Bay Area Waterfall Hikes

Bay Area Waterfall HikesChasing Waterfalls
This winter’s heavy rains have brought our Bay Area waterfalls back to life, And with a non-rainy weekend ahead of us, maybe it’s time to don your hiking boots and commence chasing waterfalls.

Joachin Miller Park, Oakland
Both the Palos Colorados Trail and the Fern Ravine Trail offer hikes with great views of the waterfalls in Joachin Miller Park. It is pretty amazing to be able to experience these falls within our urban environment! More information here.

Tilden Park Lake Anza Falls, Berkeley
The walk along Wildcat Gorge in Tilden leads to a waterfall just below Lake Anza. There are multiple trails to access the fall, which is actually a spillway for the dam. What is unusual for the East Bay, is that this fall is active year round. And, it makes for a nice, cool summer hike, too. Check out the park map (scroll down the page and enlarge) to plan your route.

Mt. Diablo Donner Creek Canyon
Four cascades tumble down the mountain’s Northern flank. The five mile, round-trip hike has some challenging aspects, but the views of the falls and surrounding hills are worth the effort. And, these falls usually dry up by late spring, so see them while you have the chance. More information here.

Mt Tamalpais Cataract Falls, Marin County
The hike along Cataract Falls meanders next to a creek which overflows with water after the winter rains. No other waterfall hike goes next to a creek for so many miles. Cataract Falls Trail is relatively steep. However, the sound of flowing water, wet vegetation, and shaded trails makes for an awesome overall experience. More information here.

Note: The only way to access Cataract Falls is from the Rock Springs entrance on Pan Toll, as the Fairfax-Bolinas Road is closed due to storm damage.

Carson Falls Mt. Tamalpais Watershed, Marin County
Accessible through the town of Fairfax, these falls are more off the beaten trail. Three tiers of waterfalls make a 100 foot drop down toward Alpine Lake. The 3.5-mile round-trip hike boasts of beautiful views of the Bay, Mt. Tam, and San Francisco. More information here.

Alamere Falls, Point Reyes, Marin County
The hike to Alamere Falls in Point Reyes National Seashore is one of the best the Bay Area offers. It definitely a full-day hike, with a 13-mile round-trip hike with ocean views. Spectacular fall over the coastal bluff land right on the beach. Wildcat Camp campsite is nearby if you want to make a weekend of it. More information here.

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