California's Best Day Hike to Alamere Falls, via Palomarin Trailhead!
Updated: Aug 10, 2020
Perfect summer day hike in California, trail lined with eucalyptus trees, cliffs, ocean views, lakes, wildflowers and stunning Alamere waterfall.
One of the two tidefall in California - Alamere Falls via Coast Trail from Palomarin Trailhead, near Bolinas, CA,
The tribe followed direction to Palomarin trailhead, via Shoreline Highway, Stinson Beach onwards towards Highway 1 Bolinas onto Mesa Road. The Shoreline Highway has some very windy roads but amazing views of the Pacific. As you pass through Bolinas Lagoon, the openness of the sanctuary will surprise you, the tribe enjoyed the site of many pelicans. At the end of Mesa Road is the main parking lot at the Palomarin trailhead. This was closed due to roadwork and COVID closures. We managed to reach early and got a spot right on the overflow lot about 0.3 miles to the trailhead. From here the trail is well maintained for the most part.
In case you have some extra time you can enjoy the Palomarin beach which is a short distance from the trailhead. Tribe's destination for the day was the falls, so we decided to continue ahead. Starting at 8AM we were at the falls in about 2 hours. The thick tree cover will amaze you, the beginning of the trail is lined up with stunning eucalyptus forest, the freshness of the air and the softness of the ground, is sure to set the mood for the rest of the hike. Tribe almost felt like this was a walk through the rainforest, the chirping of birds, sound of streams at a distance, walk over bridges and some dense fern cover. The tribe came across two beautiful lakes, first of which was the Bass Lake, we took a quick detour to get to the shore of this lake which is accessible via a narrow path. The second one was the Pelican Lake, equally serene. Given an early start , tribe had the whole trail to themselves. The path at most places is narrow. Be mindful of the poison ivy, bugs and ticks, some of us had a few bites.
Continuing on the Coast Trail towards Wildcat camp, at around 4.1 Miles there is a shortcut to the falls, though it is not a recommended path, the tribe decided to take that left turn into what we called a tree tunnel - dense, dark and intertwined. These literally looked like tree caves, tribe enjoyed the journey through this path. It's easy to miss the turn, look for a green marking on the ground so thoughtfully positioned by fellow hikers. As you come out of here, it's a bit confusing on which path will lead towards the falls, tribe followed their instinct into some very overgrown vegetation. This leads onto a cliff and you can see the first of the small waterfalls, from here we followed the water down to the beach. Remember there is a bit of scrambling to get down almost 30-40 ft via a narrow eroding cliff. Tread carefully! This may involve getting down on all fours, but once you are down at the beach the view will mesmerize you beyond words. Alamere Falls were right in front of us, flowing into the ocean. Tribe spent almost an hour enjoying the beauty of the falls, in addition the sound of waves on the shore, sea gulls and just the perfect weather, made for a perfect vista. The walk along the coast was absolutely refreshing.
You cannot get enough of what you just saw, but it was time to head back. The tribe was so glad they choose to explore this trail and promised to come back, soon. Alamere Falls just got added to my favorite list!!
Learning's from the tribe - Important to protect the environment around us because it renews the mind, body and soul! Keep soaking in the outdoors :)
Reference - https://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/alamere_falls.htm