What if I told you, you can walk right up to a waterfall that falls onto a beach? You’ll have to either jump or wade across 1 mini waterfall to get to it, though. You’ll also have to walk along a scenic coastal path. And slide down a few steep rocks. Oh, the whole thing is 9 miles long (14 km), round trip.
But you know what else….it’s freaking INCREDIBLE!! As with the most extraordinary hikes, this is one where the view is certainly worth the effort. Check out the video below!
You might have to work up a sweat to get to the falls, but to be completely honest, there isn’t crazy elevation or steepness to worry about. Plan for 2 hours each way. Additionally, you’ll want to spend a good hour or longer by the falls. This is a fantastic way to spend 6–8 hours outdoors.
10 things you can expect & what you should know
Alamere Falls is a popular trail, which means it can get crowded
Thanks to Instagram, Alamere Falls has surged in popularity, and is no longer a deserted spot like it used to be. Expect slowdown at certain junctions, owing to foot traffic on narrow one way paths.
It also means the parking lots will fill up insanely early!
We arrived by 9 45 AM, and the lots were packed, we had to park an extra 0.5 mile away from the trailhead. Either arrive super early or account for the extra 0.5 mile walk (+10–15 mins).
Washrooms at the start of the trail will have insanely long lines!
I recommend stopping by Stinson or a nearby town on the way. OR do nature one good and umm… go ahead and fertilize away in the bushes 😛 Next time California has a “super bloom” you can take credit! hahaha
“Alamere Falls Trail” is no longer an official trail
Trail start via The Coastal Trail
It was closed in 2014 indefinitely, however since when has that stopped adventurers & hikers?? At the Palomarin trailhead, you’ll see the board say it is 14 miles to the falls. This is if you go through the Wildcat Camp Trail, which is the official trail.
For the 8.7 mile hike, continue on “Coastal Trail” and turn left into bushes marked with an orange handkerchief. You can’t miss it, as you’ll see a beeline of folks, with helpful ones pointing you to the narrow path to the Falls. You’ll also have to jump across or wade through the upper falls to get to the bigger falls below.
You’ll see two sets of waterfalls on your first descent
Upper falls that you need to jump across
If you’re new to hiking or are unsure of the steep descent to the Falls by the beach — give way to other hikers. Don’t be a d-bag on the trail!
You can do it!
We were held up by a group of newbie hikers, one of their members was terrified of the descent and refused to take anyone’s hand. And we all ended up waiting on a steep trail incline for half hour. Which is rather painstaking after you’ve spent 2 hours+ hiking.
Go on a sunny day, if the weather turns, it’ll get cold real fast.
The first half of the trail has no shade, the second half will be through a redwood forest — so you get a good balance of shade & sun.
Take your lunch/snacks with you
A fed hiker, is a happy hiker.
You’re gonna wanna take food! I recommend sandwiches, energy chews and protein bars.
Trail is kid friendly
A middle school group of kids was on a field trip!
I saw a lot of families with kids, a few of them who complained about “how much loonnngger mom?? you said this was a short walk!!!”
High tide by the Falls at the base
Hello, Alamere Falls!
Falling into the beach!
As the tide rises, the water comes pretty far up to the waterfall. Which meant everytime I went into a camera-yoga pose (contortions I do on the floor to get the right angle for my pictures), I got drenched! Lots of people got their shoes & clothes wet, so watch out for the tide!
Keep an eye out for crowds on the way back!
The way back is just as scenic as the way there.
With a chance to see beautiful sunsets.
What to Take With You
- Good for: Families, Children, Couples, Solo, Hiking & Outdoors, Surfing, Coastal Landscapes
- Sunscreen, hats, hiking boots/shoes
- Water, food (lunch & snacks). Carry all your plastic waste back with you.
- Insect repellant, hand sanitizer, toilet paper
It really is stunning & mind-blowing and will make your brain go completely quiet. If you’re looking for Mojo, take a hike here, will ya? You’re sure to find it 🙂