February 3

Cataract Falls Hike

On Superbowl Sunday we go hiking on Cataract Falls trail on the northern slope of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County. We took advantage of the fact that most people would not be out hiking due to Superbowl Sunday.

We left home early and headed to Marin County through San Anselmo and Fairfax toward the Marin Watershed area and Alpine Lake. We parked along the road past the dam and started our hike. The length of the trail was not that long (1.8 miles one way) but ascended along the creek almost 900 feet. So the steep climp made us hot and sweaty although the temps were cool in the shade in the low 50s. Along the creek we encountered many little waterfalls and pretty pools in the shaded fern covered valley. Bridges criss-crossed the creek along the trail and wooden and stone steps assisted on the climb up the slippery moist trail.

Once at the top of the trail we encountered a picnic area near a sunny grove which we used to warm up before our descent. On the trail down most of the hikers were gone, seems like they all needed to go home to watch the Superbowl. The rest of the hikers were obviously foreign and probably didn't care about the game. Once down the trail we headed to San Mateo and caught about half the game before heading home.

Cataract Falls hike was a nice first hike of 2013.

Click on thumbnails to view larger images:

  • Approaching the new Doyle drive tunnel toward the bridge

  • Crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge

  • Toby driving over the Alpine Lake dam

  • Beautiful reflections on Alpine Lake

  • Beautiful reflections on Alpine Lake

  • Our first waterfall as it enters at lake level

  • The first our the numerous bridges that we had to cross

  • The path starts along Alpine Lake

  • Another water fall along the trail

  • The first of the taller waterfalls

  • The first of the taller waterfalls

  • The first of the taller waterfalls

  • The first of the taller waterfalls

  • Numerous stairs on the trail

  • First of the pretty feathery waterfalls

  • Bridge crossing a wide portion of the creek

  • This was the prettiest pool along the hike

  • A small flowing waterfall into the tranquil pool

  • A small flowing waterfall into the tranquil pool

  • A small flowing waterfall into the tranquil pool

  • A small flowing waterfall into the tranquil pool

  • The midsection of the creek was relatively flat

  • Another picturesque waterfall surrounded by ferns

  • Another picturesque waterfall surrounded by ferns

  • Another picturesque waterfall surrounded by ferns

  • Another picturesque waterfall surrounded by ferns

  • Having lunch at the top of the trail before heading back down

  • Having lunch at the top of the trail before heading back down

  • Warming up in the sun

  • Warming up in the sun

  • Inside a hollow tree trunk

  • Pretty ferns abound everywhere

  • Interesting mushrooms

  • Toby and Alan

  • Back to the pretty pool

  • Another waterfall along the trail down

  • The feathery waterfall near the beginning of the trail

  • The feathery waterfall near the beginning of the trail

  • Toby on Alpine Lake Dam

  • View of Alpine Lake

  • The Golden Gate bridge from the Marin tunnel on the Waldo Grade

  • Inside the new Doyle Drive tunnel

One of the numerous waterfalls along the Cataract Falls trail.