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Emily Schrick

As of April 2016, the falls are flowing strong! You'll feel tons of mist as you approach the falls, so plan accordingly. The doggies loved it! With full waterfalls comes full crowds, so if you'd like more solitude, make sure you get there very early, or go around dinner time. And a brief safety note: the rocks at the base of the falls are incredibly slick! I saw many flip-flop wearing visitors attempting to get to the very base of the falls almost fall in, which could be life-threatening. It is much more safe to view the falls from the footbridge during this time of the year, but if you must venture further, at least wear some sturdy shoes and watch your footing!

Definitely an iconic Instagram sight to see. Stop by on your way to/from Palouse Falls, and be careful to not cut yourself on any rusty metal!

On a nice day you'll be able to see SF to the south! Make sure to stop by Muir Beach on your way out, especially on a nice day for some beach fun (can get crowded though)!

Being only 2 hours from SF, this is a perfect full day getaway. We did the loop backwards, parking at the last lot by Bird Island (got here at 9 am on a Sunday, we were the first in this lot). We did the Bird Island --> China Cove (saw dozens of pregnant and juvenile harbor seals!) --> South Plateau --> Carmelo Meadow --> Granite Point --> Cabin --> North Shore --> Old Veterans --> Cypress Grove (definitely do this small loop!) --> Sea Lion Point (saw tons of sea lions laying on rocks and playing in the cove!) --> Sand Hill --> South Shore all the way back to the car. Total mileage according to my Runkeeper GPS was 5.35 miles and took 4 hours (at a leisurely pace with plenty of stopping for photos, surveying the ocean for whales and sea otters, and a detour to the Whaler's Station Museum). This loop is pretty easy, with only moderate elevation gains -- perfect for a relaxing hike, or, if you're the running type, a trail run. There are a few other hikes in the interior of the park as well, though you must go to the ocean. Park maps are $2 at the entry station. You won't need one, but its actually a pretty nice map with trail and wildlife descriptions, so I'd say its worth it :) Can't wait to go back and do some diving here!