Hike and Swim at Bass Lake

Palomarin Trailhead

Everything you would want in a perfect summer day: hiking, a rope swing into a lake, picnicking, and gorgeous views.

Follow the Coast Trail from Palomarin Trailhead to Bass Lake. It's a fairly easy ~2.5-3 miles to the Lake. As soon as you pass the lake, on the left you will see a narrow unmarked dirt trail. Take this trail and you'll get to a nice clearing with easy lake access (this will be a great spot for lunch in the sun after swimming). To continue to the rope swing (which is a MUST DO), follow any of the narrow trails at the other end of the clearing. You'll soon arrive at the small steep clearing from where you'll be re-living your childhood by swinging into the lake! Don't forget to bring your swimming gear, inflatable rings to hang out in the middle of the lake, and a pack lunch! (Note: there's poison oak along the narrow trails, so you might want to avoid shorts or flip-flops.)

After enjoying the afternoon by the lake, take the same trail back and drive to your already secured camp site on Mount Tam. Feel free to stop by the town of Bolinas or Stinson Beach for a drink at the local pub before heading back to camp. You can even add a hike to Alamere Falls from Bass Lake for additional adventure (but beware of the massive crowds at this location on the weekends).

Pack List

  • Trail Map
  • Swim Suit & Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Lunch & Beverages
  • Athletic Shoes
  • Inflatable Raft (Optional)
  • Picnic Blanket
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RT Distance 5 Miles
Activities Chillin, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Adult Beverages
Easy Parking
Groups
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Rope Swing Gone!

The tree has unfortunately fallen into the lake so the rope swing is gone, it’s still a neat swim and the half way point to alamere falls!

Great coastal hike with awesome views. If you are planning on stopping at Bass Lake, bring something to float. The water is usually pretty nice (compared to the ocean). The rope swing is a lot of fun but be careful! Make sure and grab high up on the rope to avoid rocks at the bottom. Alamere Falls is work the hike. The trail down to the beach has a lot of loose rocks, so I wouldn't take small children down that way. Also, the trail is very narrow and has lots of poison oak on either side.

Does anyone know if this hike is dog-friendly?


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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