Exploring the Escondido Falls Trail

Dec 21, 2009 by Lisa Newton

With the sun shining, cool breeze, and clear skies, this weekend I decided to explore the Escondido Falls Trail.

I love waterfalls—although I don’t think this pursuit has a psychiatric designation–nonetheless I’m always on the prowl to find “the next one.” After some research, I found the Escondido Falls Trail, which is close to where I live–it’s right off Pacific Coast Highway aka (“PCH”).

On the LAMountains.com site, it has a nice description of the hike, plus a map:

Escondido Trail Map

Following the directions, I had no trouble finding the trail’s head:

Escondido Falls Trailhead

I followed the trail–which had clearly embedded footprints leftover from our recent rain showers—and crossed onto and into a small creek; where the first fork in the road appeared:

Hmmm……………………..Choices, choices, confusion.

Because I never met a problem I felt I couldn’t solve,I looked left, and then right; and back left again, and subsequently made my executive level decision—I decided to walk on the “right side.”

After a few minutes in the “lion’s den of confusion,” I came upon a picnic table and garbage can, the same that’s on the map provided above. Because it resembled the map’s trail of the Escondido Falls–that also passes by a picnic table, I felt reassured that I was headed in the right direction, as I continued on–surrounded by the area’s picturesque hills, trees, and fresh grass.

As I walked, I passed by a sign which had a painted arrow on a fallen tree:


I’m not sure you can see it, but it says, “Waterfall.” As I walked past this sign, I considered the thought that perhaps I was headed in the wrong direction. Nonetheless onward and forward I went. The trail narrowed some, crossed the creek again, and eventually I was at the backyards of private property on each side of the trail.

A few minutes later, I was at the end of the line–no waterfalls, no prize, no magical discovery, just a concrete private driveway.

Slightly disappointed and a bit disillusioned, I realized that I wasn’t at Escondido Falls — something went awry. So I turned around, retraced my footsteps, passed by the arrow again, and went in the in the correct direction, which meant not taking my original fork in the road as my initial starting point, and continued on.

This time, success!

Walking about a mile further, I came upon Escondido Falls:

Although it was much smaller than I thought—just sitting on a rock listening to the sound of the waterfall, my entire body became relaxed and was suddenly in a deep rest. If you’re interested in exploring Escondido Falls, please make sure you take the left fork at the start of the trail—as my map below shows.

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