Palomarin to Alamere Falls Out and Back
ElevationAscent: 991' 302 m
Descent: -991' -302 m
High: 564' 172 m
Low: 107' 33 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 15% (9°)
Popular runs nearby
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Mount Tamalpais from Muir Woods
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“This is a wonderful outing to a waterfall that lands on the beach.”— Megan W
Features Birding · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Need to Know
Just after the junction with Crystal Lake Trail, the descent starts with a spectacular vision of Pelican Lake perched high on a bluff. The Pacific Ocean peeks out between two hills (called Double Point) that form a "V." Hard to describe, easy to enjoy! A spur trail goes from here to the craggy overlook of Double Point, a favorite place for whale watching in March.
Next up is the grand finale: Alamere Falls. Take this is short, less than 1/2 mile Alamere Falls access trail down to the cliffs where the 50 ft falls land on the beach. The narrow trail to the top of the falls is somewhat overgrown with scrub (and possibly poison oak) in places. A popular viewpoint and lunch spot is just next to the falls on an open, wide part of the cliff.
The waterfall drops over a bluff and forms two sets of falls which can grow to 25' across after it rains. When the tide comes up, the falls actually hit the ocean water rushing in. To get to the beach and see both parts of the falls takes some scrambling through ruts and over rock benches. Also involved is a somewhat harrowing leap across the stream below the second falls! Rangers do not recommend this direct approach due to the danger to the eroding cliffs (instead, from Wildcat Camp, walk south on the beach to Alamere Falls).
With careful planning, it is possible to travel from the falls back to the Palomarin Trailhead parking area on the beach at low tide, but don't be caught out! Most sensible folks opt to retrace their steps back to Coast Trail - South and head back to the Palomarin Trailhead.
Flora & Fauna
Land Manager: National Park Service - Point Reyes National Seashore