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Stinson Beach, California

Hike Cataract Falls

3 Miles Total - 1020 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally 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.

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

over 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.

Road Closed :(

Unfortunately the road (Fairfax-Bolinas Rd) is closed from W Ridgecrest Blvd. I'm not sure if the road is open approaching the trailhead from the east (driving through San Rafael & Fairfax) but as of 4/10/16 its your best bet for getting here!

over 4 years ago

Great Hike Only 1 Hour From SF

You can park at the top or bottom of the trail. I prefer the parking at the bottom and getting the hard work out of the way in the beginning. This dog-friendly trail is enjoyable year-round, but best if you can get it just after a recent rain. I hiked here right after one of the big el niño storms and it was amazing to see the falls really flowing! This is a solid hike for a day date too. Make sure to hit up Gestalt Haus on the way back through Fairfax.

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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.

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