Alamere Falls

Saturday we started out from the Palomarin trailhead near the south end of the Pt. Reyes peninsula, and hiked out 4.1 miles along the Coast Trail down to Alamere Falls. We hiked a total of 8.2 miles in about 5.5 hours, including lunch and photography, a very good pace for us. The trail was not particularly steep; the elevation gain was about 500 feet in each direction. Tom Stienstra's California Hiking rated this trail a 2/5 for difficulty and a 10/10 for scenery. A lot of scenic bang for the effort expended, in other words.

The Coast Trail goes, as you might imagine, along the coast, with stunning views of the beaches below. We saw these incredible ribbons of colored sand.

Although it was overcast, the clouds were high, and we could see far enough into the distance to pick out the Farallon Islands far out to sea.

The trail turned inland a bit, into the woods, sheltering us somewhat from the wind. Along the way, we saw many pretty wildflowers.

This one is my favorite.

We saw a distinctive mushroom, probably a puffball, which is poisonous.

I was fascinated by this dripping tree sap.

The trail turned back toward the ocean, climbing a hill and passing two lakes. This is Bass Lake, the smaller of the two.

This is the larger one, Pelican Lake. I'm sure it would have been prettier on a sunny day.

At last we came to the turnoff for Alamere Falls. A sign indicated that the trail was unmaintained and that conditions were hazardous. It was a long, narrow descent with a lot of poison oak right beside the trail. But it brought us to a beautiful falls with many cascades. This was the highest one.

There were some fascinating rocks next to the falls.

The second cascade was pretty, but not as tall as the first.

Here is the second cascade with the surrounding area.

Unfortunately, we couldn't see much of the lowest and largest cascade, because the rocks were too steep to climb down. We could see a little of it from the top.

The view up the beach was pretty, too. It's really too bad I couldn't find my polarizer.

After our hike, we drove along the Panoramic Highway and saw a romantic sunset.

We had to stop the car in a rather precarious place to take this picture of the sunset glowing on the water's edge. I have not PhotoShopped this picture at all (except to resize it for the web) and I didn't have a polarizer - the view really was that amazing in real life!

All in all, it was a great hike, and a wonderful experience of many different aspects of nature. We had dinner at the Pt. Reyes Station House Cafe, recommended by Mary from the Blackthorne Inn. Eric thought his trout was all right, but I very much enjoyed my butternut squash ravioli with cheese. We had berry pie for dinner since in was March 14th and thus pi day.

Last updated: 3/19/2009 by Eric and Beth Zuckerman