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Visited: November 30, 2013 and February 21, 2015
Description: Beautiful hike to a waterfall that falls right onto a beach
Length: 8.4 miles round trip
Elevation: 350 feet
Duration: 3-4 hours
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate. First part of the trail is pretty easy and straight-forward. As you descend down to the falls, it can be a little tricky.
Terrain: Dirt trail, rocky terrain, loose rock.
Parking: Lot (37.9337312,-122.7453426)
Best time to go: Weekdays would be best. If on weekends, early in the morning is better because it gets crowded!
Bring: Camera, water, good hiking shoes (good Nikes with solid grip are fine), light jacket/sweater (it may get a bit chilly), long sleeves and pants if you’re worried about poison oak, lunch or a snack, beach gear if you plan on chilling at the beach!
Fair warning, if you get motion sickness easily, BE PREPARED! The drive from San Francisco to the Palomarin Trailhead made Linda nauseous because of all the curves. It wasn’t that bad but enough for her to take over driving to help alleviate the sickness. There is plenty of parking at the trailhead if you come early. If your car fits and you’re not blocking anyone, you’re good to go.
The hike was filled with scenic views from beginning to end. There are so many picturesque opportunities. We love taking pictures so we stopped frequently. There are some hills but nothing too steep.
It was a beautiful foggy day where the sun would poke it’s head out every now and then to remind us it’s still there; typical Bay Area weather. There were even parts of the hike that felt like you were hiking above the clouds. It was absolutely gorgeous.
Such a beautiful hike along the coast!
Four miles into the hike, you’ll hit the turn-off to the Alamere Falls Trail on the left. You’ll be able to spot the trail when you see the indicated marker. The good news is that you are 0.4 miles from your destination. The bad news is that this trail is unmaintained. Not only is the path narrow, there is poison oak everywhere. Surprise! 😳
You have to be careful when you go through this portion of the hike. We were wearing t-shirts and capri pants but we weren’t too worried about getting attacked by poison oak. Bring it on! But if you’re not so brave, we’d recommend you cover up.
Once you are out of the narrows paths, you should come to a clearing. This is the first drop to the first waterfall. That’s where the crab-walking begins. If something’s too steep, get low on all fours (like a crab) and don’t be afraid to get your butt dirty.
Once you are reach the bottom of the first drop, this is the first waterfall you’ll see:
There is another small waterfall right below that one.
The first few drops aren’t bad but once you reach the part where you try to get down to the beach to access the main falls, it gets pretty scary.
The rock in this area is extremely loose and there is hardly any traction. Be careful as you make your way down. Don’t be afraid to use your friends for support.
When you reach the bottom of the last drop, count your blessings that you survived. Make a quick left on the beach and witness the beauty of the falls.
After an adventurous hike, sit down and relax! You are on a secluded beach that can only be accessed through a trail. Enjoy your day here!
- Be extra careful climbing down the steep cliff onto the beach! We saw a guy almost die (exaggerating… but close enough!)
- If you’re hella worried about poison oak, please make sure you’re prepared for it. You don’t want to ruin the trip for others and quit the trail before making it to the falls.
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