Hike to Alamere Falls

8.4 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

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.

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Alamere Falls

Wonderful hike with a perfect finish. My wife, teenage son and 17 month infant did this together. The un-maintained portion is not that rough. We were able to carry our baby in his backpack through this area with no problems. If you can, make a day of it... Watch the sunset and enjoy the falls. It was a truly magnificent experience. If you don't stay at the falls, there is a a wonderful little beach in the town of Bolinas right outside of the trailhead entrance.

over 4 years ago


The turnoff to Alamere Falls is actually really easy to miss. We were caught up in conversation on the Coast trail and didn't see the mini sign on the left (also it has a ton of graffiti on it which doesn't help with visibility), and it's a pretty small gap between the bushes. We were pretty much almost to Wildcat camp before we asked someone for directions and were told to turn around. So keep your eyes peeled! Other than that--really beautiful hike with varied scenery. Awesome weather on a spring day. Highly recommend.

Fantastic Day Hike

Five hour round trip (we took our time, you can definitely do it in way less). Fantastic hike about an hour north of the Golden Gate. Windy road to get to the trailhead (if you're coming from the south) and last mile of the road is gravel. Decent amount of parking space, but always better to start early. Trail begins with spectacular views of the ocean from high above the cliffs - you are exposed to the sun for the first half of the hike. Second half of the hike is mostly wooded and covered. No steep uphills or downhills until the very end by the waterfall. Be careful here: use all fours, common sense, and you'll be fine :) The waterfall is about 40 feet high, located on a pretty beach, and drains into the ocean which makes this fall unique. The water is cold but very refreshing (can't keep me out of the water). Take your time at the beach and soak it in. It's a really nice reward! Bring a snack/lunch for the beach, check weather for Bolinas, CA before you go, wear sunscreen, wear good walking/hiking shoes, and pack water (duh)!

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