Explore the most popular forest 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.

Great hike, but echo the comments on mileage... my Fitbit said we did 13.1 miles, which when you expect 8.6 was a slog at the end. We went clockwise which meant we took the brutal cataract stairs down, instead of up. I think either direction would be an enjoyable hike though!!

beautiful hike with varying terrain- lake, forrest, “desert”- gorgeous. not what i would i consider “easy” with stairs and inclines not totally steep, but there is a significant elevation gain. you can see san pablo bay at one point. fantastic!

This is a beautiful hike, easy to moderate intensity. The view, once on top, is spectacular!!

Our dog got bit by a rattlesnake on this trail today. It’s beautiful, but please be careful!

Not an “EASY” hike. Loved it, but its far too technical to be EASY with either a steep sun-drenched grade up a fire road if entering the loop to the left, or a shady, but technical and long up-and-down single track if entering from the right of the split. IMHO, I’d head left and get the climb out of the way early in the hike and then enjoy the walk as you head toward the reservoir filled with really great views.

Fantastic trails, beautiful views. Loved that it’s dog friendly. Trail is pretty crowded in the afternoon.

hiking
23 days ago

The view was great. The kids love it. We will do it again.

Definitely difficult but absolutely beautiful and worth the effort. Completed the 7.5 miles with our dog on leash.

Very nice, kid friendly trail.

on Cataract Falls Trail

hiking
27 days ago

Great trail with beautiful waterfalls along the way. Spring is great time go. Some parts of the trail are narrow, wouldn’t recommend children. If you start the loop at alpine lake, you will hit lots of stairs and uphill so itll be tough at first but coming back will be easier. Watch out for loose rocks on the ground.

Went the day after a rain storm a couple months ago. Awesome hike

Trails maintained well. Great views and numerous waterfalls from the get-go. Trail stats says 7.7 miles but my Garmin Fenix 5x says we did 10 miles.

Come early if you want to find parking close to the trailhead as it gets crowded later in the day.

I had bit of confusion about parking (we lost cell service on the drive out, and Apple Maps plopped us on a residential street instead of the trailhead,) but we found our way over. Saw a sweet young deer and many squirrels. Really nice walk with a beautiful waterfall - my toddler and I really enjoyed ourselves!

Great trail! Beautiful scenery and great workout. The beginning is easy but then things get more challenging. Not recommandable for young children but I went with a dog and he really enjoyed it! It took me about 3 h.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked up from the school clockwise. If you’re looking at the school there is a wooden fenced trail to the left which goes behind the school. From there you can find several trails.

Trail is pretty steep with switchbacks for the first 30 minutes or so.

Saw about 20 lizards in the first mile or so.

The first mile has some tall grasses so make sure to wear pants.

The trail itself was great - could use some better signage though.

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.

Hiked clockwise around Lagunitas and then Bon Tempe. Hiking time 2 hours.

I loved the differing terrain on this hike. I agree with other reviewers, it felt a little more difficult than an “easy” hike considering how many stairs were involved...one of the best hikes I’ve been in the Bay Area!

hiking
1 month ago

Went hiking on this trail today with some friends. Absolutely beautiful trail. Great views of the falls. It’s a clime to the top, but worth the workout. A fare amount of stairs. Lots of wild flowers. Shaded in most areas. Dog friendly.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Awesome

- Parking: very easy and plentiful, even arriving late on a sunny Saturday morning; park near the trail start
- Scenery: amazing, and quite varied! Cataract Trail is almost completely wooded and you'll see small waterfalls. Near the middle of the hike, you'll enter a beautiful expanse of green hills and flowers; it looked a little like the Wizard of Oz.
- Wildlife: we saw deer and a sleeping owl during the trail :) No birds.
- Bathrooms: there was 1 portable potty at the parking lot
- Shoes: the inclines were mostly stairs, so regular exercise shoes worked fine for me. The declines / inclines were not gravely / sandy.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the best locations for many great trails! The best way to get here is going to the 'Mt Tamalpais Watershed' where you pay an $8 parking fee. There is no attendants but a pay machine that you can pay cash or card. Very convenient. There is a porta-potty if you have to go.

Unfortunately, there is no available map for your use. Good thing I used AllTrails' the know where to go exactly! There is plenty of parking even on a weekend but the parking is on gravel. This hike sees both ‘Bon Tempe lake’ and on the other side is ‘Alpine Lake'. The trail we took, took us to both.

Actually, this trail was awesome to take even if to me this was considered moderate and NOT easy; about 5+ miles loop. It takes you to many small waterfalls and rivers, big trees, large logs, bridges and stairs were killer! Don't come here if you've partied the night before. I totally regret it as it was killer on my body! Hahaha...

Some trails can be deceiving but you have to go through rocks, bridges and water beds so make use of those waterproof hiking shoes! Because of the waterfalls, water puddles and lake, beware of ticks! There is a lots of them but you can avoid by wearing long pants and socks if you can. Check your clothes before entering your car.

Most of the trail is shaded but towards the end was open space. Many of the trails are very narrow for one person. I believe this is one of the most beautiful most scenic trails I have gone through so far.

I would definitely come back here to do it again! It's a great workout! The lake is beautiful and pictures don't do justice compared to being there.

A bit rough on the old joints but awesome hike.

start at the bottom near the reservoir and work your way up. fun little challenge nice waterfall the whole hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful scenery of the waterfalls (post rain). Feels like you’re in a rainforest or jungle. Parked at Rock Springs (watershed) trail head & hiked all the way down to Alpine Lake & back. Total was a little over 8 miles w/ a slight detour on the way back. Be cautious that parts of the trail are unmarked. But if you stay along Cataract Creek you’ll be fine. Lots of steps, great workout. Halfway there is a picnic area to rest by the creek which was nice. Lots of shade & my dog enjoyed it as well.

Gorgeous hike after a big storm. A bit muddy but not too bad. Lots of company—but to be expected since the waterfalls were in full force. There are a ton of steps, uneven, a bit of scrambling in parts. Coming down requires more concentration, going up takes more lung power. A good workout both ways.

Great little hike. It was my first time there and I really enjoyed it. Although it was mid day and a great number of others.

One of the most scenic hikes in the area. The waterfalls are amazing. We took a detour to the top of the hill across the Ridgecrest road to find some breathtaking 360 views down to Stinson beach. It was a perfect spot for lunch. It adds about 1.5 miles to the hike but is absolutely worth it.

A multitude of views, such a beautiful loop! Waterfalls, forest, meadows, lake, marshes. l'd definitely do this one again!

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