Alamere Falls via Coast Trail from Palomarin Trailhead

MODERATE 1250 reviews

Alamere Falls via Coast Trail from Palomarin Trailhead is a 8.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Bolinas, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from October until December.

DISTANCE
8.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,335 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

beach

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

no dogs

Alamere Falls is a tidefall waterfall that flows into the ocean in Point Reyes National Seashore, northwest of San Francisco in Marin County. This popular Bay Area coastal hike can be reached via the Coast Trail from the Palomarin Trailhead. The parking area can be accessed at the end of Mesa Road outside of Bolinas. The trail offers great views of the Pacific Ocean - including the Farallon Islands on a clear day - as well as Bass and Pelican lakes. This is a well-marked coastal trail to Alamere Falls. When you get to the falls walk just past the top fall, cross over it and down to the other falls. Beach access is on the right down a manageable but unstable cliff. Do not attempt to go down during high tide as the shale rock is slippery and rogue waves can drag visitors into the surf. Long pants and sleeves are recommended as Poison Oak does grow along the trail. The trail is maintained by the National Park Service so check out one of the visitor centers for additional information. Be careful not to miss the unmarked trail to the falls. It's about 4 miles up. There's a little rock climbing involved at the end.

hiking
20 hours ago

One of my favorite hikes of all time! I took “the long way” towards the camp site and it really paid off! Got to walk on the beautiful beach and see the falls from a distance. I recommend to wear good shoes and bring a camera.

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike!!

13 days ago

Awesome hike amazing views definitely recommend also if you have time keep going til you hit wildcat campsite, pretty tough hike getting there but easy on the way back

20 days ago

Amazing hike!!

hiking
muddy
21 days ago

Amazing hike along the coast to a beach waterfall. Easy gradual up and down hike until climbing down to the waterfalls. Come before 8am on the weekends if you want a parking spot in the lot. Otherwise you may end up parked quite a ways down the road.

I did the hike in January and started around 1:00pm and ended at 6:00pm, with a slight detour to watch the sunset at Palomarin Beach. I saw a lot of people heading out without camping gear towards the end of our hike. Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time, so you don’t get stuck hiking back in the dark.

hiking
22 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike with stunning views.
Be Warned:: the access point to the beach/falls is not marked and not easy to find. So, after the second big lake to the left, you will find a small opening in the bush. It is about a football field after the lake and at about 4 miles from parking lot. If you get to the bridge after the lakes, you have gone too far. Enjoy and always pack out what you pack in.

hiking
bugs
24 days ago

My first hike ever and it was worth it in the ending. Got to see the waterfalls. Amazing view.

hiking
26 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Hey there! Anyone know if the trail is open? I went by today and the road was closed...

Thanks!

hiking
1 month ago

great views along the way, and great payoff at the waterfall along the beach. be careful on the climb down to the beach.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike is awesome. Great ocean views, lakes, forest, waterfalls. It is one of my favorite local hikes. Well worth the trip even though it’s pretty heavily trafficked.

1 month ago

Wonderful hike! Arrived at the parking lot 10am Saturday 12/29/18 and there were still space. Relatively easy trail with indicators to the fall. There is some rock scrambling involved, so be careful. When we left 1pm, the parking lot was packed and there were cars parked along the dirt road.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best work-for-reward ratios in California. A wildly versatile out and back with very little technical terrain until the final approach to the falls. There you'll find amazing views of the pacific amongst a steady flow of water from the falls. The cliffs are an amazing spot for some food and drinks, or simply personal reflection. I also recommend the slightly more technical walk down to the beach on a steep trail off to the right (looking to the Pacific). There you'll see the falls finish their journey to the ocean. Don't sit too close to the walls though, as the rockfall is a consistent reminder that the erosion that created these cliffs is a never-ending job for mother nature.

hiking
1 month ago

Soooo worth it. Such a beautiful hike and the falls are one of a kind. The white arrow at the turn off is almost faded so be aware of where you are going.

1 month ago

gorgeous trail and amazing falls but don't miss the turn off to the falls! there are no signs indicating Alamere Falls. there is a pile of rocks in the shape of an arrow at about mile 4 that indicates the trail that leads down to the falls. it is a clear trail but we missed it because it just looks like it would be a quick/unofficial offshoot. missing it added another 4 miles for us as we decided to do the lake loop and come back. the falls were gorgeous and very unique. black sand beach. most of the trail is relatively easy, no steep parts until you get to the falls and go down to the beach.

1 month ago

my favorite trail in bay area!

backpacking
1 month ago

Great trail

2 months ago

Wonderful and relaxing hike. Easier, but longer to head down to the camp and walk up the beach to see the falls, quite the long route. Or, make sure to take a small trail to the left where a pile of painted rocks are, paint is worn FYI. Then you can head down another path that is quite steep with loose gravel requiring some climbing. Be safe and be smart.

hiking
2 months ago

Takes close to 3.5 to 4 hours round trip including breaks. The end point is beaultiful with a view of the beach. Beware of the cliffs, and there is no proper trail to get down to the beach for the view of the falls. Be safe, and enjoy the trail!

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing course where there’s a little of everything, including a secret entrance. Be prepared for the slight rock climbing when reaching the falls.

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorite hikes in the Bay! The scramble down to the beach was a bit precarious but beyond worth it! Just advisable to do with a friend or get help from another hiker to prevent falling. I’d imagine it would be challenging for older / less agile folks.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail!! Would recommend. Steep when getting down to the beach. No shorts because you need to climb on the rock. The rocks were sharp, pls be careful

2 months ago

Nice hiking beautiful waterfall

2 months ago

Tip: to avoid the unofficial and potentially dangerous descent down to the falls that some folks are warning about, the official park map has you going approx 1 mile north past the falls on Coast Trail and/or Ocean Loop trail towards the Wildcat Camp. From Wildcat you go down onto the beach and head back south to the falls, returning the same way.

hiking
2 months ago

Very Crowded. The heavy traffic on this trail has degraded the already super sketchy descent to the beach at the falls. Hopefully there are friendly hikers to help you get down. Otherwise, its questionable weather it’s worth it to go down to the beach at all. Nice trail though. Cool views and flat trails.

hiking
2 months ago

Great view especially under good weather. Not crowd at all.

3 months ago

Such a beautiful hike. Brings lots of water and snacks and/or lunch that you can eat at the falls.

3 months ago

I will start with advice, if you want the best trip to the falls check the SF tides chart. Try to get to the falls 2 hours before or after low tide, any other time there will be no beach to see the falls from, it will all be water. And you will have to stay on the rocks.
Also from the top of The falls to the bottom is very sharp loose shale rock you are on you butt going down and must use your hands and knees going up, with shorts your knees could be cut up.

The trail itself is great, it goes from hundreds of feet up above the water to completely shaded by the trees.
Not much uphill at all

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike with shade along the way. A long hike at 13-14 miles but so worth it. Take some snacks to enjoy the beach once you arrive ! It’s a busy hike but not too many people. Parking gets full very quick so unless you want to hike a couple more miles , get there early to get parking.

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