Hiking to Alamere Falls

Sometimes, random conversations can lead to wonderful adventures. Case in point: this weekend's hike to Alamere Falls!

A few days ago, Whitney and I were talking about her new hiking boots and whether or not we should go on a local hike so she could break them in before a trip she has coming up. I mentioned that I had been wanting to hike to Alamere Falls — a hike I knew nothing about but had seen a handful of pictures of online. Jason, my roommate, also happened to be home and joined in the conversation. Plans for a Sunday hike were quickly thrown together!

Because I was coming home from the Taylor Swift concert from the night before, we got a bit of a late start. Factor in our roundabout drive to the trailhead, as well, and we weren't actually on the trail until well after noon. However, Jason had hiked the trail several times before, so we weren't too worried about it, despite its 8.2 mile length and the hot, dry weather.

sports bra [similar] - shorts [exact] - sunglasses [exact]

As I'm sure you can tell from this photo, those miles were very much worth the work! 

For the first mile and a half or so, it was very dry and dusty as we snaked along the coast (I was very happy that I had thrown an extra water bottle in my bag at the last minute!). We zigzagged in and out of the trees, often opening up onto sweeping vistas of the Pacific coastline. There was a decent amount of traffic on the path, but not enough to make it feel congested. 

After a while, the path veered more into the forest. The shade of the trees was a welcome respite from the sun! We also walked by two, gorgeous lakes, one of which had a rope swing that plenty of people were taking advantage of. After that lake, traffic thinned out a bit. According to Jason, a lot of locals like to hike to the lake and hang out all day on inflatable tubes. Perhaps we'll have to do that next time!

Finally, around 4 miles into the hike, we reached the turn off for Alamere Falls. The path was pretty narrow but surrounded by foliage on all sides, so it felt almost like walking through a tunnel! After awhile, it opened up onto a rocky cliff facing the Pacific Ocean. In order to get down to the base of the cliff (where the waterfall was), we had to climb down a pretty steep path of crumbling rocks. Since I was wearing regular old athletic shoes, I had trouble keeping my footing there! However, we handled it a lot better than a lot of the other people on the trail!

You have to get through this to get to the waterfall!

Finally, we were on the beach! It's an absolutely stunning sight — the open Pacific Ocean on one side and a breathtakingly beautiful waterfall on the other. We sat down on the sand and took it all in while enjoying the burritos we had purchased earlier in the day.

Once our lunches were consumed, it was time to cool down! We played around in the ocean surf for a little bit before heading over to the waterfall. Although I'm not typically one to submerge myself in the Pacific Ocean in northern California, it felt phenomenal after 4.2 miles of hiking on one of the hottest days we've had all year!

Since the waterfall is fresh water, we all rinsed the salt water off there before packing up our bags again and heading in the same direction we had come from. I got the opportunity to use a little bit of my bouldering knowledge when going up the steep path back to the top of the cliff — I found some good holds and hoisted myself up rather than taking advantage of the people pulling others up. I can't say it was very technical, but it felt kind of fun :) 

We made very good time on the way out, all eager to get some food and cold water back in the city. A refueling stop at Super Duper Burger in Mill Valley definitely hit the spot for all of us! 

Thanks for a fun adventure, Whitney and Jason! Looking forward to the next one :)


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