Hike Cataract Falls

Cataract Falls - Search Nearby - Added by Griffin Moon

Cataract Falls is a good workout on the 3 mile out-and-back hike (if you go all the way to the top). There are many great spots for a photo op, so be sure to bring your camera.

Cataract Falls is one of the most stunning hikes in the bay area after a recent rain. The drive to the trailhead alone is beautiful as you pass Alpine Lake on Bolinas Fairfax Rd. Cataract is a 3-mile total out-and-back hike that gains 750ft in the first mile. Unlike Alamere Falls, where you trek for 4 miles to get to the falls, you start to see cascading waterfalls early on in the hike, which are scattered throughout the rest of the trek. Most of the hike is shaded, but you can end up shedding layers pretty quickly since you’re climbing uphill the first 1.5 miles. If you're looking for the bathrooms, they're at the top.

Distance

3 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1020 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall

Nearby Lodging

San Francisco North / Petaluma KOA

Petaluma, California

From $75/night

Enchanted Forest Cosmo Site

Occidental, California

From $120/night

Mystic Mountain Petrified Camp

Santa Rosa, California

Santa Cruz North / Costanoa KOA

Pescadero, California

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Beautiful Shaded Hike

Though the skill level says beginner, beware - this hike is more moderate due to the quick elevation gains, sets of stairs, and narrow walkways! Went yesterday and loved this hike. Note that bathrooms aren't directly at the top of the falls (and Cataracts Falls themselves aren't clearly marked - they're the falls with a pool below them right before the trail marker to keep getting to Alpine Lake). Beautiful scenery and awesome views of Bolinas, Stinson, the ocean if you hike up to Ridgecrest Road at the very top. Bring layers as it gets quite chilly in the shade, and lots of water - enjoy!

Great Hike With Lots Of Climbing

I loved this hike. Cataract Falls is one waterfall after another as you ascend 1,000 feet through some beautiful forest. Once at the top you can easily add more distance by following any of the trails at the top and looping back around.

Bel Ragay

almost 3 years ago

Yep, road is still closed.

Drive all the way from the city to find the road leading to the watershed closed.. still, even after a few months. Hopefully it opens soon.

You'll love who you are when you are in Marin!

Marin County is just a little out there. As in one famous bridge away from San Francisco. And right next door to the vineyards and Napa and Sonoma. Closer than you could ever imagine to everything that's unique in this clever corner of California. Take a vacation from the typical vacation

Tours

More Tours

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

A 6.2 Mile Classic Trail Run

Adventure

Hike to Carson Falls

Adventure

Hike the Cataract Trail Loop

Adventure

Picturesque Views from Mt. Tam's East Ridge

More Nearby Adventures