiking so that is the category I am assigning it.
There are lots of great hiking spots in Los Angeles but unfortunately three of my favorites may have been burned in the Station Fire.
We have plenty of very impressive waterfalls to hike to as well, but this one is special because so few people know it exists.
In fact, it is named Escondido Falls in Escondido Canyon and the word “Escondido” means hidden or secret.
To get to the falls is quite a trek from the parking area but if you had small kids or anyone who couldn’t do such a trek just drop them off where the trail begins because the falls are not far from there.
Your adventure starts at the corner of Winding Way and Pacific Coast Highway. There is a parking lot just for us little people. I usually bring my truck, drop off the family at the path and ride from here. I have ridden my bike all the way to the falls many times.
The road to the trailhead is just a paved street heading back south paralleling PCH and then meandering to a meadow. You will see lots of pretty new mansions on the way and plenty of parking spaces but nothing legal.
When you get to the trail they basically all lead to the falls. When in doubt, follow the water upstream. You will have to hop the small stream a few times but even in the wettest seasons this is no big task.
Expect to encounter horses, dogs and mountain bikers on the trail.
As you walk keep looking up and about half way there you can glimpse the upper falls. Yup that’s right there are TWO Waterfalls
The falls at the bottom is around 35 ft. or so and the one at the top is nearly 150 ft.
You can see the big falls from the trail but not from the base of the first falls.
When you arrive the smell of sulpher hits you pretty strong and slowly becomes less noticeable.
The falls at the bottom make a great place to cool off.
If you have the sand you can climb the hill on the right side of the first falls to get to the base of the second taller falls where few people are.
It is an awesome spot with rock pools and cool running water. You would never think you were in Malibu.
My brother and I went even further and climbed to the top of the 150 footer and followed the stream source far back.
These pictures of the falls are not recent. They are from an El Nino year. As you can see the falls were really flowing and when I mixed these shots up with my Maui photos almost everyone guessed these falls were in Maui.
I used the older photos for two reasons. The first is they are very impressive pictures but the best reason is to motivate people not to miss this when the rain comes, because this winter we are supposed to experience El Nino weather.
However, regardless of water levels, I have always enjoyed going to the falls. It is a great spot.
The map below marks the parking lot, trail head and waterfalls. Recent construction may have cleared a shorter path but not one I have seen yet.