Hike Date: January 15, 2011
Distance: ~ 8 miles
Trail(s): Coast Trail, Alamere Falls Trail
Where’s it at? Marin Headlands. Palomarin. Pt. Reyes National Seashore
This was a perfect hike on a perfect day. I have only been here once but would imagine the best time of year to go would be mid winter, after some rainfall. As with most falls, the more recent rainfall, the more water will be rushing over the falls. I was not disappointed at all when I finally made it to the falls, they far exceeded what I was expecting. Surprising to me that I hadn’t heard more about them.
I’ve backpacked the Coast Trail before, even staying at nearby Wildcat Campground once, and had I known what a spectacle Alamere Falls were, I would have pushed harder to get my backpacking buddy Rich to take the extra steps to get there.
The trail is mostly open to the sun, with a few short areas through forested land. The trail can be VERY muddy in a few places so don’t bring your brand new shoes if it’s rained recently, and consider a separate pair for afterward in case you want to stop to eat at nearby Stinson Beach.
Along the way to the falls I passed three bodies of water. Two of them were very scenic and worth a destination on their own. The trail has a number of scenic ocean views at the beginning and ends of the journey.
The Alamere Falls trail proper is pretty short and begins with a sign mentioning that the trail is not maintained. It gets very narrow through brush and toward the end there are a couple spots where you have to descend and ascend fairly carefully; especially true if you venture all the way to the greatest of the three falls which leads you down to the beach. I highly recommend taking your chances and getting all the way down. The last waterfall is by far the best.