trail running

dogs on leash

nature trips


wild flowers


kid friendly



mountain biking

no dogs


2 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!

2 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.

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

Easy, kid-friendly, watch out for lots of mountain bikers/runners. Didn’t want to wait for parking, we just parked off of glenwood Avenue (about 2 street parking spots). Did this trail with two kids in tow (3 and 5 year old). Not one complained during the 3ish miles (including how far we parked from the trailhead). Plenty of shade when you get up to Gertrude-ord trail. Lots of benches.

3 days ago

Really nice hike, lots of steep uphills with rewarding end at the lake- went on a Saturday in February and there was no one else at the lake when we got there. We did somehow take a wrong turn on the way back and ended up walking back to the trailhead via the road, so take care with directions.

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

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!

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.

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.

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

Cold if you're in the mountains shade. There are much better hikes on Tam!

Hiked clockwise this time and counterclockwise last time. Both ways are enjoyable and worth repeating. Good hike, very scenic and a decent workout. Clockwise has more uphill climbing - going clockwise Bootjack to Mountain Theater is the steepest part of the loop. Clockwise time: 3 hrs.

Nothing to write home about.

Easy, quickly, refreshing

23 days ago

Wonderful trail! Parking is very limited so get there early. Lots of elevation gain but trail is well marked & maintained so take your time and enjoy the surroundings. Absolutely stunning.

24 days ago

Solid hike! Surprisingly solid views of Oakland, an unidentified lake, and sweeping hills along the way. Waterfall was weak while we were there but keep going down afterwards for a walk among some big trees

27 days ago

Beautiful but crowded on weekends the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 stars. Go on a weekday if you can for peace and serenity. Mossy and green year round. Mostly shaded With lots of ups and downs.

Beautiful hike. Hard work at the beginning, but totally worth it.

Gorgeous view of the waterfall, and it’s always fun to hike alongside waterways in Northern California! Tons and tons of stairs, so be prepared to get a workout. We continued on past the falls for about 2 miles, with even more stairs and turned back after.

I would rate this hike "hard". It's about four hours of hiking with a lot of climbing but it's worth the effort.

Lots of waterfalls and great variety of scenery. There were a lot of stairs so something to be aware of, but we loved it and thought it was a great well rounded hike. We ended up stopping a couple miles in to eat lunch, and it was very peaceful.

30 days ago

Watch your feet. Almost stepped on rattler in middle of fire road. Very comfortable rocks at falls for lunching....

Beautiful trail through what felt like an ancient forest - old craggily trees covered in moss. Varied route with meadows, views and forest. Would recommend it. Good for kids too

Excellent trail!

Absolutely gorgeous trail. Def go right at the start like other people say. However I got done at 8.5 miles not the 7 miles it says but also not the 12 plus miles other people are claiming. I also got 1900ft elevation climb whereas others seem to be different. Weird. If you go right you hit the meadow first then the alpine and then you hit a stunning stream and bridge before you hit the falls. Before the falls I only met one person along the trail. After the falls I met a lot of people. Highly recommended but get there early to avoid the crowds.

Easy trails to take. A number of options. Some more difficult than others. The parking lot gets crowded early. If you’re going mid-morning, park towards town and walk in. A beautiful short loop of a trail.

Loved the hike! The weather was perfect and was glad to have beat the crowd.

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