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Carson Falls and Pine Mountain Trail

MODERATE 102 reviews
#12 of 82 trails in

Carson Falls and Pine Mountain Trail is a 6.3 mile lightly 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.

Distance: 6.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,335 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash



mountain biking

nature trips


bird watching





wild flowers



over grown
2 months ago

3 months ago

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

7 months ago

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.

8 months ago

The most beautiful hike I’ve ever done!

8 months ago

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!

Sunday, August 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.

Monday, 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.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Thursday, December 21, 2017

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.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

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

Saturday, July 01, 2017

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.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

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

Sunday, February 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

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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

Sunday, January 15, 2017

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!

Monday, November 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.

Friday, June 03, 2016

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).

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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

Friday, April 29, 2016

Yes wild flowers were good this time of year 5/28/16

Monday, February 29, 2016

It is a challenge with the steep hills and stairs but well worth it!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Amazingly beautiful! Big waterfall with many levels. A tough hike but worth it indeed. Will go again!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Did this trail a while back. As mentioned the trail is a fire road for the first 1-2 miles. There are some views but the best option is to come in late April / Early may when the falls are still "falling" and the wildflowers are out.

mountain biking
Friday, November 30, 2012

This is great mountain biking riding and some might considerate demanding. The first climb up to the Pine Mtn. junction is very technical. The Repack downhill is a blast.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

One of the nicest falls in the area. I like to take Old Sled Trail rather than the Pine Mountain fire road. Do this aftee a rain and you will be richly rewarded.

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