Alamere Falls via Palomarin Trailhead

Palomarin Trailhead, California

4.5/5
based on 51 reviews

Details

Distance

13.54 miles

Elevation Gain

1614 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Jake Young

Alamere Falls via the Palomarin Trailhead is a 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 a 12.2 mile out-and-back in Point Reyes National Seashore. 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 or bring a copy of the map from the NPS website (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.

To help maintain the natural area around the falls and to ensure a safer hike for you and anyone with you, the National Park service recommends that you hike to Wildcat Camp and then take the beach south back toward the waterfall. Once you get to the falls, 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!

There is an optional shortcut to this hike, but it is not recommended or maintained by the National Park Service. There is a small trail with shrubbery and potential for contact with poison oak. As you get to the top of the falls, there are two steep parts. The first takes you just above the main part of the falls, where there are a few smaller waterfalls. From here, head further down the trail to get to the beach; this is where the main waterfall is located. This last descent is slippery with loose gravel and can get very crowded at times making this a very challenging area. 

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. No drones are allowed. 

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

Reviews

Seriously one of the most stunning and interactive hikes. Lots of range between inclines and declines so you don’t get bored, and a lot to look at when you’re on the trail. I loved the little shortcut we took that actually brought the hike down to just about 8 miles. There’s a clear indication and arrow that points to the shortcut in the last leg of the hike. We had the beach all to ourselves for about an hour! Would recommend to anyone :)

Be prepared to get muddy!

The hike is definitely not easy (around 10 miles). I would strongly recommend anyone to gear up for the hike with proper shoes and attire. Have a backpack with water, food. The force of water in the falls is not too much. You can also plan for a falls shower. Start early and come back early. The return hike took us almost 2 hours (We are average hikers). So, don't start very late. We did not encounter any wildlife. But check other's comments. I met these wonderful people on my way. This made my hike interesting. Try to have company. Regarding parking, I went at 3 PM. I got in the main parking lot. But I have heard people complaining about the parking. Embrace yourself for a 2-mile non-friendly off-road experience. My Porsche would have cried loud if it had a mouth:p.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Point Reyes' Wildcat Camp via Coast Trail

Backpack to Coast Camp in Point Reyes via Palomarin Trailhead

Glen Camp Loop via the Palomarin Trailhead

Bass Lake via Palomarin Trailhead

Cataract Falls

Relax at Stinson Beach