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Beautiful hike with ever-changing scenery! The hike is fairly flat, with some ups and downs, but nothing strenuous. There's a little path after the first large lake (about halfway into the hike) that has a swimming area and rope swing! After the second lake there's a "secret" path to the waterfalls that's marked with a rock arrow on the ground.
It took us about 3 hours round trip, and ended up being a bit shy of 8 miles since we took the secret waterfall path.

Toilet paper everywhere! Absolutely disgusting. Ruins an otherwise nice hike.

on Gray Whale Cove Trail

hiking
2 days ago

Good views, even through the fog. Nice elevation gain from the parking lot followed by a flat trail. My only complaint is that the trail was pretty overgrown or narrow in some places and LOTS of poison oak. Keep an eye out for it!

Enjoyed this trail a lot! We went early but it was still very busy. We took some of the trails off of Muir Woods and thoroughly enjoyed it!

This is our go to trail when hot or raining... The trail is under the canapy and easy to moderate... The trail is always changing and if you are lucky you will see a nice waterfall

beautiful hike

I’ve done this trail from beginning to end and back again! A few times! I love all of it, the views are amazing and so are the trails and steps! It’s one that I will keep doing until I feel accomplished with my finish time, and even then, I will still do it because I personally like it!

Beautiful hike.

hiking
8 days ago

As an amateur hiker, I found this moderately challenging but satisfying. Lots of incline but with a wonderful view. It was a beautiful scenic route and heavily shaded. Terrain was a bit loose in some areas so the correct shoes for this hike is essential. Parking was a bit confusing and I think we began at the wrong end as we started decline end first. I would not bring my children here however there was a family with small children. Overall, one of my favorites so far, definitely one to do again (in the the spring, when there’s more water)

This was a good hike. The reviews about a lot of people is not an exaggeration. However, considering it’s one of the few coastal waterfalls in the country, it was expected. Lots of up hill in both directions. Not much wild life to speak of. We hit the trailhead at approximately 9:30am. It took 3:45 round trip even after spending a little time on the beach and having my hip tighten so the last mile + was slow.

Wow!! Such a beautiful hike! This hike is a very doable hike. It has a gradual incline and brings you to breath taking views. I suggest making a day of it and start early. Enjoy the beach and relax.

There is a couple of benches towards the end of the trail that overlook the beach. Very beautiful coastal scenery! Visited 8/5/2018

Beautiful scenery along the entire trail. Some wild flowers, a cute fox, 2 lakes, cascading waterfalls, the pacific coast, and Alamere falls itself.

Tips: Bring a swimsuit if you plan to stop at Bass Lake for a swim. If the parking lot is full, you might need to park down the dirt road, possibly as far as a mile from the trailhead so factor that into the total hiking distance.

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful trail! Accessible to everyone. BUSY and people are not as quiet or necessarily as respectful as they should be. You do need to reserve your parking space if you are thinking about driving over there. It costs $8. Loved that my husband could come with me. Hes not a hiker and he was easily able to do this. Gorgeous views.

Did counterclockwise. Highlight is the alpine lake. Pristine and not even a single soul nearby as I hiked this in the evening. I had a constant fear of mountain lion as there is a sign which said "avoid hiking alone". Nevertheless, found lot of people near cataract falls. Moderate hike.

Great trail, long but not too hard for us, we went anti-clockwise.There is not too much water at the fall but the lake is nice to have a meal break. There are several restrooms at picnic area along on the trail. We started at 9 am and completed at 1:30 pm. Dog, Cat, Crocodile friendly, not so much bugs or mosquitoes. Go early and park your car under big tree. I am kidding about the crocodile anyway.

hiking
17 days ago

This is a good trail when you just want to get some distance in. It’s not too challenging and has enough shade to make it doable on an 80 degree afternoon.
The down side is not much scenic variety - mostly laurel and eucalyptus forests.. I like something a little more dramatic or varied but still totally fine and nice to get a longer hike without a long drive..
I’m not the fastest hiker and this took me pretty much exactly 3 hours.

loved this hike. I'm dead today tho

hiking
18 days ago

This is classified as a moderate hike but for the first time hiker it may be a challenge. There are many sets of steep wooden stairs. Also rock “stairs” to navigate. Dogs on leash are allowed to hike here. I would not recommend taking a dog that is not used to steep rocky hikes. My girl is a good hiker and can handle inclines but this was too difficult for her. We had to take several breaks and she only made it about halfway. Be careful going down as some of the places have gravel that can cause you to slip. Finally I would suggest going in the winter or spring. I went in the summer and though the lake was pretty the waterfalls were almost non existent.

Great hike mostly an incline up stairs and rocks. Great picnic area about 1.4 miles up. Lovely mystic look with a forest feel.

Fun trail but very busy. Bass lake is beautiful as well as the view of the ocean. Weather was perfect!

stream trail is the best, all in redwoods and always chillly

Whether you start from either French Trail or Stream Trail, there's good elevation coming in and out of it. You’ll find several picnic tables along the way and enough bathroom facilities. There's also lots of side trails to explore.

My AllTrails app suddenly stopped recording at one point so I wasn't able to full record my hike but that's ok (pardon the gap on my recording).

If you decide to hike on a weekend and choose Skyline Gate Staging Area as your starting point, try to get there before 8am to have a better chance at finding parking (vs street parking).

24 days ago

My favorite trail in SF

Did this hike on a Sunday. Stared around 8:00 am. I felt like it was a pleasant hike. Mostly easy/moderate hike. Few ups and downs along the way.

We “almost” missed the waterfall “secret” entrance. It is right after the second lake. As soon as you cross lake #2, keep and eye on your left. We saw a couple who was tired walking on the flat trail which gave us an indication of the secret passage.

When we went down, I was happy to see first waterfall and there was literally no one there. Except 3-5 other people. Then we realized there’s a ocean access which I could not find a way to. After little bit of a exploring, found a pretty rocky route. So many birds and very few people. Not the cleanest place , but we found a nice spot and ate sandwiches we had packed.

On our way back saw lots and lots of people. I am glad we started when we did :-) we finished the whole thing in 4 hours.

hiking
24 days ago

Great trail for beginner or people with some hiking experience.. close to moderate but not too difficult. If u do the hills starting from west side of the lake towards north and then looping down south on the east side of lake will be better than doing the other way around unless u r a hiker who loves going up grades.. the grade from the east side of lake for a 1/2 a mile is steep.. but otherwise the hike is generally easy to moderate.. great views.. about 9 Miles long. 3- 3 1/2 hrs

What is great about this trail is that you can make it as long or short as you like. There ate lots of trails that off shoot this trail so if you want an extension or if you want to cut it short you can. The French trail is one of my favorites because first of all it’s beautiful, it’s up-and-down to get a nice workout and no bikes!
it really is a good idea to get there early as it does get crowded and it tends to get warm as you’re making your way uphill back to the parking lot. Definitely put this one on you list!

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