Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

hiking
18 hours ago

I hiked this trail and it is amazing. Definitely not 8.5 miles. I clocked 10.7 miles, so be prepared. Lots of it is shaded. You will see frequent changes in the ecosystem. This is a mountain biking trail and I was the only hikers I came across.

Lots of climbing but pretty scenery throughout! I didn’t feel there was a big ‘pay-off’ moment at the top with a nice view so that’s why I’d rate this one a 4!

Great hike with my 4 year old!

Good Hike. Some steep downhill to start then a single track along the watershed. Bring some bug spray. Big deer flies along the whole trail.

Definitely one of the most beautiful trails I’ve been to. Will come back for sure!

hiking
25 days ago

Really enjoyable hike, and gorgeous waterfalls throughout. Quite a bit of climbing, but most of it is using stairs and rocks that stand in well for stairs.

Grueling but sooooo worth it. One of the most gorgeous hikes the bay has to offer!

Short hike and lots of stairs. The majority of the hike is through super lush forest along a cute creek. There are some mosquitos tho so bring bug spray

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!!

Lightly trafficked trail with panoramic views of the water, and typically a lot of hawks.

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

Absolutely love this hike but parking lot is a big obstacle. Always full. They could easily accommodate more cars but locals probably won’t allow for it. You can get to the lot and have 3 cars waiting to park. I’ve had to wait 20 minutes for a spot. It can spoil what was to be a lovely hike.

hiking
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.

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

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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.

hiking
2 months 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.

This is one of my favorite hikes I have been on! It’s so quite and peaceful. I would 10/10 recommend going on this hike. However the is characterized as easy and I feel like that depends on the trail you pick, but some of the trail a moderate.

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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.

A bit rough on the old joints but awesome hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Positives:
-good exercise with the incline on the way out and the way back.
-beautiful views
-waterfalls are always a treat
Negatives:
-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

This was really nice for getting back into the swing of hiking. midweek, saw about 7 people. the falls are still strong and worth seeing as of today. good for contemplation. liked the little moments of opening up. hiked up a bit past the falls, too which was nice for a climb and peek above the trees.

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