Hike to Alamere Falls

Details

Distance

15.59 miles

Elevation Gain

1614 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Jake Young

Alamere Falls via the Palomarin Trailhead is a 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 a 12.2 mile out-and-back in Point Reyes National Seashore. 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 or bring a copy of the map from the NPS website (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.

To help maintain the natural area around the falls and to ensure a safer hike for you and anyone with you, the National Park service recommends that you hike to Wildcat Camp and then take the beach south back toward the waterfall. Once you get to the falls, 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!

There is an optional shortcut to this hike, but it is not recommended or maintained by the National Park Service. There is a small trail with shrubbery and potential for contact with poison oak. As you get to the top of the falls, there are two steep parts. The first takes you just above the main part of the falls, where there are a few smaller waterfalls. From here, head further down the trail to get to the beach; this is where the main waterfall is located. This last descent is slippery with loose gravel and can get very crowded at times making this a very challenging area. 

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. No drones are allowed. 

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Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
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Reviews

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There's No Sign To The Alamere Waterfalls

Nice hike, and very popular so get there early otherwise you will need to add another 1 or 1.5 mile to your destination due from your parking spot. The trail is intermediate challenging, and lots of indications about the trails and camping spots but not about the Alamere waterfall so I hiked all the way to wildcamp and went back south to the Waterfall via the beach. On my way back I took the way I was suppose to go since the beginning and found out that the only sign that indicated the right way to go to the waterfall was a piece of cloth that some hikers tied to a branch probably after I passed (that's what happens when you get early and avoid crowd otherwise would have been easier to just follow the crowd). Still, the long extra miles paid off. Highly recommend this trail.

We hiked to the Falls this past Sunday (it was my birthday gift to myself) - what an amazing view when you finally get through the rabbit hole of brush and fortunately someone told us about the rock-made arrow on the trail that lead us out to the ocean before getting down to the first Falls - JUST AMAZING!!!!! We found it would be good to share with other hikers to wear long pants and long sleeves to avoid the brush you have to walk through at the end of the trail. We also found letting others know that taking a pair of work gloves would be helpful when climbing down and up the rocky area. It would be great if someone (maybe my brother will go back and do it) - tying a rope to help people get down and up - lots of loose gravel so hiking shoes is best as many athletic shoes don't have great traction. If you're going with a larger group, stay together and you may want to take walkie talkies. Lots of water and energy food to keep you going should you decide to take the longer route (13+ miles) as some in our group did. I'm so grateful I was able to experience this with my family. Stay safe out there, don't litter and respect our land!! Peace Out!

We encountered a foggy morning which was the best hiking weather. Get there early if you want to get a slot in the main parking lot - we got there around 9:30 and were one of the few last to get in.

Good Distance Beautiful Views

Beautiful hike along well maintained trails, highly recommend this for anyone in the area. It gets really busy later in the morning so try to get there by 9 at the latest to avoid the crowd. The actual path to the falls is a little hard to spot, literally a hole in the bushes on the left side of the trail about 4 miles in. Some rock scramble to get down to the beach for the beautiful view of the falls. I actually recommend walking beyond the falls first on the main path for about an additional mile for a great view back over the coastline and the falls in the distance.

2973 total saves

4.5/5

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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