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Carson Falls and Pine Mountain Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(115)
Mount Tamalpais Watershed

Carson Falls and Pine Mountain Trail is a 6.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Fairfax, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 6.3 mi Elevation gain 1,335 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Fishing

Hiking

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Bugs

Muddy

Description
Waypoints (0)

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: it is reported the segment of this loop from the lake to Azalea Trail is closed for restoration. Continue past this split until you reach the Azalea Trail.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (115)
Photos (395)
Recordings (107)
Completed (259)
Tom McKewan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 02 2020
Running

We wanted to run to Pine Mountain and the see the falls only, so we did not do the hike as described. The fire road was rutted and uneven, which made it more interesting than a well-groomed road. It is very steep, exposed, and the views are tremendous. We could see from the ocean to Mt. Diablo. The last 100 yards to the summit is a bushwhack if you want to say you summited.

View Tom's Recording
Dara Lauster
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jan 20 2020
HikingBugsMuddy
View Dara 's Recording
Hallie Chen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Dec 27 2019
HikingMuddy

Lovely hike! The leg from the lake to Azalea trail that is on the highlighted route is currently closed for restoration so you have to go to a little farther and cut in on the next trail which also links up with Azalea. Favorite part is the liberty trail portion- ferns and creek. The falls are cute and small. The lake feels like infrastructure but is still beautiful. Would recommend!

View Hallie's Recording
Brian Morris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Oct 26 2019
HikingOff trail
View Brian's Recording
Jamie G.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Sep 23 2019
Hiking

given the pictures I had higher hopes for this trail and was slight disappointed. The area is very dry this time of year so the ground was hard and cracked which made the steep descents pretty treacherous and the waterfall was not flowing at all. The liberty trail part of the hike was nice and shaded with some moss covered trees that was the most enjoyable part for me.

Tony Huynh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 05 2019
HikingBugsOver grown
Martin Ignacio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 25 2019
HikingBugsMuddy
View Martin 's Recording
Trevor Smyth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 20 2019
Hiking

Carson Falls were cool. Lots of unique scenery and not busy at all.

View Trevor's Recording
Ellie A
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jan 26 2019
HikingMuddyRocky

I started hiking at Pine Mountain Road, which is a wide, gently ascending, exposed forest road. Then I linked up with Carson Falls trail which had lots of shade. Then took Little Carson Trail (with a second waterfall!) down to Kent Pump Road, another forest service road, entirely flat (with a third waterfall!) that follows Kent Lake. Then I cut up Old Vee Road, which was a steady uphill climb. I saw a fourth waterfall and towards the end up Old Vree where it joins back up with Oat Hill Road there were incredible panoramic views of the valley. Pat Hill back to Pine Mountain Road to complete the loop. The beginning and ends of the loop (plus Carson Falls itself) were moderately trafficked, but further down towards the lake and the outer parts of the loop I hardly saw anyone (January weekend). This could be done in trail running shoes but I felt better in my hiking boots.

View Ellie's Recording
Anton Fomin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jan 13 2019

The most beautiful hike I’ve ever done!

Rachel Sousa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Dec 21 2018

Great hike! I’d go again, but do NOT bring a dog. I brought mine, and we ended up pulling about 50 ticks off of him!

Dave Sanborn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Aug 26 2018

Falls were a great finish. Parking was ok...waited ~10 for one to open up but was expected. First/last 1.5 mile of the hike (fireroad) was our least favorite but overall a good Sunday outing.

Davis Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon May 07 2018

Great trail. Lightly trafficked this past Sunday. Fairly easy terrain. Lots of ticks. Found at least 12 of them on my pup. It’s tick season, not much I can do about it.

Brian Casey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 08 2018
Hiking
Roger Ostrem
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Dec 21 2017
Hiking

Be aware that the trail is closed at Carson Falls - a posted sign says trail closed due to hazardous conditions. This hike is in a beautiful area but the trail map needs to be edited and updated for accuracy. I deleted my recording due to trail map errors and will record an alternate route next time.

Sarah Vigliotti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Aug 06 2017
Hiking

A nice travel with good vantage points and a the chance to see some wildlife.

Sheila M Castro Matulac
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 01 2017
Hiking

Make sure to put on sunscreen as there are no shades for the first 1.2 miles. Just like what another reviewer mentioned, Liberty trail was not clearly marked and looked like it hasn't been used often lately. I had to check my GPS to make sure we're still on the right trail. Lots of bugs along the trail: make sure to spray bug repellant. I would go back here in spring when it will be cooler and more water at the falls.

Crystal Ackerman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Mar 29 2017
Hiking

Was on our way to Cataract Falls, but found this instead at the road closure. It was absolutely beautiful especially after new rainfall.

Amber Goiorani
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Feb 21 2017
Hiking

My family and I found this wonderful trail in April of 2016 when we couldn't get to Cataract Falls due to a rock slide closing the road. But we were happy we found this gem. And the fact that it was raining when we hiked it made the falls just that much more amazing. The views were amazing and it was decently challenging. Be on the lookout for the poison oak! There was quite a bit. And as an added bonus: Salamanders!

Mary Anne Damian
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Feb 14 2017

Great work out! A lot of waterfalls. Took advantage after the rain.

Ariana Flynn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 12 2017

So beautiful! Great variety of up and downhills. The weather was beautiful during February and not too hot! It had just rained a lot and the waterfall was full and gorgeous

Jim F
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jan 17 2017
Hiking

Great hike - as Erika stated - road closed at golf course however that was ok bc far less people (as in one) for the first few hours - the views up Pine Mountain road were amazing - falls were nice but as you can see from the pictures you cant get that close - do yourself a favor, go down the little carson trail for a few minutes, really pretty - little muddy at Old sled road at the bottom, if I had to do it over again I would have done an out and back. Happy trails

Erika Wallender
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jan 15 2017
Hiking

The road to the trail head was closed to cars at the golf course, leading to a pleasant 1.3 mile walk along the Fairfax-Bolinas road to the Azalea Hill Trail Head. We enjoyed the exercise and views on the way up to Pine Hill on the Pine Hill Fire Rd, and the beauty of Carson Falls after the big rains. On the way home we took the 1 mile Old Sled Rd back to the Bolinas-Fairfax road. The Old Sled Road included some rough terrain, but was free from people and lead us through a variety of environments and along a rushing stream. It also allowed us to create a loop out of the hike. The Old Sled Rd trail head is on the Bolinas Fairfax Rd, around 2.5 miles from the golf course where we parked. Since the road was closed (maybe this is the case on the weekends?) it was a nice walk on the road back to the car. This is a great hike for a sunny winter day!

Eleyne Phillips
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Nov 28 2016

we extended and took the fire road to nail trail before meeting up with little carson falls. portions of this hike are amazing - liberty trail and nail peak were both beautiful, interspersed with some fire road hiking. Also a quick hike along bolinas faifax road is required to link up the reservoir trail and liberty. The waterfall is gorgeous right now.

M La
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 03 2016
Hiking

Beautiful views of the North Bay and lovely wildflowers; but be careful -- the trails aren't well marked (esp. the Liberty Trail -- which seems like hardly anyone ever goes on)! Also, note: Even though it says that the road is closed, hikers and bikers can still go on the trails (just not cars).

Ola Peters
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue May 24 2016
Hiking

Breath taking views, wild flowers and fresh air. Waterfall was minimal but still nice hike.

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