Hike to Alamere Falls

8.4 Miles Round Trip - Out-and-Back Trail

Palomarin Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Jake Young

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 ~8.4 mile out-and-back. 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 (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.

When you reach the coast, the trail becomes very narrow and steep. You'll often notice a little traffic jam as people figure out how to navigate their way down. There are two steep parts, the first takes you just above the main part of the falls, where there are a few smaller waterfalls. Once you've had a chance to check it out, head further down the trail to get to the beach; this is where the main waterfall is located. On this last descent, give the people ahead of you a little space. There's lots of loose gravel and people coming from the opposite direction, which makes the trail a bit crowded. When you get to the beach, you'll realize why you trekked 4+ miles and waited behind a line of people for good reason - it's freaking awesome! 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!

For a safer, less challenging route (minus the additional distance), you can hike the coastal trail to Wildcat Camp, then head south along the beach to reach Alamere Falls. 

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.

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

Details

8.4 Miles
Out-and-Back Trail

Stay Nearby

Point Reyes Station, California

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Petaluma, California

San Francisco North / Petaluma KOA

Nearby Adventures

Backpack the Glen Camp Loop via the Palomarin Trailhead

17.13 Miles Round Trip - 3837 ft gain

Backpack to Point Reyes' Wildcat Camp

11.4 Miles Round Trip - 1945 ft gain

Hike and Swim at Bass Lake

5 Miles Round Trip

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Reviews

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Overall rating: 

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.

Woefully overcrowded in spring

Unfortunately this trail has been very crowded lately due to the good rains affecting the waterfall. It was difficult to enjoy nature with hikers playing their personal radios, leaving napkins and trash, and generally not having great hiking etiquette on such a crowded trail. Go on the off season when the waterfall is smaller but the nature around you is much easier to enjoy.

You'll love who you are when you are in Marin!

Marin County is just a little out there. As in one famous bridge away from San Francisco. And right next door to the vineyards and Napa and Sonoma. Closer than you could ever imagine to everything that's unique in this clever corner of California. Take a vacation from the typical vacation