Alamere Falls from Palomarin Trailhead
9.5 miles     1000 ft
5 Jul 2010
Summary

A gorgeous hike to a waterfall that pours directly into the ocean. Requires a delicate scramble at the end. Plenty of wildflowers all along the way.

Location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Elevation Profile
Trailhead

Location: (Palomarin Trailhead) Northern end of Mesa Road, Bolinas, CA 94924 . No street address. Parking area is visible in Google Maps if you zoom in sufficiently.

Directions: Palomarin Trailhead is at the northern dead-end of Mesa Road in Bolinas, CA. On Mesa Rd, about a mile before the trailhead, lies Point Reyes Bird Observatory. Their website has detailed driving directions. In brief, cross Golden Gate Bridge along 101 North → Exit on Highway 1 North → Left on Olema-Bolinas Rd → Right on Mesa Rd → drive all the way to Palomarin Trailhead.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: None (last visited: July 2011)

Capacity: Tens of cars.

Latitude: 37.934095     Longitude: -122.747090

Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Many many maps by National Park Service: Good quality maps showing various trails in different parts of Point Reyes.

» Tom Harrison Trail Map: High quality contoured map showing various trails and mileages for different sections.

Route

Route in brief: Follow Coast Trail for about 4.0 miles. Then turn left and walk about 0.5 miles along a trail towards Alamere Falls.

  1. Check Yelp Reviews for Palomarin Trailhead for more information. The last one mile along the road to Palomarin Trailhead is unpaved.
  2. Facilities: No drinking water at trailhead or along the trail. No maps available at trailhead. Restrooms are available at trailhead.
  3. Bass Lake: About 3 miles along Coast Trail, an unmarked trail on the left (only about 0.1 miles long) takes you to Bass Lake (Yelp Reviews). You are allowed to swim in this lake. In July 2010, the water was warm. Inflatable rafts would be fun.
  4. Scrambling: About 4 miles along Coast Trail, there is an unmaintained trail towards Alamere Falls. The final descent to the beach requires a scramble, which I felt was dangerous at one point. The last time I visited (in 2012), there was a rope available to help those scrambling down. With the rope, it felt quite safe. If you choose not to scramble down, you may enjoy a smallish waterfall right before the scramble, which makes the trip worthwhile.
  5. Poison Oak: Yelp reviews for Alamere Falls warn against poison oak. The last two times I visited (in 2010 and 2012), poison oak was not a problem at all. The trail leading down to Alamere Falls felt quite safe and well maintained.
  6. Side trip to Palomarin Beach: About 0.5 miles along Coast Trail, you may turn left and visit Palomarin Beach in 0.6 miles, thereby adding 1.2 miles overall to the trip.
  7. Side Trip to Wildcat Camp: About 5.9 miles along Coast Trail lies Wildcat Camp (Yelp Reviews), a campsite next to the beach. One possibility to extend the hike to Alamere Falls is to walk along the beach to Wildcat Camp, then take Coast Trail all the way back to Palomarin Trailhead.
  8. Check out some spectacular Pictures of Alamere Falls by TurnBull Photography.
  9. About a mile before Palomarin Trailhead is Point Reyes Bird Observatory, which you may want to visit.
  10. Point Reyes is generally cooler than inland areas like Mountain View and Sunnyvale. So dress in layers.
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