• Activities:

    Chillin, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    5 Miles

Adult Beverages
Easy Parking
Groups
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Swimming Hole

Everything you would want in a perfect summer day: hiking, a rope swing into a lake, picnicking, and gorgeous views.

Follow the Coast Trail from Palomarin Trailhead to Bass Lake. It's a fairly easy ~2.5-3 miles to the Lake. As soon as you pass the lake, on the left you will see a narrow unmarked dirt trail. Take this trail and you'll get to a nice clearing with easy lake access (this will be a great spot for lunch in the sun after swimming). To continue to the rope swing (which is a MUST DO), follow any of the narrow trails at the other end of the clearing. You'll soon arrive at the small steep clearing from where you'll be re-living your childhood by swinging into the lake! Don't forget to bring your swimming gear, inflatable rings to hang out in the middle of the lake, and a pack lunch! (Note: there's poison oak along the narrow trails, so you might want to avoid shorts or flip-flops.)

After enjoying the afternoon by the lake, take the same trail back and drive to your already secured camp site on Mount Tam. Feel free to stop by the town of Bolinas or Stinson Beach for a drink at the local pub before heading back to camp. You can even add a hike to Alamere Falls from Bass Lake for additional adventure (but beware of the massive crowds at this location on the weekends).

Pack List

  • Trail Map
  • Swim Suit & Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Lunch & Beverages
  • Athletic Shoes
  • Inflatable Raft (Optional)
  • Picnic Blanket
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

The tree has unfortunately fallen into the lake so the rope swing is gone, it’s still a neat swim and the half way point to alamere falls!

4 days ago
4 days ago

Great coastal hike with awesome views. If you are planning on stopping at Bass Lake, bring something to float. The water is usually pretty nice (compared to the ocean). The rope swing is a lot of fun but be careful! Make sure and grab high up on the rope to avoid rocks at the bottom. Alamere Falls is work the hike. The trail down to the beach has a lot of loose rocks, so I wouldn't take small children down that way. Also, the trail is very narrow and has lots of poison oak on either side.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Does anyone know if this hike is dog-friendly?

over 3 years ago
over 3 years ago

A lot of fun! The trail we took down to the lake was unmarked. If you take the marked one ( if there is one) it is probably longer than 2.5 mi.

over 3 years ago
over 3 years ago

Rope swing!

about 4 years ago
about 4 years ago

I went to Bass Lake a couple months ago. The hike is amazing as it takes you along a (safe) coastal cliff trail and then up into the woods towards the lake. The Rope Swing is a blast and is at NorthWest side of the lake. Make sure you grab it on the 1st or 2nd knot from the top so you don't drag your feet on the rocks.

over 4 years ago
over 4 years ago

the rope swing rules

over 4 years ago
over 4 years ago

Sarah Eichstedt

Lover of spontaneous adventures, photography, farm animals, and travel. Outdoor enthusiast by day, ICU nurse by night. Favorite adventures: sailing around the world, bicycling across the US, backpacking through South America and Africa.

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

3 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves