Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Morses Gulch Trail [CLOSED] is a 1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stinson Beach, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length1 miElevation gain137 ftRoute typeOut & back
dog friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRiverWaterfallClosed
Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

Note: As of November 2020, this trail is reportedly closed and completely overgrown. Uncrowded hike to a 50 ft. waterfall Morse's Gulch Falls is a hidden beauty. Get away from the crowds on all the popular hiking trails of the Mt. Tam area. This waterfall is just a couple miles north of Stinson Beach, and is not too difficult to reach, yet you'll likely have it all to yourself. As you walk up the trail, you will find it is overgrown in places, with plenty of stinging nettles. The trail is not too difficult to follow, however, and leads to a great overlook of the 50 ft. waterfall in about a half-mile from the highway. You can scramble down a steep bank to get to the base of the falls for a different perspective. This waterfall is best seen in the winter or early spring months.

The trail is not maintained and the trailhead is not marked. Look for a pullout on the right side of the road, and a sign posted saying "no camping or overnight parking".

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, (415) 561-4700

Take Hwy #101 to the Hwy #1 Mill Valley / Stinson Beach exit. Follow Hwy #1 for 12 miles to the Panoramic Hwy just before Stinson Beach. Continue exactly 2.6 miles past the Panoramic Hwy junction to an unmarked turnout on the right.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (10)
Photos (18)
Recordings (9)
Completed (24)
View user's profile page
Ben Echols
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 11, 2020
HikingBugsOver grown

Should not be showing as an option as of November 2020. This trail is closed with a cable, mostly overgrown, covered with nettles and brambles, and has wasp nests. It clearly could be a great hike but until it’s maintained you should avoid it.

View Ben's Recording
View user's profile page
Danny Kahle
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 24, 2020
HikingOff trailOver grownScramble

the trail has potential, but it's overgrown right now (Aug 2020) - path obscured, fallen trees blocking routes if this were maintained, it would be a short hike with a fairly challenging uphill section towards a waterfall view trail was blocked as of this afternoon, so we couldn't check if the waterfall was flowing

View user's profile page
Kimmy Demkovich
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking

Aug 2020 update- too overgrown to find trail. Lots of brambles & nettles. Proceed with caution!

View Kimmy's Recording
View user's profile page
Ed Shelden Jr.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 17, 2020
HikingMuddyOff trailOver grownRockyScramble

2nd try. 1st 100 yards are the hardest, overgrown, trees down, lots of vines. On the upper part of the trail some good sole has installed hand ropes to assist in the last part of the trail to the falls. Be careful the ropes may not be secure. I recommend: Heavy clothes,No shorts or short sleeves, heavy gloves, glasses or safety glasses, heavy hat or bike helmet, a very good walking stick and maybe and extra rope. Bring a camera and maybe a GPS (real one).

View user's profile page
Declan J
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2018
Hiking

Wonderful hike! As someone who loves romping through the wilderness this was so fun. The trail is pretty hard to find, but look for the call box, and if you start walking through some fallen trees and find a steel cable, you’ve got it. I parked in the dirt pull off right before the call box. At the end of the redwoods, you night lose the trail, but if you head towards the more open yellow grass, you should be able to find it again. Went in August and the waterfall was still going nicely! The water was cold but nice to dip feet in. Didn’t get any poison oak/stinging nettle on me, but could definitely see it, so just be careful! There are ropes to help you where it gets steep, and I almost fell a few times. Just go slow and be careful! Definitely recommend.

View user's profile page
Cynthia D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 19, 2018
Hiking

The reviews are pretty spot on. This is a very off beaten path trail that seems unkept. We did a lot of bobbing, weaving, and low crawling around overgrown plants and fallen trees. The trailhead is at the call box and plenty of parking on the road but a little scary walking with dogs on a road where cars are driving pretty fast and almost no shoulder. Once we got going it was serene to have the trail to just us. The creek was very popular with my dogs. I never made it to the waterfall at the end because the trail up to it was getting a little sketch and didn’t want my dogs falling off the cliff so we turned around and just played in the water. I rate this a 3 because it was rough and almost like just walking randomly in the woods and not a real trail. But if you’re into that kind of hiking this one is for you! It really helps to keep your recording GPS in this app open to ensure you’re tracking correct because it is very unkept and not a clear trail.

View user's profile page
Kara Quan-Montgomery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 7, 2017
Hiking

This hike is a game of try-to-find the trail. Look for the call box and lower your head through the brambles, and step over a steel cable. It is overgrown and takes many twists and turns. It is a bit scary trying to find where the trail is because it is not always clear. There are lots of fallen trees to navigate and you may hit your head on some of them like me. You also may get stinging nettle through your jeans, or even slip and fall on a creek rock and hit your knee while your shoe gets totally soaked. Apparently there is a waterfall at the end... we never made it. All in all, it was kind of fun if you're seeking more of an adventure than a stroll.

View user's profile page
Rachael Hurley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 13, 2017
Hiking

This was an enjoyable hike. The trailhead is hard to find. It begins in the cut out with the telephone call box. There is a tree fallen over a cable but it isn't visible from the road. Once you get about 25yards past the cable, the gravel trail is pretty apparent. The last portion of the trail does get very narrow with a steep drop off but there are cables for you to hold on to. We really enjoyed ourselves and we didn't see another person our entire hike.

View user's profile page
Mark Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 20, 2017
Hiking

Trail head is overgrown so pull your vehicle into the next turnout about 50 yards north of the trailhead. You'll see a fallen mossy tree and metal cables it fell on. That's the new trail head. Head west and you'll run into the creek and trail. Trail is semi overgrown and the last hike up to the falls is sketchy but doable carrying two small dogs lol. Extremely beautiful hike.

View user's profile page
Eddie Gardner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 5, 2011
Hiking

The directions on this site were dead on !! one thing to add to them is there is a call box right at the entrance to the trail and is easily seen from hwy. 1. As mentioned before the trail isnt very well maintained but just follow the stream if you cant find the trail and you will find the waterfall with no problem. The trail takes you under and litterally thru a split tree which I thought was pretty cool. This was definately worth the trip, and the views on the drive there were incredible as well.