Hiking Alamere Falls – How to Get There and Around

Sounds unbelievable but we do have waterfalls here.
Alamere Falls is one of our little gems and it’s located next to our other gem (Muir Woods) and our other, other gem (Stinson Beach). During high tide, you’ll find a raging waterfall flowing from a huge cliff side onto the beach and into the Pacific Ocean.

It’s exactly as cool and dramatic as it sounds.

In a nutshell, you’ll have to park about 7-8 miles from the waterfall and trek on foot. The path is marked only with small arrows but you’ll be sure to see many others on this trail. Bring your own food and water. We took about 3 hours round trip, not including the time we spent at the waterfalls. You’ll want to wear good shoes but be prepared for them to get dirty.

Read on for the dirty details and scroll to the bottom for bullet points and links to Google Maps.


Where to Park Your Car

999 Mesa Rd, Bolinas, CA 94924

As mentioned before, you’ll need to park a good ways away from the actual waterfall. Save the Palomarin Trails Head- Alamere Falls Parking Area to your maps. There are some toilets here but they are usually in poor conditions, unfortunately. The road that goes into the parking area becomes a dead end and you should see other cars parking there as well- this means, you’ve arrived !

The Trail and Surrounding Area

Bass Lake via EastBayWild

Get on and stay on the Coast trail. It’s a good long walk from the parking area to the waterfalls and that means you’ll pass along forests and lakes before you get to the beach and waterfalls. The path is quite uneven and you should really keep your eyes open where you put your foot to avoid tripping or sliding on rocks. On the way to Alamere, you’ll pass by a number of lakes, with Bass Lake being one of the more popular detours. You should also expect wild animals around, too. If you’re lucky, you might see a fox !

There is a shortcut somewhere in the middle of the trail. People say it cuts your trip from 14 miles RT to 8 miles RT. However, the shortcut is much more steep and rocky compared to the Coast trail. People have different opinions and reviews of the shortcut. For us, personally, we were getting a good workout on the regular trail and that was difficult enough for us. If you’re more athletic and up to the challenge, it could really shave some time off your trip.


Scaling the Wall

via deekadelic

Everyone who goes to Alamere Falls remembers this zig- zag part of the cliff that you must climb in order to go down to the beach. There is usually a queue as people stand in line and wait their turn to S L O W L Y and carefully climb this part. There is a weaving of going-uppers and coming-downers and it just kind of works itself out. Going down the rocks just meant finding a stable place to land and somewhere to grab onto with my hands. Going up is a bit different. It is steep and you will have to lift your leg up pretty high to climb it. In my experience, people are super friendly and helpful and a man literally gave us a hand and pulled us all up one by one. But even if no one is able to help you up, just take your time, make sure you’ve got steady footing and you can hoist yourself back up.

Enjoy the Views, Explore the Beach, Experience the Waterfalls

via flickr

Soak in the scenery, play along the waterfalls, unpack your lunch and dig in –  you DESERVE IT !

Helpful Tips

  • check the weather ⊗  
  • download google maps offline
  • bring sunscreen/hat/sunglasses
  • pack lunch, water and snacks
  • go earlier in the day to make sure you’re not walking in the dark on your way back
  • signs say ‘no pets allowed’
  • not recommended for small kids, strollers or bikes
  • wear long sleeves/pants to protect yourself from brush

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