Explore waterfalls - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

waterfalls Map

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.

Well worth the headache of getting a permit!

Amazing beauty of the canyon, crystal clear rivers, and unbelievable falls. Trails are well managed and camping area is perfect.

Beautiful late winter/early spring hike. Sun was shining and because the bulk of this hike is exposed, I was able to hike shirtless to attempt to tan. The panoramic views of the Gorge and Mt Hood keep you motivated as you climb to the top; I imagine once the wildflowers bloom those will also be a great motivator. I particularly enjoyed being on the section just before the forest (the highest point).

The trail wasn’t crowded but we also went mid-week and started before 10am. I loved coming down little Moab and watching the mountain bikers, they’re crazy!!!

Amazing views!! The wild flowers were still working on coming up so I’m sure in a few weeks it’ll be even better when they’re in full bloom! No shade until the top so bring the sun screen! Wouldn’t rate it as a hard though, moderate trail for sure.

This trail has been on my list to go for about a year; finally decided to go. Parking was a little different, you have to buy your parking tickets online before going. There's no ticket attendant to sell you tickets to get in but there is a park ranger checking if you bought the ticket.

The trail wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be. I had thought the trail would be near water majority of the time but I was wrong. Overall hiking experience was fine, easy, small steep hills and plenty of shades from surrounding trees.

Waterfall is fun to watch as well. Although the waterfall didn't appear to be that big maybe because there was no snow or rain lately.

Attempted fishing as well but no luck. I fished at the two waterfalls in hopes that it was fish and it looks like it had fish but nothing was caught.

4 days ago

Amazingly magical place, especially on a nice day after a rainy season. It was just the perfect amount of challenging, and the scenery didn't let you get bored even for a minute. Go early in the morning if you prefer a more secluded hike; after 12pm this trail gets pretty busy (although, not overwhelmingly). Hubby and I actually decided to hike from the start of the Cataract Trail near the lake all the way to the beginning of Rock Springs Trailhead, and we found it to feel more complete. I'd suggest parking at the parking lot near the entrance to Rock Springs Trailhead and then walking all the way until the entrance to Cataract Trailhead. Have fun exploring!

Snow has the road to Falls rather challenging to say the least. Lots of deep snow ... no clearance. hard ... need a 4x4 and good tires!

4 days ago

Easy enough hike, uphill then downhill, waterfall at the end is a nice treat! Beautiful views at the top!

Beautiful this time of year! Great hike and workout.

I am trying to get a permit for 2 of us and I can’t get thru the phone lines. I have called continuously but no answer. Any suggestions on how else I can purchase a couple nights stay for 2 possibly 3 of us? Would they help me if I drive all the way there? Please email me if you have suggestions : chapis503@outlook.com

Love it!! Best to come after the rain !!

Came in mid-March and it was a great hike. Damp all around and the river and falls were in full force.

AMAZING. Honestly no words.

Very windy but beautiful hike

Such a beautiful place to go and see nature. The hike in was roughly 12 miles in (not the 10 everyone says). We checked in at the village and were on our way. There isn’t any signs along the way to let us know we were heading in the right direction so we used other hikers as our “guides” to know we were heading in the right direction. When we reached the first “fall” it was a disappointment (only because I thought that was where we were suppose to be and that was it). Keep going, pass the signs that say “Dangerous Unstable Ground” and pass the grave yard. When you are getting nervous you will never make it, just go a little further and you are there. This place is totally worth the sore muscles and exhaustion. We did put up our tent in close to the Natural Spring water (really made life easier to be so close to the fresh water). The hike out is daunting, tiring and makes you question every poor life choice but when you reach the top and are back in the comfort of your own vehicle, it makes you feel accomplished. Wear good supportive shoes, take ONLY what you need and hand sanitizer NEEDS to make it in your pack. Females, be prepared to “hover” in the bathrooms. Most importantly....enjoy the place....it’s absolutely beautiful and magical.

10 days ago

This was a beautiful get away but be prepared to work for it because there are a ton of stairs but mini waterfalls at every corner it was so peaceful me and my friends got there super early in fact first ones in the parking area by the time we left it was flooded with cars

11 days ago

Can feel like one long slog. Best as an overnight backpack. Have used the route to Sylvia several times over the past 20 years as a tuneup for long high altitude climb approaches. Dog poop can be problematic so watch your step.

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.

It was an amazing experience!

12 days ago

Did the full loop and it was a beautiful hike. I love how you can take the side trails that branch off the the main legacy trail. Just beware of all the horse poop!

13 days ago

Challenging trail, a lot of elevation gain, which means the downhill is also very steep. Be sure you have your trekking poles, these for sure will help when you descend.
A couple of campsites along the way, a lot of birds, and wildlife.
The fall itself is tiny, I guess in summer there will be no water. The trail branched out from the main trail and descend sharply to the bottom of the fall. Do take caution when you climb up and down. Gloves will be helpful.
Good trail for climb training too!

14 days ago

I will admit, we didn’t get the ascend part right, we were sort of all over the place! But what a great place to get lost. Appropriate hiking boots and an open mind are a must. The whole surroundings look like a painting, it’s so surreal.
Best advice: look for trail markers like stacked rocks, treaded paths and other giveaways because you could be easily deterred every 500 feet or so if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. The nice thing is, because you’re in a bowl like setting, you know which way is back to the start.
What a reward, though, when the waterfall is at full blast! Amazing experience and highly recommended.

15 days ago

I love this hike! although we went yesterday and all I can say is bring your snowshoes! guess we've got wait a couple of months to enjoy again.

This is one of my favorite trails in the Bay Area. Starting just past the dam at alpine lake, the trail takes you along one of the streams that feed the lake. You gain 1000+ elevation, but the beauty of the cascading water next to you the whole way takes your mind off the work of climbing the stairs and inclines. The trail has many trees to provide shade, and the area has a lot of ferns, moss, and other vibrant foliage to please the eye. To extend the hike, I recommend heading west at laurel dell fire road, cross ridgecrest boulevard, take coastal trail to Matt Davis, then up to pantoll. Take old mine trail to rock spring and head back down cataract trail.

Absolutely amazing!

First time hiker! What an awesome trail. As mentioned, the path off to the waterfall can be easily missed. We missed it and ended up on ocean lake loop trail only to find a coyote that made us turn around. On the way back around we saw the arrow and went down the path. I REFUSE TO BELIEVE EVERYONE IS MAKING IT DOWN THESE ROCKS TO THE WATERFALL! We started our hike around 8am so we had the entire trail to ourself. The rocky cliff at the end is steep and can easily be your demise. The rope is very helpful, however as a 30 year old man in decent shape, I had a difficult time getting down to the beach and an even more difficult time climbing up. The rocks must have changed over the years because it is definitely not safe (unless I’m just that much of a beginner) either way I enjoyed myself! Not sure if I’ll try climbing down again. It has to be another way.

Fantastic trail! Gorgeous views of the coast and an incredible waterfall at the end for more nimble hikers who can make it down the bluff.

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.

It is a beautiful view. Don’t listen to the 7.7 miles it’s more like 10 miles but it’s fine still a nice view. My aunt went with me she was 8 months pregnant it was really easy for her.

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