Carson Falls - Kent Lake - Pine Mountain - Route II
8.4 miles     2100 ft
4 Apr 2012

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.


To Carson Falls: From the pullout on Bolinas Fairfax Road, follow Old Sled Trail for 0.6 miles to reach an unsigned junction with Oat Hill Road. The trail continues beyond Oat Hill Road for 0.4 miles to another unsigned junction with Little Carson Trail. Turn left and within 0.2 miles, you reach a fork. 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 Old Sled Trailhead: From Pine Mountain, follow Pine Mountain Road (0.8 + 0.5 miles) → right on Oat Hill Road (0.3 + 0.3 miles) → left on Old Sled Trail (0.6 miles) to Bolinas Fairfax Road.


  1. There are no signs at the trailhead on Bolinas Fairfax Road. Old Sled Trail is a well maintained trail that lies to the right of a creek, as drawn on trail maps. On Bolinas Fairfax Road, there is a second unmaintained trail that goes only about 0.2 miles up to the left of a creek. This trail is more readily visible from the trailhead.
  2. Yelp reviews for Carson Falls.
  3. Nice article on Pine Mountain by gambolinman.

Location: (Old Sled Trailhead) along Bolinas Fairfax Road, Fairfax, CA 94930 . No street address. Parking area is not visible in Google Maps.

Directions: In Fairfax, go along Bolinas Road going west and drive 2.5 miles. Continue along Bolinas Fairfax Road and drive 2.4 miles to reach the trailhead for Old Sled Trail. There is no sign marking the traihead. It is along a bend in a road. Study the contours of Bolinas Fairfax Road to figure out its exact location.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: None (last visited: April 2012)

Capacity: About 3 cars may be parked here.

Latitude: 37.963443     Longitude: -122.632023

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