Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails near Mill Valley 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 today, still some water flow in the falls, my Fitbit said 10.5 miles. went clockwise parking at Rock Spring. trailhead starting with the Cataract trail, lunch break at Alpine Lake which was a nice unexpected surprise to see on this hike. Nice and cool in the trees even though we worked up a sweat on the Kent trail!

Took this hike yesterday and although we hoped for warm, it was quite foggy and cool. Don’t be scared off by the Rock Springs parking lot - we thought the trail would be packed. True the downward hike was busy but once we turned off at alpine lake and came back up - and I do mean up- the Kent trail we ran into only a few folks.
The wildflowers, especially iris, were out in full force, Got to see a little newt and a frog!
Great variety of flora and geology - a most highly recommended hike!
From a 57 year old and 23 year old daughter!

Awesome trail. Lots of elevation changes and things to see. Def a work out.

hiking
23 days ago

- If you enjoy uphills and downhills, you'll like this trail
- Parking is restricted 3/4 mile away from the actual trail. You'll need to walk very steep paved road on Summit road until you see the gate/start of the hike. Watch out for cars coming down as the street is narrow.
- Actual trail is about 3.5 miles out and back, without counting the additional mileage from the car and back
- Note: take the shortcut, long flight of stairs to bypass steep hilly road for safety too
- Hike: beautiful scenery of the north bay, San Francisco skyline!

Very beautiful hike. Did the loop to the lake and back to the cataract falls. Is a 9.2 miles, took us about 6 hours, stopping for lunch, pictures and just enjoying the beautiful view.

Arrived at the trail head at 7:30am the place was empty. It took us five hours, my Fitbit said it was 10.2 miles. it probably took an extra hour or so because i was doing some photography. Anyway it is longer than eight miles. We only passed a couple people along the way, it was Awesome. We seen a Pilated Woodpecker. Got back to the waterfalls portion of the loop around 1pm and it was a zoo. People drinking, playing music, it was crowded. had to wait in line to get down some portions, Just get there early, it's worth it.! Amazing hike, one of the bay areas best.

Amazing waterfalls and pools all along the cataract falls trail

Awesome trail. Great scenery. Dogs allowed. So many little streams and great waterfalls. Looking forward to doing it again.

Parked at Rock Springs. Hiked counterclockwise - down Simmons-Bernstein-Kent to Alpine Lake then back up on Helen Market-Cataract Falls. Good water flow after the recent rains. Hiked: 8.4 miles, 4 hours.

Yep we did it in the pouring rain & it was still spectacular! The falls were fanastic & all the trails were streams. Its going to be amazing for the next few days while all the water rushes down. Beautiful scenery & habitats & plenty of newts hiking with us.

Nice trail! Make sure you’ve got good hiking shoes because on the way down it can get slippery. Saw a few bikers and hikers along the way but it was far from crowded. A lot of the hike isn’t shaded so bring hats and sunscreen. Lots of bugs so bug spray/repellant is a good idea too. We actually started the trail from a different point than the app suggests, on west Blithedale Ave, and eventually hit the Blithedale ridge trail. Blithedale stops at some point and forks into some other trails that you can take. We walked along Indian fire road a bit and then went back down the same way. Creature sitings included banana slugs, hawks, chipmunks, lizards, and squirrels.

One of the most gorgeous hikes in the Bay Area. The water is really flowing right now! Also, climb up the hill across from the parking lot for a truly epic view of the Bay Area.

Went here on Sunday 03/11 with my husband. Hike ended up being closer to 9 miles, but was very enjoyable! I could see it starting to get busier near the falls around 130-2pm but still a very nice hike. Trail is well maintained, and mostly shady.

So we started our hike going to Cataract Falls, on a weekday. We didn’t see too many people, and by the time we got there the hike wasn’t too difficult. Lots of going downstairs. We kept pushing to go to the lake, and made it. But that’s when the trail became difficult! And we had already hiked 5 miles at this point and it was close to 2:30. We had to summon all our strength to push up hill the last half of the hike, which beame the hard part! At the end, my fit bit said we did over 10 miles! It was worth it and a great accomplishment, but frustrating that the site said 7.5 miles.

Cold if you're in the mountains shade. There are much better hikes on Tam!

This is a great hike. We went after the rainy season and the falls were fairly big. I will come back here again. We did it in February, it gets chilly. A softshell or a light jacket should be enough to keep you warm. Lots of people, you won't be alone on this trail.

Beautiful. Take dipsea stairs then right. Take cypress to dead end and continue. Feels longer than 4 miles but really spectacular even for Marin.

Beautiful trail through what felt like an ancient forest - old craggily trees covered in moss. Varied route with meadows, views and forest. Would recommend it. Good for kids too

Absolutely gorgeous trail. Def go right at the start like other people say. However I got done at 8.5 miles not the 7 miles it says but also not the 12 plus miles other people are claiming. I also got 1900ft elevation climb whereas others seem to be different. Weird. If you go right you hit the meadow first then the alpine and then you hit a stunning stream and bridge before you hit the falls. Before the falls I only met one person along the trail. After the falls I met a lot of people. Highly recommended but get there early to avoid the crowds.

One thing to note, the distance reported on Alltrails is off. Here's my GPS recording on Strava which comes to around 10miles ( I went off trail for about 0.5 miles ) https://www.strava.com/activities/1401541303

Lovely hike. Butt burner of a hike :-). Definitely good training if you'r planning for the likes of Half Dome. Shaded, so good for a hot sunny day, stays cool for most part of the hike. Medium to heavy traffic. Half way mark is at the Alpine Lake which is a super quiet area, great for a break/lunch spot. Although the Cataract Falls itself is even more beautiful and serene so you might want to have your snack/lunch there instead.

I ended up only doing Cataract Trail because I got a late start. I made a huge mistake parking at the Rock Spring parking lot instead of the Watershed parking lot. The majority of this trail is on a steep incline, so I ended up starting downhill and ending uphill. It was strenuous but beautiful. I had the trail to myself most of the way out which was really nice. I loved this trail!

Hiked 13.1 mi. Gained 2480ft in elevation.

BEAUTIFUL trails! We went in thinking it was a 7.5 mi 1745ft gain hike but really it's 13 miles with 2480 gain in elevation... I wish this could be edited because we were in for quite a long hike.

Pack lunch and plenty of water! We took this trail in reverse, counter-clockwise. We had lunch at Alpine Lake which took us 1.5 to 2 hours to reach at a steady pace. Most of the way there was downhill so be sure to side-step to save your toes! After the lake we headed to the waterfalls which was all on an uphill incline, and then the trail back to our car was on a heavy incline as well (lots of stairs) with the last leg (about 0.9mi) being a flat meadow. Be prepared to work!

Even though we hiked 5 miles more and gained 700ft more than this says in elevation it was well worth the work! Our feet and legs were doggone dead LOL but it was so freakin gorgeous out! We saw lots of butterflies, different birds, and salamanders on a warm Feb day!

Hiked 13.2 miles
Gained 2142 ft elevation

Featured: Waterfall(s), meadow(s), vista(s)

Trail: Well maintained in most areas, legible trail markers (albeit confusing at times) most areas have no signal (pay attention to alltrails map) free parking (ticketed after sunset and locked in), the actual trail is 7.3 miles (begin on the right trail because you will head down hill and end your hike on even ground rather than reverse) relatively isolated in back areas. A beautiful place to star gaze and climb trees. Moderate/hard. (we took every wrong way possible. lol)

Great hike with great views. Not too many people when I hiked it. Sunset is the best.

trail running
4 months ago

Great views, nice mix of open and shaded trails, steep so plan on going downhill. :-)

Good moderate uphill or downhill the whole
time.

So scenic and otherworldly because of fog that rolled in. We saw no one the whole time we were there. Fantastic memory!

note the directions that are given, the road was closed to where the trail head started so you ha e to park across from that road and walk about 1.5 uphill or so up the road. then you hit the trail. which is great if you make sure you have plenty of time. we started around 1:30, thinking 3.5 hours as the other hikers said would be fine. well we had to turn around at 5.1 miles in (that includes the road hike to the trail head)so that we would make it out of there by dark . we busted ass back up the stairs we thought we would never have to walk up after walking down them. just make sure to give yourself plenty of time!!

Start up the famous Dipsea Stairs to traipse through the mountain community. Lots of funky houses and near the top, you can see the Richmond Bridge on a clear day. A single track leads you up through a redwood forested slope and quite near some more houses. This part of the trail is pretty popular with trail runners and their dogs, just be careful because in many places you can’t really step off trail to let them by. Be advised, a great majority of the trail is on the road itself, so keep an eye out for cars and cyclists bombing the hills! A small parking area leads you over to Cascade Falls. Which thanks to the recent rain has started to perk up, and is a nice place to rest and grab a snack. If you’re looking for solitude, I would go during the week.

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