Bolinas, California

Hike to Alamere Falls

8.4 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Jake Young

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.

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

Reviews

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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.

Guanbao Ruan

almost 2 years ago

Nice place

Great waterfalls,wonderful beach.05/20/2018

Matt Parker

almost 2 years ago

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.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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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Nearby Adventures

Backpack the Glen Camp Loop via the Palomarin Trailhead

17.13 Miles Round Trip - 3837 ft gain

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11.4 Miles Round Trip - 1945 ft gain

Hike and Swim at Bass Lake

5 Miles Round Trip

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