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Bon Tempe Cataract Falls Loop Trail is a 10.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Fairfax, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Length 10.4 mi Elevation gain 1,906 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Lake

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (1)

The watershed remains open to the public, with some restrictions, for recreational use daily from sunrise to sunset. The recent county health order prohibits vehicles and parking at the watershed, with the exception of people with disabilities who have the required disability placards or license plates for their vehicles. Parking for those with disabilities is available at our Sky Oaks parking lot. While the watershed remains open, visitors must comply with social distancing requirements of at least 6 feet. All volunteer programs that take place on the watershed have been canceled until further notice. Please note that the trail for this trail is currently closed due to COVID 19. From the Bon Tempe/Alpine Lakes parking lot head up the hill and across the levee on the right. Keep right at the split and continue on the Kent Trail alongside Alpine lake. Stay to the right and continue on the Helen Markt Trail which will intersect with the Cataract Trail at the top of the falls. you can go down the Cataract a quarter mile or so to see the falls and then come back up to the top. Continue south on the Cataract trail. There will be a number of stairs to get to the intersection of the High Marsh Trail. Take a left on the High Marsh Trail and keep to the left at all of the intersections until you reach the Stocking Trail. Make a right on the Stocking Trail and follow it until it dead ends onto the Rocky Ridge Fire Road. make a left and follow Rocky Ridge all the way back down to the levee where you head back to the parking lot.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (87)
Photos (2188)
Recordings (76)
Completed (191)
steve Ramsey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 13 2020

We hiked this yesterday, (July 12) and everything was open, including the parking lot. It filled up pretty quickly on a Sunday so arrive early. It's a beautiful hike. I'm glad we went counterclockwise... probably a little less strenuous on the 2nd half. Nothing too difficult to traverse on the entire route though.

Alexis Reid
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Apr 27 2020
HikingClosed

Trailhead currently inaccessible to vehicles - Sky Oaks Road is blocked - but it seems you can still bike into the park.

Lisa Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Mar 20 2020
Hiking

Awesome trail- we got just over 11 miles and it’s absolutely beautiful. Many changes of scenery and plenty of water in the falls. Lots of stairs and uphill made for a good workout. Also the up and down hill switches constantly so that was great. Lots of great picture spots :)

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Sarah Pallito
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 23 2020
Hiking

Gorgeous trail and waterfalls with great views

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Cara Makuh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Feb 18 2020
Hiking

Long and hard but totally worth it

View Cara's Recording
Tom LeBlanc
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 31 2019
HikingMuddy

amazing views and great waterfalls. we went opposite the normal route to get the steep slopes over with first.

View Tom's Recording
Hello World
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Nov 24 2019
Hiking

During the hike we saw a BOBCAT walking around, two Turkey Vultures sun bathing on top of trees, a male deer eating his delicious grass. On the way to our hike, we saw two Coyotes. We were so lucky that we had our binocular with us. We did not rush we just watched them. Bobcat is in upper case because it was my first time seeing it so close in its natural habitat. And obviously we seen N number of wild birds that I cannot name :( if not anything, for a chance to see all these animals you Should do this hike! Note for future hikers: If you are comfortable going up take the opposite side of the lake first, if you are comfortable going down take the lake side first. There is not anything technical in this hike but it is mostly ups and downs. We took the opposite side of the lake as I am more comfortable going up then down and it was like 5 miles all up Up up :)

View Hello 's Recording
Alexandra Cassie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Oct 14 2019
Hiking

Nice moderate trail, only made difficult by the length. Mostly shaded. Bring poles for the ascents! Easy descent, lots of stairs. Lots of deer and bird sightings!

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Meredith Obendorfer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Aug 24 2019
Hiking

Nice, decently challenging loop. I used Strava to record mileage and got 12 miles, so it was a little longer than I expected. The trail from the bottom to top of Cascade Falls is super busy but the rest of the route is quiet. I only saw one person on all of High Marsh. The hike down the fire road is a little bit of a drag but I enjoyed coming down Stocking enough to write off the fire road as part of the deal. Great views, varied terrain. A great workout too.

Thatcher Hayward
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Aug 18 2019
Hiking

Some nice quiet stretches and also some super busy (lots of people) stretches.

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Kurt P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Aug 04 2019
Hiking

Great hike! Lots of tree cover. Trail in great shape. Too bad you cannot swim in the lake!

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E Hoffman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 25 2019
HikingBugs

End of July- there were a ton of gnats. Still absolutely beautiful with great change in scenery and elevation.

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Brent Maxwell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 21 2019
Hiking

It was nice. 50% shaded

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Lauren White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 23 2019
Hiking

This trail matched the 10.4 mile estimate provided by All trails. It was an excellent hike through many habitats. Lots of waterfalls and vistas.

Marcia Belforte
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 14 2019
Hiking

Loved all but Rocky Ridge Fire road on the return. I would choose a different route without that.. We did it counter clockwise.

View Marcia's Recording
clay jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 06 2019
HikingRocky

This trail was great in the rain. Rocky enough that I didn’t slip in mud much. Beautiful running creeks and falls.

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Michael Sano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Apr 01 2019
Hiking

Beautiful hike through a lot of different terrains and by several waterfalls. It is definitely longer than 8.5 miles - our pedometer estimated 14 miles.

Lara Jordan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Sep 05 2018
Hiking

Beautiful trail with lots of different kinds of terrain. Pretty lake area and views of mt tam. Didn’t see any other people on the trail.

Molly Peck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 20 2018

Great hike, but echo the comments on mileage... my Fitbit said we did 13.1 miles, which when you expect 8.6 was a slog at the end. We went clockwise which meant we took the brutal cataract stairs down, instead of up. I think either direction would be an enjoyable hike though!!

Rochel Lemler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Aug 20 2017

8-20

Jeremy Bivaud
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 24 2017
Hiking

Don't get fooled by the "short" mileage, this is the most challenging "sub-10" hike I've ever done. The climb up to the Laurel Dell picnic site is rough especially on a hot day. Make sure to pack a lot of water since there is no water fountain on the trail. Stocking Trail is a fully exposed fire road so I recommend you do this loop clockwise so you at least hike the last couple miles in the shade. We also saw a big rattle snake on Kent Trail a little bit before the Van Wyck creek.

Tony He
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 05 2017
Hiking
Tonya Fanning
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Apr 24 2017
Hiking

The first couple of miles are breath taking with all the waterfalls! the rest of the trail is a butt kicker! lots of step ups and steep downs.

Hiroko A
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jan 30 2017
Hiking

Very beautiful trail. Mostly shady except few exposed areas. Google Map gave me a wrong route for the direction from this site. Apple Maps on my iphone from AllTrails app gave me a right one.

Bill Crain
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Sep 15 2016
Hiking

Cataract Falls is one of the prettiest hikes in the area. An out and back is good for most people and take your camera in the spring when the sun is bright and there is plenty of water in the system... 5 stars for Cataract up and back.....

Edward King
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Apr 04 2016
Hiking

Great trail with great views and the falls are awesome when the water is running. Probably not suitable for little kids as the hills are a bit strenuous. Not sure about dogs, we didn't have any in our group so we didn't have reason to ask.

AllTrails User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
Hiking
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Amanda Graham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 13 2020
Hiking
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H Otto
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 13 2020
Hiking
View H's Recording
Drew Onken
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 06 2020
Hiking
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