Escondido Falls, Malibu, CA
The Winding Way Trail in Malibu leads to the multi-tiered 150 foot tall Escondido Falls, the tallest waterfall in the Santa Monica Mountains. While the waterfall's strength is subject to the levels of precipitation, the trail to the base of the falls is a shaded, lovely stroll -- and the trail to the upper tiers of the falls is an exciting challenge for hikers who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty (or gaze off some very steep drop-offs). This is one of the most popular trails in the Santa Monica Mountains -- and with good reason.
From the parking, follow the trail along the paved road about a mile. At the Escondido Canyon Trailhead sign, head to the left, walking upstream. The trail criss-crosses the creek several times and then opens onto grassy flats. A mile into the trail you will reach the base of the waterfall. This is the lower tier of the huge limestone fall. The public parkland ends here. The upper falls are located on private property.