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Coast Trail - South

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

5.7 mile 9.3 kilometer point to point
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 668' 204 m
Descent: -884' -269 m
High: 570' 174 m
Low: 52' 16 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by Megan W

Wonderful scenery with access to a waterfall and swimming lake

Megan W

Features Birding · Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

The Coast Trail - South begins from the Palomarin Trailhead and parking area in a eucalyptus grove. The wide doubletrack trail starts out nearly level, crossing small creeks and offering views of the ocean. After a moderate climb, the trail passes a handful of seasonal ponds and approaches the northern edge of beautiful Bass Lake. To visit the lake, keep going until you reach the Bass Lake Connector, about 100 yards after you first glimpse the lake. Popular with picnic-ers, anglers, and swimmers- it can feel very crowded on summer weekends. Off-peak times are more relaxing, with ducks and other waterbirds paddling about.

Just after the junction with Crystal Lake trail, the descent starts with a spectacular vision of Pelican Lake perched high on a bluff. The Pacific Ocean peeks out between two hills (called Double Point) that form a "V." Hard to describe, easy to enjoy! A spur trail goes from here to the craggy overlook of Double Point, a favorite place for whale watching in March.

For many people, Alamere Falls is the highlight of this trail. To visit the unique spectacle of a waterfall crashing directly on to the beach on an incoming tide, follow the Alamere Falls trail description. Once you're finished admiring Mother Nature's work on the falls, return to the Coast Trail - South and continue north, up and over another hillside passing Ocean Lake and Wildcat Lake. Arrive at Wildcat Beach after a steep descent and spend the night at Wildcat Camp if you have a permit.

The Palomarin Trailhead parking lot typically fills up by 10 am in the summer, so get there early! Note: bikes are not allowed on this trail.

Flora & Fauna

Indian paintbrush, Douglas Iris, lupine, broom, coffeeberry, rabbits, sea lions on the sand, seabirds. Binoculars help see migrating grey whales in March.

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Check-Ins

Aug 3, 2019
Weijie Chen
3h 00m
Sep 14, 2018
Bryan O’Connell
5.5mi
Apr 9, 2018
Ronny Estenoz
Feb 12, 2017
Tilman Giese

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 5 votes

#7263

Overall
  4.2 from 5 votes
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4 Star
80%
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Trail Rankings

#738

in California

#7,263

Overall
30 Views Last Month
1,244 Since Jan 30, 2015
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

Wonderful views from Coast Trail South
Feb 16, 2015 near Bolinas, CA
Scenic walk along Bass Lake.
Aug 19, 2017 near Bolinas, CA
The Palomarin trail makes its way along the coast.
Aug 20, 2016 near Bolinas, CA
Palomarin trail
Aug 20, 2016 near Bolinas, CA
Ocean view from Coast Trail
Aug 1, 2017 near Bolinas, CA
Bass Lake at Dusk
Sep 1, 2015 near Bolinas, CA

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