Cascade Falls, California

Cascade Falls in December 2009

I showed up pretty late at Cascade Falls. The sun wasn’t setting just yet, but inside of the park where the falls are found, it was getting dark. That made it very difficult to photograph this smaller waterfall.

Getting there is a pretty easy ordeal, so that is the one benefit to seeing this falls. I think it could be very pretty when the lighting is right. There were a number of other people photographing the falls, so it actually seems pretty popular.

Directions:

  1. From US-101, exit at CA-1 for Mill Valley/Stinson Beach.
  2. Turn right onto Almonte Boulevard.
  3. Go about 3 miles to Throckmorton Avenue. (I set the GPS to find the intersection between Almonte Blvd and Throckmorton.)
  4. Turn left and drive just over 1 mile to a parking area on the right for Cascade Falls.  Follow the short path to the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 18′
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Cascade Falls?

Mountain View Falls, California

Mountain View Falls, December 2009

At the end of a street in San Rafael is a hidden waterfall. This waterfall is known as Mountain View Falls. I found out about this waterfall on another waterfall website, and decided to visit since it seemed to be relatively easy to do…and it is easy to visit. You’ll have to park on the road, and then take the short “hike” to the falls. It’s not really a hike as much as a sidewalk adventure. The waterfall is 70+’ tall, though it’s not very wide. It’s probably best viewed after a lot of rain.

Directions:

  1. I typed in the intersection between Grand Avenue and Mountain View Avenue on my GPS in order to help find the appropriate intersection. The waterfall is in San Rafael, CA.
  2. After the intersection, keep driving down Mountain View Avenue to the end of the road. The falls will be just a short distance further from the end of the road, though you can’t see them from the road itself.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 70′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Mountain View Falls?

Upper Alamere Falls, California

Upper Alamere Falls, December 2009

Just a few hundred feet above Alamere Falls are three other extremely beautiful drops as Alamere Creek travels toward the Pacific Ocean. While not as tall as the final drop, these two are just as photogenic and actually easier to view closeup, especially if you don’t want to make the tricky trek down to the shore.

Even reaching the upper falls is still a task. As you’re approaching the upper falls, you’ll be standing 30 or 40 feet above them at one point, and you’ll have to negotiate your way down the slippery but well worn paths leading to the upper falls. It’s not too bad, though it can seem daunting at first. You are likely to get dirty as you scramble down, and you will want to cover your camera well in order to avoid any damage. It was one of the muddiest treks I’ve ever taken.

Directions:

  1. Head toward Olema, California.
  2. In Olema, head south on CA-1 for about 9 miles toward Bolinas.
  3. In Bolinas, turn right onto Bolinas Road, which doesn’t have a sign. A GPS helped me find the road.
  4. In a very short distance, you’ll turn right onto Mesa Road.
  5. Head to the very end of Mesa Road and park in the parking area.
  6. You’ll start on the Palomarin Trailhead in the Point Reyes National Seashore.
  7. After a short distance, you’ll connect onto the Coast Trail for 3.5 miles or so.
  8. On your left, you’ll see a sign indicating a 0.4 mile hike to Alamere Falls. Take this trail, which is EXTREMELY narrow. Dress appropriately, as there are MANY trees and bushes that are there to attack you.

Accessibility: 3/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: 8.8 miles round-trip

Alamere Falls-70

The middle drop of Alamere Falls

Where in the World is Upper Alamere Falls?