Hike and Swim at Bass Lake

Details

Distance

6.3 miles

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Sarah Eichstedt

Bass Lake in Point Reyes National Seashore has 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).

Here is a helpful Trail Map from the NPS. 

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    Known for

    Chillin
    Swimming
    Hiking
    Adult Beverages
    Easy Parking
    Groups
    Lake
    Scenic
    Wildflowers
    Swimming Hole

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    Reviews

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    Rope Swing Gone!

    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!

    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.

    Does anyone know if this hike is dog-friendly?

    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.

    Rope swing!

    879 total saves

    4.2/5

    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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