Mt Tam is one of my favourite hiking spots and the trail along Cataract is really sweet. It follows the creek and has plenty of falls along the section we'll be on.
This is a moderate to strenuous hike, w/ roughly a 1400' elevation gain, so be sure to carb up for this one the night before - pasta works fine. I highly recommend a high carb lunch on the hike as well. You'll be amazed at how much more energy you'll have from carbing. (This hike might be considered strenuous depending on your condition, but it's beautiful and well worth the effort.)
Plan on hiking and funning all day. We should be done around 4:30-5:00.
We'll meet at the parking lot about 1/2 mile on the right before the dam (at Alpine Lake) and head up Cataract towards the falls following Helen Markt and take our vino/snack break at Alpine Lake. Then continuing up Kent and High Marsh, where we'll have lunch on a beautiful mountaintop meadow. Then we following head back to Cataract and back down to Alpine Lake, taking in Cataract Falls and the many cascades along the way back down. There will tons of photo opps, so bring those cameras!
This will be about an 8 mile hike w/ about a 1400' elevation gain, filled w/ forest, mountain vistas, overlooks, various views of Alpine Lake, Cataract Falls, and many cascades along Cataract Creek. In other words, this one's going to be really pretty!
Our potluck lunch will be on a mountain meadow w/ killer views in several directions.
From Hwy 101 - Central San Rafael , out 4th Street (becomes Red Hill) merge Right on Sir Francis Drake, Left on Bank, Left on Broadway, Right on Bolinas (becomes Bolinas/Fairfax). There is a small parking lot on the right side of the road, about 1/2 mile before the dam. We'll start the hike from there. Only a few cars will be able to park at the hairpin turn by Alpine Lake, so I'm strongly suggesting carpools. Let's meet at the small lot at 10:45
This GPS is for the small lot 1/2 mile before the dam and trailhead.
GPS 37.939527,-122.638589 The location we meet at is at the green marker.
What to bring:
~Vino! (and cups)
~Food, food, food! (packed w/ carbs) this is a potluck! - sandwiches (cut up), salads, pasta, dried fruit/nuts, chips & dip, use your imagination.
~Good Hiking Boots/shoes
~Layered clothing, hat, and sunscreen.
~Vino and Snacks for our pre-lunch vino break. Energy bars are highly recommended.
~At least 1 liter of water (2 is better) ~ Fill w/ 1/2 water & 1/2 ice.
~Anything else you want to drink (juice, beer, iced tea, etc.)
~ $5 activity fee
Your sense of humour is an absolute must!
This hike is posted on other Meetup sites, so you'll have the chance to make new friends.