Alamere Falls via Coast Trail from Palomarin Trailhead

MODERATE 1486 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 bird watching 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. The climb down to the falls is not maintained by the National Park service. It can be very dangerous. Please be cautious and wear the correct clothing and shoes. Many people get hurt and have to be airlifted out because they can not make the hike back out.

hiking
1 day ago

This place is well worth the hike. at the end its amazing view once u reach the place. just watch out there no sign for alamre falls, but there people put rocks with an arrow sign so won't go pass it. Over all great hike

hiking
3 days ago

Not a dog friendly when you reach the path down to the falls/beach. Needs a climb down to reach the beach and climb back up. Took me 3 hrs roundtrip.

hiking
3 days ago

I really like this trail, not hard, very easy.. just long... and I mean loonnng. Omg I didn't think I would make it back but I did..Lol My husband and I along with my kids (ages, 17,14,11) spent the day on this trail. Make sure to keep an eye for the split into the bush, that's the entrance to the fall. We missed this entrance and spent a good 20 min backtracking. I like that the trail was pretty shaded and not too hot. We did not go down to the base of the fall (where the fall meets the ocean ) because getting to the top of the falls required some real upper body strength. Bring at least 3 bottles per person on his hike. I would go again but without the kids this time.

hiking
3 days ago

Turn left to a side trail off the coast trail about 4 miles in.

hiking
over grown
5 days ago

A terrific trail, brilliant terrain, a little overgrown on the last mile to the falls but well worth the effort, good for all ages, mix of sun and shade

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful views definitely going back .

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
10 days ago

4 miles to Alamere Falls and 4 miles back. Just follow the map on Alltrails app and you’ll be fine. The trial is pretty well maintained except until you get to the end where it gets very narrow. About 3.8 miles in you will see the secret entrance to Alamere Falls which is a small hole like entrance with rocks shaped in an arrow to the left. It is not marked. Look out for it or you will miss it. Follow trail to the end and you will see the waterfall. The climb down is tough. Must be able to rock climb a bit to make this hike a success. If you can’t or have small children you may not be able to get down to the water fall or beach. It’s quite slippery to cross over so please be careful. I slipped and fell luckily I wasn’t hurt but lots of people fell while crossing over. My son who’s 8 did great but started getting tired when we returned back. It was 8 miles total, it was doable but not for small children. No dogs allowed but I saw several in our hike. There weren’t too many uphill climb. It was pretty level just rocky at the end to the waterfall. Overall a great hike. The view is worth it.

hiking
11 days ago

Definitely be careful at the last bit before the falls but it was so so beautiful!

hiking
rocky
11 days ago

The waterfall was amazing however there were no maps, and no proper signs directing you to falls. The way down to fall/beach is VERY difficult. Felt like we were rock climbing. Most of the trail was all dusty/dirt with rocks.

hiking
11 days ago

Well marked trail with great pay off at the end of four waterfalls. Trailhead warns of many rescues and injuries which seemed odd as it is an easy wide path until you get to the bluffs. The scrabble down from the bluffs is a little treacherous but very brief and definitely worth it.

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful California coastal hike. Crowded on a July weekend, but still worth the effort. Lots of poison oak, particularly near the falls. The scramble down to the beach (and back up) approaches rock climbing difficulty. Great views, even from the top. Parking lot can fill up on the weekend, so arrive early, or add miles on a dusty road

hiking
12 days ago

wonderful hike. would rank easy to moderate for 20 to 30 year olds. the falls are beautiful. the rocks down to the falls are a bit trecherous!

hiking
18 days ago

it's a beautifully maintained trail that has a nice wide path. There are a few uphills and down. There was a "shortcut" trail to the falls that takes off about a half hour but it's more narrow. I'm 58 with a slight walking disability, but I did fine. Take your time to enjoy the scenery and wildlife.

hiking
over grown
22 days ago

This was a great hike. I would not recommend it for old people, young children or pets (which are not allowed to begin with). The trail is a no pet and no bike trail. You follow the coastal trail all the way out until in the road there is a lovely stack of rocks and an arrow pointing to what seems like just a bush. But there is a trail there, it’s almost like a great little secret trail to the falls. The falls are beautiful (went during summer), the water is nice and cold and the sights of the falls and the ocean are beautiful. Now in order to fully get to the falls there is a little bit of a steep decline and then if you want to get down to where the falls continue off to the beach and run into the ocean, you will have to climb down a very steep section and let me tell you getting back up wasn’t that most easy thing. I also advise that if you are on the beach or keep going to the left and pass what seems to be the end, watch out for the tide so it doesn’t suddenly suck ya in and drag you away or cause you to get stuck. In my time there we also saw seals. Overall great hike with some ups and downs, some shaded and some non shaded and the most beautiful views I’ve seen on a hike.

hiking
muddy
off trail
over grown
scramble
24 days ago

Gorgeous trails of varying flora and views. Elevation to just over 1,000 feet. Pass gorgeous Bass Lake (I’m told by hikers who have swam there in the past that it has wonderful warm springs in the middle but also has leeches). Trail to falls no longer maintained and the scramble above the falls down to the beach is not for the very young, very old, or injured. Falls are gorgeous. Bathroom only at trail head. Cell service minimal. Take plenty of water and sunscreen and solid hiking shoes. And a camera!

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
25 days ago

This is a great hike. The trail is relatively flat just overgrown. It's very popular on the weekend and parking fills fast so I reccomend arriving early. About 3 miles in after the second bridge the trail splits off and you need to go onto the left side. Its overgrown and very easy to miss took me two times walking back to find the cut off on the left hand side. There is a rock arrow on the ground pointing to it but again its very easy to miss. Once you go to the left follow it all the way and it will take you to the top of the fall , it is narrow and overgrown pack light bring water. To get to the bottom of the fall is a very steep climb down and its slippery. There is only one way down to the bottom so it gets congested from people climbing both directions be patient. Make sure to check the tide as well the lower falls will be hard to get to during high tide. Bring hiking shoes , pants depends on preference but it is overgrown and does require you to slide on your butt to get down at some points , and pack light. I wouldn't suggest this for small children since it's hard to get to the beach but I saw parents do it. Please pack out what you pack in.

hiking
25 days ago

Definitely one of the best hiking trails in the Bay Area. However, with that noterierty comes crowds. The first time I hiked this trail was in 2010 and I recently hiked it on June 23rd, 2019. Over the years this spot has become more and more crowded. This past time was the first time I actually had to park about a half mile from the trailhead and when I left there were people parked at least a mile and a half from the trailhead. With that being said ... get there early. For the most part the trail is well kept the last mile is a little overgrown but that’s just part of the adventure. Now getting down to the beach is an ordeal and I’ve come to realize that over the years the scramble down has gotten more and more difficult. Maybe because of the constant wear and tear and erosion. Just be careful & be courteous of those going down at a slower pace. The beach ain’t going nowhere!

hiking
muddy
rocky
25 days ago

One of my favorite hikes. The waterfall is spectacular if visited in spring/ early summer.

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