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Bolinas, California, United States

The Coastal trail to Alamere Falls

A scenic hike in either direction with the creme' de la creme' Alamere Falls as your reward

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 (8 votes, 3 reviews)
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 8.3 miles / 13.4 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly
 
Overview: When you get to Bolinas take Mesa road to the end, the last 1.5 miles is graded not paved. The trail head is well marked on the right side of the parking lot (Palomarin Trailhead), begin your hike with a peak of the ocean through a grove of trees, as the trail winds to the right and back towards to coast your first full view of the ocean appears, the trail follows the coast with spectacular views of the ocean, Marin coastline and the Farallon islands (on a clear day), continue as the trail leaves the coast and winds though a forest and past Bass lake and Pelican lake (I like to call it ocean lake, as it sits just above the ocean), continue on for about a .5 mile along the coast to a sign marking Alamere Falls .4 miles, the trail is well marked and traveled, as you approach the falls the pounding surf first gets your attention, when you get to the falls which are four tiered, walk just past the top fall, cross over it and down to the other falls, beach access is on the right down a not so stable cliff, but manageable, I would not suggesting going down during high tide as the shale rock is slippery and there are sneaker waves that can take you away. A lot of people relax here and have lunch. The hike back is every bit as scenic. Enjoy!! I did

I took this trip again last month, the cliff down to the falls has eroded so badly it is no longer safe to go down.
As of 07/04/2014 the path is safe again.


Tips: Take layers, it can get windy and during colder months when the sun goes down the temperature drops quickly, bring a least two bottles of water and boots are suggested over tennis shoes as it can be rocky and muddy in places.

in late winter early spring whales migrate past here, there are bobcats, endangered salamanders and an other wildlife, early Spring is alive with flowers.

POISON OAK WARNING; The "unmanned" trail to the falls has poison oak along most of the .5 miles. On my trip here today 07/04/2014; a lady in shorts refused to take that path, her party turned around without seeing the falls.

Any time is a good time to take this trip.

Points of Interest

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Let's take a walk

The beginning
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Coastal View

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My Buddy

He/She is endangered, please be kind
Viewpoint
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Trail

part of the trail
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Bass Lake

A good view point about 3 miles into the trip
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Pelican Lake (I call it Ocean Lake)

it appears this lake is part of the ocean, nature at its best
Viewpoint
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Alamere Falls

Viewpoint
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Alamere Falls

This is the bottom of the 4 tierd falls, be careful during high tide
Pictures in this guide taken by: bruceco
Reviews
hikergirl88
Absolutely breathtaking! One of our top favorite hikes in the Bay Area. The trail takes you through lush canopied forests as well as open and grassy high-coastal hills. We were mesmerized by the three beautiful waterfalls you come upon at then end. The trail does get pretty tricky at the very end where you have to scramble down the side of the rocky cliff to get to the beach. The granite rocks are loose and break off easily, so you really have to take your time. We spent about an hour on the beach watching sea lions and harbor seals play in the water. The weather was perfect on the morning we went. Start your day early because the trail gets uber-crowded by midday.
Visited on Aug 10, 2013

by hikergirl88 on Aug 12, 2013
BloodyBeginner
Fabulous hike. I've done this one three times with various groups now. The last half mile is unmaintained and is a narrow trail through thick brush. But getting to the falls still makes it worthwhile. I only made it to the top of the large fall this last time since the trail to the beach was too hazardous with my 1 1/2 year old in my carrier. But solo it's passable with lots of caution. The view from the beach up is awesome.
Visited on Jun 05, 2013

by BloodyBeginner on Jun 14, 2013
marlong84
Just took the trip to the falls. The trail there is about 8 miles there and back I highly recomend to pack ligh specially if you're gonna climb down the falls. Spectacular place to see.
Visited on Sep 15, 2012

by marlong84 on Sep 19, 2012

The Coastal trail to Alamere Falls Trail Map


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About the Author

bruceco
bruceco
10 guides
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I'm a single happy man, who enjoys the outdoors, on a hiking trail by foot or equestrian, a lake or river...

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