Birds, Geologic Interest, Horse Trough, Pond, Waterfalls, Wildflowers
Stephanie R. on High Water Trail to Cascade Falls
Went in late August. There was no water so we got to climb all the way to the top which was nice. Great hikes for kids.
There are two inclines (if you can call them that) which don't even get your heat pumping.
But it is a nice relaxing walk.
This trail was great! Wanted to get out on a casual walk with the family and dogs on Christmas and this trail hit the spot! Luckily it had been raining for the past few days and the waterfall was raging. Parking was a little troublesome but well worth it.
Bring lots of ICE! A sentiment I overheard from an anonymous young rider and fully endorse was "get me off this bitch!" You'll be lured by the climbs which are nothing; maybe 1000' vert and not steep. The trail however is pure gnarl. The most critical apexes of the numerous switchbacks are narrow and littered with huge boulders. Many turns are so sharp and vertical that you cannot put a foot down. So whether climbing or descending you're going to need lots of brake and a lower than normal saddle height. Before even starting the ride I saw one guy with a pinch flat, another with a snapped handle bar with his arm in a sling, another with a bent derailleur hanger. On the top of the ascent which I survived, I mentioned to my buddies that there was probably no dearth of helicopter "life flights" out of this place. Indeed I had my own near death experience on the descent. I have a Cannondale Flash 29er hardtail On Sat. I would have given a left nut for a full suspension rig. The rock gardens are numerous I started getting tired and went over the bars. I cartwheeled over boulders rag dolling for a good 10-15 feet. My back, shoulder, right elbow (contused), knee (contusion) and left wrist (contusion) got scraped and bruised up good (no breaks thank you sweet Jesus.) Returned to my bike to find both hydraulic brake actuators had disengaged from the plungers, handlebars off center by 20 degrees and chain off. I continued my folly by attempting the decent conservatively, that is with plungers attached to the brake actuators with constant hand pressure. Somewhere along the trail the brakes lost all pressure. I didn't make this revelation till hurtling toward a switchback and lost all brakes. I laid it down, snapping a finger and further embedding unneeded gravel and branches into my torn flesh. Crowded, exposed and potentially deadly. The ice? Ice that shit after you crash. You'll heal much faster.
It's a QUICK 30 minute hike but was nice. It has a good resting place at the falls and is pretty cool. Completely covered trail with lots of rocks instead of water. Still nice for what I was wanting. Make sure to eat in Fairfax before it after.
Directions: Off 101 in San Rafael take exit (don't quote me) 450B
Sir Francis Drake Blvd, bear R/ heading West for about 6mi till your in Fairfax. Turn L/ on Pacheco, quick R/ on Broadway, then L/ on Bolinas Dr., Bear R/ to Cascade Dr and follow that to the end of the st. you'll come to a gate and trails ahead.
I followed a path pass the falls which brought me to an awesome overlook to the valley and continued more which turned into a game trail. I got spotted by a large coyote so turned around and headed back. Great Beer and Ice Cream in town as well.