River/Creek · Waterfall
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.
Shared By: Nick Wilder
by Mason Musumeci