Carson Falls Trail

EASY 23 reviews
#16 of 51 trails in

Carson Falls Trail is a 3.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Fairfax, California that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. 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.

3.7 miles
1,003 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


It can be windy here and cool in the winter and very warm in the summer so dress accordingly.

1 month ago

There are so many beautiful trails around here that this one is just totally lackluster in comparison.
I would rate this trail as moderate, not easy. The climbs are not unsubstantial.
Majority of trail is a totally exposed fire road; no shade at all. I did this hike at 8:30 in the morning and it was still extremely hot.
Falls area was pretty, as was a brief forested area 3/4 of the way into the hike, but that was about it.

3 months ago

-good exercise with the incline on the way out and the way back.
-beautiful views
-waterfalls are always a treat
-we went on a nice spring day with a high temp of ~70, it was very warm with direct sun and only a small portion of the trail in the shade
-traffic through Fairfax was a nightmare. Took us an hour from Novato to get to the trailhead
-no bathrooms, few places to step off the trail with privacy

3 months ago

The majority of the hike is open air with no shade. Once you get to the tree line cover it’s a pretty hike. The Falls still had water. I would recommend once you see the first waterfall continue hiking down and around. The really pretty view is further down with multiple pools and falls. The dogs on leash rule is real. Park rangers peruse the area and will issue citations if caught off leash with your fur friends. The trail is also rocky in the beginning.

3 months ago

Easy enough hike, uphill then downhill, waterfall at the end is a nice treat! Beautiful views at the top!

4 months ago

Solid hike! Surprisingly solid views of Oakland, an unidentified lake, and sweeping hills along the way. Waterfall was weak while we were there but keep going down afterwards for a walk among some big trees

4 months ago

Watch your feet. Almost stepped on rattler in middle of fire road. Very comfortable rocks at falls for lunching....

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Definitely go after it rains-- there's hardly any water otherwise! This is also a more challenging hike than this page makes it seem. The first mile or so is mostly uphill on a fire road with no shade. BRING MORE WATER THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED FOR AN "EASY" 4 MILE HIKE. Especially on a warm day. I ran out about half way through and boy did that suck. The trail down to the falls is nice and shaded, but coming back up it's a decent incline. Also, because no one seems to know this, YOU CANT (AND SHOULDN'T) GO INTO THE POOLS AT THE BASE OF THE FALLS. It's all protected-- endangered frogs breed there. Nonetheless, it was a nice hike! There's also a decent amount of Poison Oak along the trail so beware.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

easy hike for the whole family

Monday, September 12, 2016

Great hike. Had the baby on the back for some extra work! Loved it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I did all the free editing I'm going to do...enjoy the hike as is

27 days ago

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