Hike to Alamere Falls

8.4 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

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

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🥈 Contributor

over 5 years ago

As many of the other reviewers have noted, going early and beating the crowds is the way to go on this one. This should be a mandatory hike for every outdoor enthusiast in the Bay Area and a good one to get you interested, especially after it rains

over 5 years ago

Hike to Alamere Falls today with a buddy of mine and it wasn't a difficult hike at all. The only dangerous part of the hike was heading down to the falls due to loose gravel. Highly recommend heading to the falls early in the morning. We got there around 10am and by the time we were heading back to the parking lot, there were swarms of people heading towards the falls and beach.

Bring ample snacks and water; it's more strenuous than you think! Also, take your time on the scramble down to the beach; it can be a little scary!

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