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This is a moderate-strenuous hike. It will be appx 10 miles with under a 1000 foot elevation gain. The strenuous part is due to the length and the difficulty of the scramble down to the beach at Alamere falls. It is tricky and not for everyone.
This hike has everything: Ocean views, waterfalls, 2 swimming lakes, ponds and ocean beach swimming when it's warm enough or you are crazy enough! But most importantly you will need to scramble down a tricky section down to the beach. Make sure you are prepared! It also has poison oak on the section out to the falls....make sure you can cover up for this overgrown section of the trail!!! After our scramble down to the beach we will (tides permitting) walk down the beach to Wildcat Beach where we will have lunch. We then will walk back on the trail to our cars.
Partial TRAIL DESCRIPTION By Bahiker.com http://www.bahiker.com/northbayhikes/palomarin.html
DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD: Take D st. (which becomes Pt Reyes-Petaluma Rd) from Petaluma and travel 11 miles. Stay straight on Platform Bridge Rd for 2.4 miles and then take a right on Sr. Francis Drake Blvd for just under 2 miles. Turn left on Hwy 1 for 9.1 miles where you will take a right on Olema Bolinas Rd. Continue on Olema Bolinas rd for a little under 2 miles where you will make a right on Mesa Rd. Follow all the way to the end. The road will dead end at the parking lot for the Palomarin Trailhead. If you reach the center of town you need to turn around and head back the way you came because you missed the right hand turn to Mesa Rd...as you return it will be on your left.
"ALAMERE FALLS HIKE" Rate 9.5 out of 10 Location: Pt. Reyes National Seashore, near Bolinas, It is incredibly pretty with amazing ocean views and lush vegetation (especially in spring). The last half mile of the trail is along a signed spur trail (off the Coast Trail). As you approach the top of Alamere Falls from the spur trail, it becomes a bit tricky to negotiate. You need to carefully scramble down to Alamere Creek, which is a bit steep. Then you must cross Alamere Creek, which may be tricky in high water. At this point a pretty upper cascade is in view, 3 separate cascades about 30 ft. in total height. From the top of the cliff, you can also get a nice side view of Alamere Falls itself, dropping 40 ft. onto the beach. To get down to the beach, you must carefully scramble down the cliff. This is dangerous and not for everyone. The cliffs here are very crumbly, and a fall here could cause a serious injury. Once down at the beach, you will be treated to a wonderful experience, standing beside a 40 ft. waterfall on the ocean. It is a lot more impressive in the winter months after there has been a lot of rain. Be sure to check the tide charts in advance because at high tide, there will be no beach, and the waves will be coming right up to the cliff.
Distance: Estimated to be 8-9 miles
Elevation Gain: Est. 550ft.
Please read and be familiar with the guidelines of the group as listed below. It’s important before you come on a Wanderer hike that you agree and are prepared with the following.
We combine enjoyment of the trail with respect for everyone’s time. A steady pace and we just keep going! If you are in the lead you will end up waiting at trail junctions. If you are in the back you will be asked to do your best to keep up with the group and at waiting points the group may move on as soon as you are within sight. Our pace averages 2.5mph. We do get separated from time to time as everyone walks their own pace but please bear in mind that you will need to be able to stay within a reasonable distance from the group. Make sure this is something you are prepared for and would enjoy
Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments to the hike details. Cancellations or any adjustments will be posted by 10pm the previous evening.
TO BRING: YOU! glorious hiker person you – dying to hit the trails and laugh, talk, sweat and enjoy in a group of like minded Wanderers… Oh yeah, and you should always bring your hiking safety essentials, layered clothing, water and food appropriate to the outing as mentioned below.
RSVP etiquette must be followed. Only RSVP when you can commit to attend. Once you have RSVP'd if you have an emergency that means you have to cancel please change your RSVP by 5pm the prior day. This will avoid a "no-show" reflecting on your participation history. Over 3 "no-shows" might mean we have to excuse you from the group. We try very hard to respect each other in this group.
Give yourself time to find the trail head so that you arrive prior to the scheduled time. That is the time we head out on the trail. It would be disappointing to miss having you on the hike due to late arrival. You will be left behind if you are not ready to head out at the hike start time.
Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good rugged soles that are well broken in.
Duration: 5-6 hours
Facilities: at trailhead and at Wildcat beach
Dogs?: none allowed
Bring plenty of water. More than one bottle is usually a good idea.
Dress in layers. The hike starts off cool but rapidly warms up. Bring a bathing suit if you want to swim!
Bring a lunch. We will lunch at either Bass lake or Wildcat Beach depending on the tides.
Bring your smile and great attitude! We are ALL about trail enjoyment while respecting everyone’s time.
Car pool etiquette- First and foremost....come prepared to drive. Yes.....I know.....a lot of you are trying to car pool because you don't want to or can't drive for whatever reason. I don't want you to be disappointed, so if you can't drive please be aware that you might not be able to join the hike. There is always that risk if you are counting on others to be your transportation. There may be no others wanting to car pool from your selected location or there might be a lot of people and everyone might want to ride. You might arrive late, be in the wrong spot or get stopped by a swarm of your paparazzi...come prepared to drive to the trail head if you want to hike! If we have a gang wanting to ride we determine who gets the rider seats by who has most recently been a driver in the past. This is worked out based by who shows up at the car pool location. We can't guarantee anyone a seat because we never know until that day who will show up. We do our best to work it out and make everyone happy but we need everyone to pitch in and help make it work! General rule of thumb for riders...$5 one hour or less to trailhead $8 over one hour to trailhead Please insist your driver accept the money. It's to cover more than gas money...it's the wear and tear on the vehicle. We like to take care of our drivers!Then PLEASE if possible try to use the locations below. The more locations we have the less effective we are and it's so much more complicated. Exceptions would be if you are not close any designated location.
Car pool locations:
SANTA ROSA: Coddingtown Mall parking lot in front of the Coddingtown library to leave by 8:30
PETALUMA-Lucky at the intersection of Lakeville and Caulfield Ln. Park closest to Payran St. suggested leave by 8:45