Alamere Falls, Bolinas, CA
North of San Francisco, near the Point Reyes Bird Observatory is a small town called Bolinas. After snaking through this small mountain village the road loses its pavement for a brief period of time. You will soon find yourself in a gravel parking lot with one trailhead. We were lucky enough to have a visitor waiting for us when we arrived!
This lone fox pup was pretty cute, and not afraid of humans at all, seeing as he nearly posed for the pictures! It was a great start to what would become a gruelling hike. We read online that the hike was 4 miles one way with about 300 ft elevation. According to my tracking equipment, it was 11.5 miles round trip with about 1591.2 ft of elevation gain. Those are two very different hikes. I felt extremely under prepared with only one bottle of water to split between the two of us and carrying extra layers. It soon became evident that we were not going to have enough water for the way back. We finished our water off, residing to our fate, and another three miles uphill until we arrived at the falls.
What I find peculiar about this particular hike is that as you approach the final descent for the falls, you have to take a very small unkempt path to the left. The sign is marked, reading “Alamere Falls, Path not maintained, Caution”. The path begins too small for one person to fit normally but widens as you reach the cliff edge. After a short rock climb you arrive at the first of the three falls. The first is a very secluded waterfall and shallow pool behind the cliffside. Mr. Snuggles doesn’t like water, but even he loved playing at this waterfall!
You proceed down the path to a series of smaller falls. The water was moving extremely rapidly here and I disobeyed my survival training and drank some of the fast moving water. No water in the wild is safe unless it comes from the source and you purify it, but I calculated my risk and took it. It paid off this time, thankfully. In retrospect, it can’t be worse than San Jose tap water….
We continued down a very steep rock climb to the beach where we saw our prize. The falls stood before us, running into the ocean, just as promised. Seals played in the bay just out of reach but very clearly in sight. While we waited for some very… promiscuous teens…. to finish their “swimming”, we ate our snack bars. Overall, this hike is much more difficult than advertised but there are many trails and it is well worth it! Hope you enjoyed the post and all its cuteness, and until next time, happy adventuring!
SF BAY AREA BASED PHOTOGRAPHERS.
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