Explore the most popular trails near Fairfax with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.



dogs on leash

trail running


nature trips


kid friendly

wild flowers




mountain biking


Fairfax, California Map

Incredibly busy up until the junction than peaceful and hardly a person after turning left to do the loop clock wise. Gorgeous views up top.

5 days ago

Limited parking. Recommend getting there early to get a spot. There is no parking lot, only spaces along the side of the road. Maybe 9 or 10 spaces available before your have to park farther away and walk. The hike is short, provides plenty of shade, and displays multiple views of the waterfalls. Getting here at sunrise was great to beat the crowds.

Loved this loop! it was the perfect combination of steep ups and downs but with enough leveling out that you didn't get annoyed with it!

This was a beautiful hike easy for my 7 year old to tag along and not easily exhaust him.
the ferns and trees were amazing to see.
parking was ok.

Logistically paths are narrow and often you're walking along a cliffside so be sure to go with caution if youre planning on taking a pup with you. otherwise, this was strenuous but worth it given the amazing views and how deep into the forest you got.

We did a loop and came back on o’brian and Simmons trails.the return path was much harder that the Cataract Falls hike. The falls is a great place to have lunch.

So fun! & gorgeous!

Fun loop trail. Easy quick get away.

Great challenge especially at the altitude! Took me a bit to get acclimated especially since you start climbing straightaway. Loved the different types of trails you encounter on this loop.

I could not ask more for a hike. It is not an easy hike. By the time you hit the high marsh you have climbed stairs for 2 miles... once you are down Kent trail be prepared for another mile long climb. Fitbit showed me 10 miles alltogether from the cataract trailhead. Beautiful all the time.

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.

Solid hike - some parts really nice, other parts pretty average, I extended the hike beyon what is on the site. 3 Star bc 1) Gate didn't open until late and you cant park around the TH entrance - ended up parking close a mile away from the TH 2) Lots of runners and much of the trail is pretty narrow

Great hike waterfalls bridges great scenery. Bring plenty of water and good hiking shoes

Beautiful scenery! Ton of stairs

The creek and lake were low since there hasn't been much rainfall, but we still enjoyed the hike. The forest wast lovely, and surroundings peaceful as many have written. Also there was plenty of parking at the trailhead, without fees. We added a bit to the climb back towards Rock Springs by taking the Mickey O'Brien Trial to Simmons Trial. We were surprised to exit the forest and enter a rocky Manzanita filled landscape with a some nice views of the foothills. It was a great way to round out the hike, though steep at times.

1 month ago

Short steep hike with small waterfalls. Super green during winter. Definitely loved the peace and quiet!

1 month ago

Pretty good hike! Lake’s water level was low but hopefully after winter rain it’ll be higher along with the waterfall’s flow. We will be back! Also our iPhones/ fit bits logged 9-9.5 miles... and 192 flights climbed so bring enough water and snacks and comfy shoes

Scenery constantly surprises you on this trail! Multiple waterfalls of varying lengths empty into small pools, surrounded by a moss and fern covered forest floor... you will not believe you are in Marin County! Many picturesque stops... foot bridges, lookout points, stairs made from wood, stones, and tree roots. Please be a responsible hiker with your garbage...pack in/pack out, this includes your little plastic puppy poo bags. Dogs are allowed ON LEASH. I went on a Monday, and only passed three sets of hikers (with two loose dogs) and one cyclist (which was crazy... way too many curvy steps for bikes). Nice picnic area at Laurel Dell. The sound of the waterfalls and babbling brook were icing on the cake.

Gorgeous trail. Not too crowded on pretty Saturday. Don’t forget to pay for parking *$50 ticket for me!*

Numerous waterfalls along the way and fairly limited crowds even on the weekends. Best to go right after rainfall

Load More