Cataract Falls Trail Loop

MODERATE 20 reviews
#12 of 35 trails in

Cataract Falls Trail Loop is a 7.7 mile loop trail located near Fairfax, CA that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as moderate offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.7 miles 2364 feet Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

waterfall

scramble

See Marin County's most scenic waterfalls. Cataract Creek Trail offers a perfect excuse to play hooky from work or spend a vacation day in the woods. The creek's waterfalls provide a spectacular anchor for a 7-mile loop through the scenic lands of the Mount Tamalpais Watershed. You could just hike a mile and a quarter to the top of the Cataract Creek Trail and return, but I figure if you're going to drive this deep into the Marin County backcountry, you may as well get a few hours of hiking in. The loop includes scenic vistas stretching to the Pacific Ocean, narrow single-track into the wooded hillsides into forests of young redwood and Douglas fir. Marin County has over 500 miles of trails; these are among the best.

12 days ago

Great hike! Worth the effort!

2 months ago

Beware! The road is closed 4.8 miles away from the trailhead.

4 months ago

what a lovely place.. people should know these good places.

toàn những cảnh đẹp . thiên nhiên kỹ vỹ quá. nững cảnh đẹp này còn lưu giữ đến mai sau

11 months ago

I did this trail by accident with my sister on New Years Day. It was great though, the trail was all down hill in the beginning a little steep and slippery but beautiful. It was a bit crowded but that doesn't bother me really. The falls were really very pretty, but again it was a little crowded. ALSO the traffic situation was crap! Everyone in a hurry while others are trying to appreciate and then coming out of the whole park at night was all backed up with traffic. I personally hated that the most.

1 year ago

Really fantastic hike, but it is definitely strenuous, not moderate! Beginning is very steep and then there is a lot of up and down climbs after the steep ascent. I have done several other 7 mile trails rated anywhere between moderate and strenuous. This was definitely one of the most strenuous hikes that I've done.

Scenery was really fantastic. Even though there is a drought, the stream and waterfalls were still very beautiful. You cross through all different types of terrain and surroundings - redwoods, marsh, dry scrub, etc. The lake view between the Helen Markt and Kent Trails was beautiful and very peaceful. My friend and I were the only people there for a good 15 minutes. While hiking on the Kent and High Marsh Trails, we literally only passed one other person. Definitely a great loop to do if you want some solitude (though the beginning at the Cataract Trail is very popular).

Also definitely take more water than you think you might need!!

1 year ago

Cataract Trail Loop is really great trail to be on. One my favorite one, Covered all most the times, exposed towards top multiple times.

Several small water fall and creek running all the way. Very pleasant hike. Lake side view at Kent Trail to Helen Markt Trail is great place to hangout and have food. You can meditate with emptiness of nature over their.

Good Shoe is shoe highly recommended , trail is sloppy and not well managed so be careful while walking.

Every bit is enjoyable. Falls, Mountains, RedWood, Herb Tress, Across. You will also cross are where their mark of past wilf fire.

1 year ago

Well worth the wait really loved the view. One of the earth's greatest sites!

1 year ago

The West Ridgecrest Blvd was closed at Rock Springs Parking Area when we reached there at 8am. The sign says it's open from 9am to sunset. Plan accordingly if you are taking this road.

We ended up hiking the Cataract trail back and forth from Rock Springs Parking Area instead of this loop. The first half was sunny and the second half was pretty good with the little waterfalls all over. It gets crowded by noon.

1 year ago

Started early around 7-8am It was an overcast day and they said partly cloudy and showers in the afternoon. Great trail! Tons of stairs and waterfalls along the way up. Be careful. Wear good hiking shoes. Bring snacks and water. A light workout coat if your going early. You'll eventually take it off. Great leg workout! If your into photography or even posting pictures for your friends and family on facebook and instagram. Get ready there are tons of waterfalls and great scenery to capture!

2 years ago

It was awesome trail with beautiful waterfalls . Loved it

2 years ago

This trail is one of the most beautiful ones I have done in the recent times. We started out very early in the day. We reached the cataract trail starting point by 7:45AM. There were not many visitors yet. We got the parking quite easily.

I would not recommend this to beginners. It is quite strenous and would recommend some practise before attempting it.

There are lot of waterfalls and water streams along the path. The path is good to do even on hot summer days given the fact that the path is mostly covered with huge trees and thick forest.

Make sure you enjoy the path at every phase of it. I highly recommend this trail to people who love nature. Last but not the lease, stop and take a look at the Alpine Dam which is nearby.

Happy Hiking !

3 years ago

Great hike! The beginning is steep but the waterfalls make the climb worthwhile. I finished my entire camelpak (50 oz) which I did not expect on a hike of this length so definitely plan to bring extra water.

3 years ago

Great, vigorous hike. Beautiful woods and waterfalls. So glad I brought extra water (like someone else suggested) and also sooo happy to have my hiking poles!! Not as many vista points as I was expecting, but the woods and waterfalls provided plenty of beauty.

3 years ago

This hike is indeed beautiful. I love the views of other mountains, the lake and of course, the waterfalls! I did not, however, expect that it be a serious climb... BOTH WAYS! Our GPS reported that we climbed almost 2400 ft in 7.9 miles- that's a lot for me. There are very few times during this hike where I actually felt like we were on flat ground. The steep decline (the same steep incline with lots of stairs in the beginning) on the way back felt treacherous since by that time my legs were fatigued.

3 years ago

Just starting a review here, as I have not hiked the whole trail yet. Let it be known, that the first part of the trail, is not for the faint of heart. Intense, steep ascent.

4 years ago

Wonderful hike! Thanks SO much for sharing. Bring extra water, Be sure to take Alpine Trail once you've completed Helen Market to return to the beginning!

8 years ago

nice waterfall/.............. love it

Bức tranh thiên nhiên hùng vĩ

23 years ago

i really love this place