Hike to Carson Falls

3 miles 1000 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by M P

Carson Falls is an under-the-radar Marin waterfall best hiked in the winter. Wait until after a recent rain to see the full power of the falls.

Are you tired of crowds on your hikes? First, shame on you for getting up so late and moving so slowly. Did you really need Philz before you got on the trail?

Ok, now that you’ve been thoroughly chastised, let’s start planning a hike to the less-frequented Carson Falls. Like any of the falls in Marin, they’re obviously gushing after a big storm, but you can enjoy them most of the year anyway.

Getting there: From the 101, exit Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Take SFD to Pacheco Ave, make a left on Pacheco, a quick right onto Broadway and then a quick left onto Bolinas Rd. Stay on Bolinas for 3.8 miles. You’ll pass the Meadow Club on your left side. 1.3 miles past the Meadow Club, you’ll see a parking area on your left – park here.

Once you’re parked, carefully cross the road and head toward the gate. This is where the hike starts. Head up Pine Mountain Fire Road for ~1-mile until you reach Oat Hill Road. Head left onto Oat Hill Road for ~0.2 miles until you see a trail heading off to your right. This is Carson Falls Trail. You can take this directly to the falls.

If you reach the falls and need a little more mileage, this 3-mile hike can be turned into a 7-mile hike by continuing on Carson Falls Trail down to Kent Pump Road. This road will intersect with Old Vee Road. Head east on Old Vee until it meets up with Oat Hill. At Oat hill, hang a left, and head north until meeting back up with Pine Mountain Road. Head east on Pine Mountain, and you’ll shortly reach your car.

If you need to quench the thirst you've built up from the hike, head to Iron Springs Pub & Brewery on the way back to the freeway. If you're like us and prefer something a little south of the border, you may want to grab a burrito from Taqueria Mi Pueblo.

Photos: Stephanie

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Admin

🥇Top Contributor

almost 4 years ago

Best after a recent rain

The trail for this hike starts off uphill with a little gravel, but isn't too tough. The trail gets much easier as you begin to flatten out and then head down to the waterfall. Be sure to go after a recent rain to see the waterfall at its best.

Great day hike

Best to follow the written directions - don't use the GPS map! Went halfway to Stinson Beach before turning around, but once we got there it was a really nice hike. Lots of very steep uphill and downhill, so if you have bad knees you may want to avoid this one. The falls are really pretty, and keep getting prettier as you descend into the woods. The additional loop is worth while if you have time, as the way back up is actually less steep than if you just turned around. Make sure to turn LEFT on Kent Pump raod!

Stay Nearby

Bolinas, California

200’ To Beach! Waterfront Hideaway W/ Ocean Views

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. Admire gorgeous ocean and lagoon views from this 3BR waterfront hideaway, lo...

From $300/night

Stinson Beach, California

Beachside Bliss With Hot Tub & Outdoor Shower

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •PROPERTY OVERVIEWIndulge in beachside bliss at this 1BR delight, affectiona...

From $206/night

Stinson Beach, California

Beachside Getaway With Hot Tub & Outdoor Shower

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •PROPERTY OVERVIEWAffectionately known as the Hermosa Cottage, this single-s...

From $159/night

Stinson Beach, California

Beach Bungalow With Hot Tub, Deck & Fire Pit

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Enjoy complete relaxation amid resort-style indulgences at this 2BR/2BA bun...

From $231/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Cataract Falls

    Cataract Falls is one of the most stunning hikes in the bay area after a recent rain. The drive to the trailhead alone is beautiful as you pass Alpine Lake on Bolinas Fairfax Rd. Cataract is a 3-mile total out-and-back hike that gains 750ft in the...

    3 miles 1020 ft gain

  • A 6.2 Mile Classic Trail Run

    The Cataract Trail is a Bay Area classic! Gorgeous at any time of year, this trail gets a lot of hiking traffic in the Spring and Summer when the waterfalls that follow the route are flowing strong, but it remains well worth braving the crowds. Be...

  • Cruising Pacific Coast Highway in Northern California

    Start your drive on US Highway 1 aka Pacific Coast Highway just North of San Francisco. The drive will take about 1 -2 days so plan on overnighting somewhere. Hotels are scarce in the unpopulated areas but there all lots of Cabin rentals throughou...

  • Bouldering & BBQ at Stinson

    Stinson offers up a great beach day with a few activities for everyone to enjoy. If you head toward the south end of the beach, you'll come across a few boulder problems, including the 2 most popular: Are You Experienced and The Old Man. Are You E...