family vacation destination blog

10 Lovely Waterfall Hikes Close to San Francisco

Spread the love

I don’t know what it’s about waterfalls, however they all the time make me really feel blissful. Fortunately, the Bay Space is teeming with waterfalls—horsetail falls, fan waterfalls, multi-tiered waterfalls, cascades, and tide falls—all inside day-trip distance of San Francisco.

Bay Space waterfalls are depending on rainfall versus snowmelt. So if you’re trying to see a waterfall with a powerful water stream, a superb rule of thumb is to go in winter and early spring when the wet season is in full swing. It’s true that some waterfalls, like Berry Creek Falls, stream year-round; nonetheless, they’re more likely to be a trickle in summer time versus their full glory in winter.

One other technique is to look at the climate and look forward to a number of good storm techniques to maneuver by way of the world. Should you hike after a sequence of sturdy storms, you’ve a superb probability of seeing plumped up falls. Bear in mind these waterproof boots for prime water, mud, and puddles on trails.

Listed below are ten improbable waterfall hikes close to San Francisco so as of distance. Which of them are your favorites? Hike ’em and let me know. Mine? Cataract Falls. And Murietta Falls. And Berry Creek Falls. And…oh, hassle. 

1. Cascade Falls, Cascade Park, Mill Valley

Cascade Falls is a family-friendly waterfall hike in a tiny Mill Valley park that’s a straightforward Zero.three miles round-trip. From the Cascade Park car parking zone, head northwest into an ethereal redwood forest beside Cascade Creek. Bear proper at a Y-junction to the falls. There’s room for just some automobiles within the Cascade Park car parking zone, so an alternate is to park at Outdated Mill Park, and stroll up Cascade Drive, a neighborly highway with of us out strolling. It’s 2.Zero miles round-trip from Outdated Mill Park to Cascade Falls. To see one other waterfall close by, cross Cascade Drive from the Cascade Park car parking zone and decide up an unsigned dust path heading southeast alongside Outdated Mill Creek. Three Wells, a stupendous three-tiered cascade, will probably be in your proper in 350 ft.

2. McWay Falls, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Huge Sur

The Zero.7-mile roundtrip hike to McWay Falls results in a postcard-perfect view in Huge Sur. The 80-foot tall waterfall flows year-round into McWay Cove with waves from the Pacific Ocean lapping at its heels. The mixture of the waterfall, coves, cliffs, and ocean is breathtaking. McWay Falls is positioned in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, 40 miles south of Carmel-by-the-Sea off the Huge Sur Coast Freeway. Make it a day-trip with stops at Garrapata State Park and Nepenthe for lunch.

three. Cascade Falls, Cascade Canyon Open Area Protect, Fairfax

What’s that you just say? One other Cascade Falls? Yep, this Cascade Falls is a 1.5-mile round-trip hike in attractive bay laurel and madrone-studded Cascade Canyon Open Area Protect. From the Elliott Nature Protect trailhead, hike northwest on the single-track Excessive Water Path, conserving Cascade Creek in your left. In Zero.5 miles, cross a wood bridge and switch proper onto the Cascade Falls Path. Hike Zero.25 miles to Cascade Falls on the path’s finish. Parking could be very restricted, with just some spots on the shoulder of Cascade Drive.

four. Cataract Falls, Marin Municipal Water District, Marin County

Cataract Falls is pure waterfall eye-candy and surprisingly steep! Your thighs will get a exercise on this three.Zero-mile round-trip hike beside Cataract Creek on the northwestern aspect of Mount Tamalpais. But it seems like there’s a waterfall each quarter mile—there actually are that many. Some are easy cascades whereas others are dramatic fan and horsetail waterfalls. Is there even a draw back? Effectively, the hike is extraordinarily well-liked, and parking is restricted to a couple pullouts subsequent to the highway. 

5. Carson Falls, Marin Municipal Water District, Marin County

Carson Falls is a three.9-mile round-trip hike to a multi-tiered waterfall within the Marin Municipal Water District. The reasonable path climbs a large, sunny fireplace highway then descends on a single-track by way of a shady forest to the falls. Views alongside the best way of Mount Tamalpais and delightful rolling valleys are icing on the cake.

6. Uvas Canyon Waterfall Loop, Uvas Canyon County Park, Morgan Hill

Uvas Canyon County Park’s steep gulches and musical streams host energetic waterfalls all through the park. This 5.2-mile loop visits all of the waterfalls within the park, with sunny vistas of the Santa Cruz Mountains too. As a bonus, there’s a 1.Zero-mile Waterfall Loop Nature Path that may be a nice choice for households or if you’re searching for one thing shorter. Test the Uvas Canyon County Park web site to see if weekend parking reservations are required (sometimes January by way of June). To make a reservation, go to

7. Mount Diablo Waterfall Loop, Mount Diablo State Park, Clayton

A waterfall isn’t the very first thing that involves thoughts in arid Mount Diablo State Park, however shock! This 6.Zero-mile loop hike visits a sequence of modest but pleasing waterfalls alongside the Falls Path on the northern aspect of Mount Diablo. The hike begins in a Clayton neighborhood on the finish of Regency Drive, climbs by way of oak savannah to views of Donner Canyon, after which loops clockwise previous wildflowers, rock formations, and waterfalls for a punch of surroundings earlier than returning through Donner Canyon Street.

Eight. Berry Creek Falls Loop, Huge Basin Redwoods State Park, Boulder Creek

Whether it is movie-star waterfalls you’re searching for, the 10.5-mile Berry Creek Falls Loop in Huge Basin Redwoods State Park delivers. Huge time. The gorgeous trio of Golden Falls, Silver Falls, and Berry Creek Falls stream year-round, though they do decelerate fairly a bit in summertime. Tall redwoods present cool cowl in the summertime, and the views of Berry Creek and Waddell Creek from the path are a peaceable accompaniment. 

9. Murietta Falls, Del Valle Regional Park, Livermore

Situated deep inside the Ohlone Regional Wilderness, Murietta Falls is a real two-for-one. This strenuous, 12.5-mile round-trip hike combines prairie-like wilderness with a 100-foot tall seasonal waterfall. Murietta Falls is closely depending on rainfall and goes utterly dry by late spring, so that you wish to wait till storm techniques transfer by way of the Bay Space in late winter to early spring for this one. The gulch the waterfall flows into has plentiful rocks for sitting and having fun with the falls whilst you eat your sandwich. 

10. Alamere Falls, Level Reyes Nationwide Seashore

Alamere Falls is that uncommon coastal waterfall, together with McWay Falls, that flows immediately into the ocean. However not like McWay Falls, you may hike proper as much as 40-foot tall Alamere Falls and really feel the water stream in your fingertips. Mix that with a 13.Eight-mile round-trip hike by way of Douglas fir forest, wildflowers, freshwater lakes, a campground, and a seashore in Level Reyes Nationwide Seashore and you’ve got a heck of a day hike simply 35 miles northwest of San Francisco. Whereas it’s arguably a year-round waterfall, Alamere Falls can gradual to a trickle in summer time. It’s best in winter and spring. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *