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Hike Mt Tam - Lake Alpine, Cataract Falls, High Marsh, Helen Markt & Kent

  • Feb 16, 2013 · 10:45 AM
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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 2100' 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.)

Plan on hiking and funning all day.  We should be done around 4:30-5:00.

Game Plan:

We'll meet at the trailhead by the dam (at Alpine Lake) and head up Cataract towards the falls following Helen Markt and possibly having lunch close to Alpine Lake.  Then continuing up Kent and High Marsh, finally following Cataract 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, 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!


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).  A few cars can park at the hairpin turn by Alpine Lake, so I'm strongly suggesting carpools, and parking in Fairfax early, then carpooling again from there.

GPS coordinates   [masked],[masked]

What to bring:


~Lunch (packed w/ carbs) and food to share - 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 (beer, iced tea, etc.)

$5 Fun Fee

Your sense of humour is an absolute must!

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  • Marianne M.

    Hi Chas,
    I finally got up to the dam as you were walking up the road. You guys were fast hikers! I was sprinting to catch up with you but you disappeared into the lovely woods. Sorry to miss you but will join you again.

    February 17, 2013

  • Marianne M.

    I am still coming with two people. Linda, I am dropping off a car at the mechanic and using a different car to get there. Can't come to Sausalito, but you can hook up with us at the Infiniti of Marin at 10:15. Marianne - my phone is[masked]

    Also, I hope I find the right spot to meet at the dam.

    February 15, 2013

    • Linda M. H.

      Hi. I made other plans. Would love to go next time. Thanks.

      February 16, 2013

  • Stefano R.

    Sounds amazing but I am now not able to join - next time!

    February 15, 2013

  • Linda M. H.

    Hi, I would very much like to do this hike. Can I carpool with someone?


    February 15, 2013

    • Linda M. H.

      In Sausalito.

      1 · February 15, 2013

    • Jose Javier G.

      I need to cancel, had another previous appointment in Napa, I would like very much to carpool with you; I'm. Living in Tiburon sorry for this time!!

      February 15, 2013

  • george

    Would like to go, but doing SAR training

    February 8, 2013

52 went

  • Chas
    Event Host

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