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Cataract Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (8)

A serene singletrack along Cataract Creek with many waterfalls.


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Map Key

3.0

Miles

4.8

KM

Point to Point

1,970' 601 m

High

655' 200 m

Low

63' 19 m

Up

1,350' 412 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

44%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Waterfall

Description

This steep hike packs a lot into 3 short miles: many waterfalls, beautiful old growth forest, stream burbles, and cooler temps thanks to the deep, dark ravine. There are many steep sections of this trail with sets of stairs, but the trail is in good shape with little erosion.

From the upper parking lot, start out across a sunny meadow but then quickly duck into dense forest filled with ferns and huge oak, bay laurel, and fir trees. Join Cataract Creek and follow its descent all the way to Alpine Lake. Along the way, you'll pass at least 6 waterfalls of varying height. They might dry up in late summer but usually have at least a small flow. The creek sounds can be delightful - be sure to stop for a moment and enjoy the peace!

Once you hit Alpine Lake, the trail soon ends. You could go back the way you came or make a bigger loop using one of the many trails in the area.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nick Wilder with improvements by Mason Musumeci

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 8 votes

#5403

Overall
  4.5 from 8 votes
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Trail Rankings

#466

in California

#5,403

Overall
109 Views Last Month
3,113 Since Sep 15, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Cataract Creek Falls #6.
Sep 15, 2016 near Bolinas, CA
Beginning of the Cataract Trail
Sep 15, 2016 near Bolinas, CA
Airplane engine.
Sep 15, 2016 near Bolinas, CA
The Laurel Dell picnic area.
Sep 15, 2016 near Bolinas, CA
Cataract Creek Falls #3
Sep 15, 2016 near Bolinas, CA
Reflections.
Sep 15, 2016 near Bolinas, CA

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Check-Ins

Jul 2, 2020
Jennifer Cheng
Feb 17, 2020
Admiral Wing Commander
6.2mi
Sep 29, 2019
Lal W.
Started at the top w/ a great view of downtown on the otherside of the road before heading down to lake. Stair steps were manageable. Quiet alot of it 6mi
Aug 11, 2019
j lee
Jun 23, 2019
Peter H
3mi — 1h 00m
Jun 22, 2019
M B
Mar 17, 2019
hasmin serpas
Meg mom dylan 2.5mi
Nov 10, 2018
Nick S