Cataract, High March, Kent and Mickey O'Brien Trail Loop

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Mount Tamalpais Watershed

Cataract, High March, Kent and Mickey O'Brien Trail Loop is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Stinson Beach, 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: 1,148 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash


nature trips


bird watching





wild flowers


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. Gorgeous hike through woods, meadows, chapparal with sounds of Cataract Creek and Falls. Take Cataract Trail to the High Marsh Trail, then to the CC Trail and Kent's Trail. Then, follow the Laurel Dell Fire Road for a short distance before meeting up with the Mickey O'Brian trail. Return Via Cataract

6 days ago

Road to trailhead was closed and we didn't want to hike in to the trailhead. We had to park half a mile downhill from the Pantoll entrance and walk up. Changed our plans to do the Matt Davis trail to Stinson Beach and were very happy with our choice! The trip back up from Stinson is brutal for the first mile or so, but definitely worth.

Gorgeous trail, seems longer than the AllTrails map

over grown
2 months ago

Up and down, that's all this trail does. I prefer varied straight always with both downhill and uphill. This trail was just consistent steep up and steep down.

washed out
Sun Mar 10 2019

Really great hike that makes you feel like you're in a magical forest. Super muddy and wet after the rainy season. There are many (I mean may) parts of the trail that have been turned into a stream. Wear sandals and waterproof shoes unless you want to be hiking for 5+ miles in wet socks.

Sat Dec 22 2018

What a great hike! We took music stand to cut off some of the elevation. Not one complaint. Definitely worth it.

Mon Aug 27 2018

Gentle, long hike with various terrains (dry grass, lush forest, rocky paths, and bush trees) that is great for off leash dog walking/ hiking and unplugging. There’s lots of well marked paths on the trail, allowing you to go for 1 mile or 6+ miles, with shortcuts built in should you overestimate the hike. I felt very safe as a single hiker, and rarely saw others. I did 6+ miles in about 3.5 miles with a 2 year old puppy. Please bring enough water for the trip- there’s no water source once you’re in. Also there are lots of random picnic tables for you to enjoy and plenty of bathrooms on the route, so bringing food would be enjoyable.

Mon Apr 09 2018

Arrived at 9 am and completed around noon. Pretty hike with lots of variation of height, steams, and views. Very dog friendly which was nice. Was a bit wet when I went due to recent rainfall which made parts muddy. Was very packed when we left at noon

Sun Jul 16 2017

This trail is closed due to fire danger :(

Mon May 01 2017

Great hike. Wonderful combination of sights and terrain. Mickey O'Brian trail was a little unkempt and hard to follow but it's fairly easy to find your way back to Cataract trail. Absolutely recommended.

Mon Apr 24 2017

Beautiful day hike with many streams, marsh area, waterfalls, ocean views and meadows with wild flowers.

Thu Mar 30 2017

Beautiful hike with a wide variety of scenery. Cataract trail was muddy next to the river, so wear boots if it has rained lately. Cataract trail was busy, but there was no one once we turned onto the High Marsh trail. There were a couple of restrooms (pit toilets) along the trail. Make sure to pay attention to the map here on the app when making the switch from High Marsh trail to the Kent trail, the trails weren't marked well back there.

Sun Mar 19 2017

Great hikes, beautiful views, just enough hills and flats. Took about three hours. Highly recommend.

Mon May 16 2016

great wild flowers out this time of year!

Wed Jul 31 2013

My wife and two dogs were able to complete this hike in about 3 hours at a comfortable pace on a nice July day. We parked at Rock Springs parking lot and there was plenty of room. For those taking the dog, this trail allows for Fido to come along but many in the area do not. The creeks and falls were all dried up so I recommend that it around late spring. Our route: Cataract Trail to Laurel Dell. Continue past Laurel Dell to the fork. If you go left on Cataract it will lead you to Alpine Lake, head right to get onto High Marsh Trail. After the initial climb you'll head downhill for a fair amount of time after about half way the climb begins and continues for the remainder of the hike. We continued on High Marsh and then went up Cross Country until we reached Kent Trail. Hung a right and walked for ten minutes until we reached Potrero Meadows Picnic Area(a nice place for lunch) Continued on Kent until we were on the fire road, went left and took a right at the Benstein Trail. This led us pack to the Cataract trailhead.

Sat Jun 09 2012

Great hike to do with kids -- gorgeous views, meadows, streams and diversity of landscape. Highly recommended, especially in early spring when there is more water in Cataract Creek and Falls. Bring a picnic and plenty of water.

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