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- Parking: very easy and plentiful, even arriving late on a sunny Saturday morning; park near the trail start
- Scenery: amazing, and quite varied! Cataract Trail is almost completely wooded and you'll see small waterfalls. Near the middle of the hike, you'll enter a beautiful expanse of green hills and flowers; it looked a little like the Wizard of Oz.
- Wildlife: we saw deer and a sleeping owl during the trail :) No birds.
- Bathrooms: there was 1 portable potty at the parking lot
- Shoes: the inclines were mostly stairs, so regular exercise shoes worked fine for me. The declines / inclines were not gravely / sandy.

Amazing waterfalls and pools all along the cataract falls trail

EXCELLENT trails - amazing views - and not so difficult.
parking is a bit of an issue.
highly recommended..

A bit rough on the old joints but awesome hike.

Came for a day trip with the family and a couple girlfriends. Was just beautiful. We walked down the entire beach. Found ship ruins and hiked up the sand dunes. Was a wonderful day will go back for sure.

Lovely short hike!!!

Awesome trail. Great scenery. Dogs allowed. So many little streams and great waterfalls. Looking forward to doing it again.

Great cliff side hike with periodic framed views west. A few boulder scrambles but well-maintained trail. Obnoxious gun fusillades at the Goat point on the weekend.

Parked at Rock Springs. Hiked counterclockwise - down Simmons-Bernstein-Kent to Alpine Lake then back up on Helen Market-Cataract Falls. Good water flow after the recent rains. Hiked: 8.4 miles, 4 hours.

Yep we did it in the pouring rain & it was still spectacular! The falls were fanastic & all the trails were streams. Its going to be amazing for the next few days while all the water rushes down. Beautiful scenery & habitats & plenty of newts hiking with us.

One of the most scenic hikes in the area. The waterfalls are amazing. We took a detour to the top of the hill across the Ridgecrest road to find some breathtaking 360 views down to Stinson beach. It was a perfect spot for lunch. It adds about 1.5 miles to the hike but is absolutely worth it.

A multitude of views, such a beautiful loop! Waterfalls, forest, meadows, lake, marshes. l'd definitely do this one again!

All future hikes will be in tough competition with this gorgeous beauty. The first mile (stairs, steps, stairs, steps, etc) is tough but the scenery is breathtaking. Cataract Falls Trail was crowded with both hikers and people strewn about the waterfalls. You can't blame them, it's awesome and peaceful. It's easy to miss the High Marsh Trail when it veers off to the left. (If you hit the open meadow and road, turn back). This is where the loop gets really unique. From deep forest to Alpine meadow to streams and the lake. Other people have said it, fuel up at the lake, you'll want to for the next mile up! That climb at the end makes the return trip down Cataract even more heavenly.

a great place to relax after an intense hike like Sky Trail. I would bring lunch next time.

Very nice trail with diverse scenery. Great views from the rock climbing spots.

You get to see people rock climbing its pretty cool!
Nice Hike

First mile or so was a climb, but there were beautiful falls to view along the way up. We went in March and there was plenty of water falling.

Arrived around 8:00 am—saw only 1 other person during first couple of hours, but trail crowded going down around 11:00. Ascent along the creek invigorating. Gorgeous views of falls and pools. After split off Cataract, terrain interesting: grassy hillsides, dry forests, marshes, rocky deserts, streams, etc, etc. Moments of utter silence in the forest. Woodpeckers. Frogs. Mosquitoes. Mosses. Ferns. Lots of shade. A fun hike though my Achilles’ tendons are aching!

One of the most gorgeous hikes in the Bay Area. The water is really flowing right now! Also, climb up the hill across from the parking lot for a truly epic view of the Bay Area.

Went here on Sunday 03/11 with my husband. Hike ended up being closer to 9 miles, but was very enjoyable! I could see it starting to get busier near the falls around 130-2pm but still a very nice hike. Trail is well maintained, and mostly shady.

Absolutely beautiful! As the previous reviews say, the beginning of the hike is vigorous for roughly 1.5 miles but stunning! I took my dog and she did great, there are a fair amount of stairs so going down was a little harder on her but other than that very dog friendly! We arrived at 7:30am and we're the first hikers out there but by the time we were done 4 hours later the trail/parking area was swamped so head out early and enjoy this beautiful hike by beating the crowd!

Great coastal walk and serene walk through the redwoods.

Went early on Sunday morning, 3/4. Take the unmarked trail to the left of the trailhead sign to go directly to Castle Rock. Didn't seem worth it to me, but to each their own. Some snow on the ground from yesterday's storm, with the sun melting snow in the trees. Wasn't expecting rain! Once I got to the falls I didn't need my raincoat. Despite the rain from yesterday, the falls were just more than a dribble. Nice hike on the Saratoga Gap side, but the Ridge trail gave much better views. It was more difficult with roots, steeper climbs, and boulders/rocks on the path, but worth it. Took me 3.5 hours with a lunch break. Nice area just west of Goat Rock to have a picnic. I hope to come back one day to do the Skyline to the Sea hike. Love having a wooded trail this close to home!

So we started our hike going to Cataract Falls, on a weekday. We didn’t see too many people, and by the time we got there the hike wasn’t too difficult. Lots of going downstairs. We kept pushing to go to the lake, and made it. But that’s when the trail became difficult! And we had already hiked 5 miles at this point and it was close to 2:30. We had to summon all our strength to push up hill the last half of the hike, which beame the hard part! At the end, my fit bit said we did over 10 miles! It was worth it and a great accomplishment, but frustrating that the site said 7.5 miles.

Beautiful trail, with a few rocks to casually climb and get hidden gorgeous views:)
Trail itself is well maintained.

Great hike, lots of climbing but its worth it. Finding a parking spot is little challenging on busy weekends but not bad!

Sanborn was pretty with all the trees but kind of boring honestly. Once we crossed over to the castle Rock side on the Saratoga gap trail it was gorgeous! Make sure you've downloaded the map because some of the intersections aren't very well marked.

This is a great hike. We went after the rainy season and the falls were fairly big. I will come back here again. We did it in February, it gets chilly. A softshell or a light jacket should be enough to keep you warm. Lots of people, you won't be alone on this trail.

Many ups and downs. Great mountain views. Fun to watch rock climbing and bouldering.

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