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?

Alamere Falls, California

Alamere Falls in December 2009

Alamere Falls is one of those visual feasts that you’ll remember forever. Alamere Falls is found on Alamere Creek, which drops 40 feet into the vast Pacific Ocean. I’m a big fan of waterfalls that flow into oceans and lakes, so this was a great find.

First off, the hike is not simple, though it is also not terrible. It’s an 8.8 mile round trip hike, so beware. The hike is up or down, though the trail is surprisingly even. There aren’t many random rocks to make the hike more difficult.

Second, from what I have read, this fall (and a few others in the area) only flow in winter and spring during the rainy season. I visited three days ago, and it was flowing, so December is a pretty good time to visit, and the temperature was very pleasant.

Finally, the final “ascent” to the crest requires a caution. You have to maneuver down some slippery talus. You’ll need both hands available. Once at the crest, further exploration will reveal that you can get down to the base, though it’s not very obvious at first. I didn’t look as scary as I had thought, but I decided to err on the side of caution, since I was alone at the time. Still, it’s not an easy climb down to the base.

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: 40′
Length of Hike: 8.8 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Alamere Falls?