Cataract Falls from Rock Spring Trail is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Stinson Beach, CA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Enjoy the beautiful Catact Falls as it drains into the Alpine Lake, Manzinta groves, redwoods, and chaparral biomes offer a plethora of natural habits to relax and enjoy the soothing sighgts and sounds of nauture.
We hiked the full loop clockwise, AllTrails says 7.5 miles / 1811ft elevation gain / 4hr 42min. The time includes a brief water snack break at the lake, and a few stops along the way. This route is a more gradual hike down to the lake, and a slightly steeper, tougher hike in the second half. Which was is easier? Hard to say. I kept wondering how the heck we are STILL going downward?! And how the climb back up/out was going to be brutal! I was stunned by how much water was flowing! Even compared to Hawaii's waterfalls, it was really going. And beautiful! It had rained the night before, but still, amazing. In spite of that, the trail was not too wet or muddy. So many cool little bridges, and cascades. Hope I can hike it again before I leave the Bay.
Such a beautifull place but it's kinda of a hard trail bring lots of water too the last half of the trail is nothing but uphill so be ready for a strong finish
Great hike, definitely would recommend going clockwise so that you get the more gradual incline on the end of the hike. Lots of cute waterfalls and redwoods.
This trail is amazing!! So beautiful for the fall season.
There are a lot of waterfalls along the trail. A little low on water but it is still worth it,
Completed this 8.5 mile hike on an early Sunday morning and was overjoyed with the peace and serenity of the trails (momentarily crossed paths with less than a handful of other hikers). As mentioned in other reviews, the Cataract Trail itself is not a loop, but to make it one involves a few other trails (Helen Market Trail and Kent Trail). I made a few mistakes: backtracked once (I kept walking the Cataract Trail til it hit the road to Bolinas, oops!) and forgot where exactly I had parked so I ended up hiking a few other trails and walking out to the Laurel Dell Trail Head parking lot... then I pathetically walked another 30 mins on Ridgecrest Blvd back to the Rock Springs Trail Head parking lot, which is where I had started the hike. All in all, I'd do it again, and hopefully successfully next time! As suggested by others (and especially by me), KNOW the trails you'll need to hike and used the GPS tracking on the map of this trail just in case, it really was what helped me get a sense of direction!
Great loop! Late-August + Drought = Falls were mostly dry...but the loop was mostly shaded. It was pretty well marked. There are a few other trails that cut across, so be sure to know trail names and routes. I got tripped up at the beginning and started on Bernstein, but fairly easily hooked back onto Kent for my intended route. Kent trail was much less crowded than the Cataract trail, and there's a lovely stop at Alpine lake. No water stops along the way, so bring lots of water.
We started at the Rock Springs parking lot in the Mt. Tamalpias State Park. We followed the Cataract Trail, stop by the beautiful Alpine Lake. We made a loop by taking the Kent Trail back. All the waterfalls were dry, but it was still a beautifully wooded and cool trail in the late summer, ascending was bit of challenging. Total distance was 9 miles and 1880 feet of elevation. Totally enjoyed.
Loved that the trail was marked and clear in the beginning seemingly easy at first. Then it got steep and hard and we got turned around. Our 8.5 mile hike turned into a 12 mile hike. It was very shaded which was a plus. Bring lots of water. We brought our 2 kids they did great but I'm still surprised about that. The falls and creeks were small so I can't wait to go in the spring. We went at the end of summer. Anyhow it was a great hike, do your research cause the names of the trails change. Cataract does not loop. But I'd definitely come back
Great! Lots of stairs
Did the 8.5mile loop counterclockwise with a lunch break at the lake. Our fit bit said it was more like 10miles. Beautiful nature, abundant shade. Free parking. I would say this is a mild- moderate hike. Incline goes up and down so not too tiring. Definitely does not feel like 2100ft elevation- felt more like a few hundred. I was disappointed by that, I was expecting my legs to fall off. The falls was small, looks like a miniature Hawaii scenery. Wear hiking boots, can get slippery. Two members from the group rolled their ankles on rocks and others slipped on leaves.
It was a beautiful hike but we weren't prepared for the steep trail to get all the way to the lake. It was absolutely beautiful, though!
Beautiful trail! Wonderful water falls, creeks, and wildlife. We hiked to Alpine lake and turned around. We saw three snakes, a chipmunk, a giant banana slug.
Amazing hike.Definitely a difficult and steep climb. Kent trail can be a little tiring after doing the cataract falls trail. Beautiful views of the falls and alpine lake.
Once you're done with the lakes the Kent trail can be a bit hard (into the woods and uphill), but if you're lucky and it's a beautiful day it's really enjoyable!
It was great & fun.. loves all the water falls & little water falls.. On top of that.. great work out too.. The stairs & hills got me good lol
No mountain biking available, moderator please take off this tag it almost ruined my day. Luckily there was another trail near by to mountain bike on. Heard its a great trail for hiking though.
Tough in th whining but well worth the hike. My advice would be to start at the bottom and go up to the top instead of starting at the top and coming down. There are many many stairs you have to climb.
When the water is running this is one of the best trails in Marin. Be sure to take the upper ridge road on the way there to see some of the best views of the pacific and San Francisco.