Hike to Alamere Falls

Palomarin Trailhead

Distance

8.4 Miles

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Jake Young

Bathrooms
Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

Hike to a beautiful and rare waterfall (tidefall), plummeting 40ft until it reaches the ocean. Enjoy stunning views of the pacific combined with varying terrain through forests, tall brush, and exposed dirt trails. If you hike to falls during the summer, take a swim in Bass Lake on the way back to the trailhead.

The hike to Alamere falls is ~8.4 mile out-and-back. Start at the Palomarin Trailhead located in the parking lot near the restrooms. After about 2 minutes on the trail, you'll see a map on your right that lays out the trail to the falls as well as a few campground (Sky, Wildcat, etc.). Don't be afraid to take a picture of the map if you're worried about getting lost (it never hurts to have a reference). From there, the trail connects with Coast Trail and is pretty straight forward as you head to the falls. For the first couple of miles, the trail is fairly exposed and can get warm on sunny days. The second half of the hike prior to reaching the coast is covered and wooded.

When you reach the coast, the trail becomes very narrow and steep. You'll often notice a little traffic jam as people figure out how to navigate their way down. There are two steep parts, the first takes you just above the main part of the falls, where there are a few smaller waterfalls. Once you've had a chance to check it out, head further down the trail to get to the beach; this is where the main waterfall is located. On this last descent, give the people ahead of you a little space. There's lots of loose gravel and people coming from the opposite direction, which makes the trail a bit crowded. When you get to the beach, you'll realize why you trekked 4+ miles and waited behind a line of people for good reason - it's freaking awesome! Take in the scenery, snap a few photos, and refuel, then it's back on the trail the way you came. If you want to cool off on the way back, stop at Bass Lake and go for a swim!

For a safer, less challenging route (minus the additional distance), you can hike the coastal trail to Wildcat Camp, then head south along the beach to reach Alamere Falls. 

If you're looking to grab a bite after this long trek, head to Mill Valley, specifically Avatars for some Punjabi burritos.

This hike is NOT dog friendly.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $75/night

Enchanted Forest Cosmo Site

Occidental, California

From $120/night

Mystic Mountain Petrified Camp

Santa Rosa, California

From $120/night

Serene Redwood Retreat

Ben Lomond, California

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Amazing hike

The hike is definitely not easy (around 10 miles). I would strongly recommend anyone to gear up for the hike with proper shoes and attire. Have a backpack with water, food. The force of water in the falls is not too much. You can also plan for a falls shower. Start early and come back early. The return hike took us almost 2 hours (We are average hikers). So, don't start very late. We did not encounter any wildlife. But check other's comments. I met these wonderful people on my way. This made my hike interesting. Try to have company. Regarding parking, I went at 3 PM. I got in the main parking lot. But I have heard people complaining about the parking. Embrace yourself for a 2-mile non-friendly off-road experience. My Porsche would have cried loud if it had a mouth:p.

Nice place

Great waterfalls,wonderful beach.05/20/2018

Some Updates

The hike in April 2018 was fantastic. A couple things to be aware of: 1. There is significant poison oak all along the trail, and lining extremely close-in passages at some points. Long pants & shirts highly recommended 2. The turnoff from the Coast Trail out to the falls currently has no sign or marking, and is not easily distinguished from other small turnouts. Keep a close eye on the map and don't be afraid to ask other hikers you see, so you don't miss the turn.

Distance

8.4 Miles

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Jake Young

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

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