Explore the most popular waterfall 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.

#1, get a reservation for parking.
#2, get here super early.
#3, download your maps.

If early, you can do the soon-to-be-crowded part first with relatively no one around. Which is nice. Once you are back on the trails you may not see anyone for a half-hour at a time.

This whole area is what you make of it. Bring your maps!

Bootjack is no joke.

hiking
2 days ago

#1, get a reservation for parking.
#2, get here super early.
#3, download your maps.

If early, you can do the soon-to-be-crowded part first with relatively no one around. Which is nice. Once you are back on the trails you may not see anyone for a half-hour at a time.

This whole area is what you make of it. Bring your maps!

We did this route minus the Hillside Trail Loop and it can kick your ass if in average shape.

Such a beautiful hike! There were creeks, water falls, bridges, a wood ladder, and open groves as well as shade, fog, direst sun, and rain. All in one hike!! So much fun to have such diversity all in one place. Very much recommend, the stairs half way through may have you question why you started but remember it doesn’t last long. Lol

Awesome. At times much harder than I anticipated . Worth it.

Beautiful hike, waterfalls, lush ferns to manzanita, views of the lake. Mostly shaded all the time.

Did this hike Thursday. We started from the Fairfax trail head worked our way up the falls around to the Kent trail. Took our time and explored each waterfall. Ended up being 12.2 miles only because we kept exploring. Great hike!

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!

Great quick easy walk for a Sunday afternoon. Would do again for sure.

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

We arrived at 9:30 and it was easy to park, facilities were available and the trail boasted fantastic views. Things worth noting if mobility or balance is an issue: sometimes the trail has very steep stairs, exposed roots, narrow passage.

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.

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.

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.

so much greenery, feels like a wonderland!

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.

Multiple terrains and ecosystems on this big loop that goes down into Muir Woods and then back up on the high side of Panorama road. We hiked from the parking lot at Mountain Home, clockwise, It was a terrific morning! We spent some time walking around Muir Woods boardwalk a bit then continued back up Bootjack trail. Lots of trees and waterfalls. Nice!

we started at bottom neat stinson beach hiked up hill ,the trail has a lot of stairs and a ladder .stopped at top af mt tamalpias the loop back.

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!

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