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Cataract Creek Waterfalls Hike (picnic)

April 20, 10:45 am - 3:00 pm

The ultimate waterfall hike, not one big falls but fall after fall. Inside the Mount Tamalpais Watershed, start along Alpine Lake, then quickly steep shaded hike with wooden step after wooden step, a waterfall paradise with all sizes and shape waterfalls along Cataract Creek, the main falls are located just east of Ridgecrest, but some of my favorites are located farther downstream. Up along a narrow single-track into the wooded forests of redwoods and Douglas fir, and ferns everywhere and to scenic views.

Level: Moderate Plus
Total Distance: 7.8 mile, loop
Hiking Time: 4.5 hours
Elevation Change: 1700 feet (accumulated)
Parking fee: Free parking Lot
Official Trail Use: No Dogs allowed, Pit Toilet Rock Springs & Laurel Dell picnic area, no Water, no swimming.

GPS: Latitude: N[masked]° Longitude: W[masked]°



Trailhead: Rock Springs Trailhead, W Ridgecrest Blvd, Stinson Beach, CA 94970, Meet at the Trailhead sign

Hiking Directions: Starting point,
Rock Spring parking lot, Take Cataract Trail out to Laurel Dell picnic area, then down and up the steep wooden stairs for a half-mile to view all the different falls, once reaching the top again, go Left on High Marsh Trail around the bluff stop to rest and eat, then continue on the trail High Marsh Trail, after the second bridge, continue Right at the marker on Right uphill on High Marsh Trail, at the pond with many frogs chirping, Right at the marker uphill on Boys Cross Country trail, Right at the marker uphill on Kent Trail, reach Potrero Picnic area, go straight, then Left on Laurel Dell Road, then Right at the marker uphill on Bernstein Trail, Right short distance on Lagunitas Road, then Right back on Bernstein Trail (stay right on the trail at the fork), then Left at Simmons Trail, then Left on Cataract Trail and return to Rock Spring parking lot

Driving Directions:
From US-101 North, take exit 445B to merge onto CA-1 North toward Mill Valley / Stinson Beach, CA-1 North, for 3.6 miles. Turn slight right onto Panoramic Highway and drive for 5.3 miles. Turn right onto Pan Toll Road and drive for 1.4 miles to reach the intersection with Ridgecrest Blvd. Rock Springs parking lot is near the intersection.

Carpooling Direction:
Please sign up here. We will use this link for carpooling:

Carpooling Manners:
Please refrain from trying to negotiate your carpool in the comments, as it is equivalent to sending multiple “Reply All” emails to everyone. Please start your carpool quest, by first adding yourself to the carpool link above. Then, use the contact info provided by the driver or rider in the link above to contact them directly and privately.

Please be considerate of others and resist the urge to “Reply All”.

Thank you for understanding.


April 20
10:45 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Rock Spring Trail
Rock Spring Trail
Mill Valley, CA 94941 us
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