Carson Falls - Kent Lake - Pine Mountain - Route I
9.1 miles     1700 ft
4 Apr 2012
Summary

Pretty hike to a seasonal waterfall, a serene lake and a mountain with excellent views in Marin County. Best visited after recent rains.

Location: Mount Tamalpais Watershed

Elevation Profile
Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Official Trail Map: Good color map showing various trails.

» Official Trail Map: Good B&W map showing various trails.

» Tom Harrison Map: Great map showing not only Mount Tamalpais Watershed but many other parks in its vicinity. One may form long loops by combining trails from multiple parks.

Route

To Carson Falls: Follow Pine Mountain Road (1.0 miles) → left on Oat Hill Road (0.2 miles) → right on Little Carson Trail (0.6 miles) to reach a fork in the trail. Carson Falls is a series of smaller cascades / waterfalls. The left branch of the fork leads you to the upper section of Carson Falls. The right branch of the fork goes over a bridge and provides access to the lower sections of Carson Falls.

To Kent Lake: From Carson Falls, continue down Little Carson Trail (shaded, 0.6 miles) to reach a T-junction with Kent Pump Road. Turn right and continue for 0.9 miles until the trail ends at Kent Lake. This is a serene spot where you can absorb the lake.

To Pine Mountain: From Kent Lake, retrace your steps by following Kent Pump Road (0.9 miles) → left on Little Carson Trail (steep climb, 0.6 miles) to Carson Falls. Continue along Little Carson Trail (0.2 + 0.3 miles) → left on Oat Hill Road (0.3 miles) → left on Pine Mountain Road (0.5 miles) → left on Pine Mountain Road (0.8 miles) to Pine Mountain. The mountain is unmarked. When Pine Mountain Road starts descending, it means that the peak has been left behind. Great, almost 360-degree views from Pine Mountain.

To Azalea Hill Traihead: From Pine Mountain, follow Pine Mountain Road (0.8 + 0.5 + 1.0 miles) back to Azalea Hill Trailhead on Bolinas Fairfax Road.

Notes:

  1. Yelp reviews for Carson Falls.
  2. Nice article on Pine Mountain by gambolinman.
Trailhead

Location: (Azalea Hill Parking Lot) along Bolinas Fairfax Road, Fairfax, CA 94930 . No street address. Parking area is visible in Google Maps if you zoom in sufficiently.

Directions: In Fairfax, go along Bolinas Road going west and drive 2.5 miles. Continue along Bolinas Fairfax Road and drive 1.3 miles to reach a parking lot for Azalea Hill on the left.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: None (last visited: April 2012)

Capacity: About 10 to 15 cars may be parked here.

Latitude: 37.963486     Longitude: -122.624888

Carson Falls

Full photo album — 4 April 2012

Photos are from a different hike with similar landscape: Carson Falls - Kent Lake - Pine Mountain - Route II.
Kent Lake

Full photo album — 4 April 2012

Photos are from a different hike with similar landscape: Carson Falls - Kent Lake - Pine Mountain - Route II.
Pine Mountain

Full photo album — 4 April 2012

Photos are from a different hike with similar landscape: Carson Falls - Kent Lake - Pine Mountain - Route II.
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