Head outdoors after a rainy day and experience these two hikes with waterfalls.
This is one of the biggest waterfalls in Southern California—a two-tiered, 150-foot cascade that pours down a series of limestone rocks covered in bright-green moss. You’ll start on Winding Way East, a private road in the Malibu hills that takes you uphill past ocean-view estates. After about half a mile the road will head downhill and there will be a clearly marked path to the left. This is the Escondido Canyon Trail, an adventurous path that crisscrosses streams—so be prepared for some serious rock-hopping.
About a mile in, you’ll reach the Lower Escondido Falls, which are lovely on their own—at 50 feet they rival any of the other waterfalls on this list. This is a good place for a breather, or for the less sure-of-foot it’s a lovely ending point. Everyone else should continue upwards via a clear route to the right of the falls (we suggest you opt for the official route—the other one is definitely dangerous!) for a steep climb that will take you to the Upper Escondido Falls. There’s a guide rope to help you pull yourself along, but be mindful of the slippery rocks. This path will take you under part of the lower waterfall and over more boulders until you reach the main event, a majestic tiered cascade that fans over moss-grown outcroppings.
On a hot day there’s no better reward than wading into the pool—there will probably be a couple of dogs already paddling around!—or just stand behind the waterfall letting the cool spray hit your skin.
Address: 27200 Winding Way
Trailhead: Park at the lot on Winding Way East a Pacific Coast Highway. The trailhead starts on Winding Way Road, take the clearly marked path.
Pets? Dogs allowed on leashes
Length: ~3.8 miles
Time: 120 mins
It’s easy to imagine yourself in a post-apocalyptic paradise while on this lovely Malibu hike that wends through the ruins of two properties on the way to a 30-foot waterfall that makes up for its modesty with a series of natural pools that invite exploration.
From the park entrance off Corral Canyon Road, take the gentle, shaded Solstice Canyon Trail. First up is the Keller House, a hunting cabin made of stone and built by the original owners of the canyon lands. About half a mile up the trail, you’ll reach the remains of the Roberts Ranch House, built by famed architect Paul Williams (he designed the Encounter building at LAX) as a retirement retreat for grocery store magnate Fred Roberts and his wife Florence. The Polynesian-style home—once featured in Architectural Digest—was destroyed by fire in 1982. What’s left is essentially a 3D blueprint of the property: There’s a disintegrating stove, a rusty bathtub and the remains of several walls. If not for the happy splashing of your fellow hikers, the whole scene would feel eerie. Instead, it’s a perfect spot for a picnic; add a patterned cloth, serve something out of a Mason jar and boom—Instagram magic. To make a loop, take the Rising Sun Trail back. It’s a bit of a climb, but you’ll be rewarded with a view of the Pacific through the canyon.
Address: 3998 Solstice Canyon Rd
Trailhead: Turn onto Solstice Canyon Road from Corral Canyon Road. The trailhead is clearly marked from the main parking lot.