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Kailua, Hawaii, United States

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cataract Falls, Marin County

This was a nice hike, but pretty steep on the way up. It was a further drive than I thought it would be, though I don't think I took the shortest route going. After the long drive over Mt. Tamalpais and then back down a little way, I ended up in a small canyone and parked along the road. I found the trailhead right away, as you can see in the pics there were signs with a LOT of rules. Seems that the trail and waterfalls are part of the Marin water supply, so you are not supposed to even dip your toes into the water.

I hadn't realized there was a lake I would be going by, so I was surprised to almost immediately see the greenish water of Alpine Lake through the trees as I started the hike. It was a very pretty place to start. The hike goes up almost from the start. It is not a long hike, even with adding a little on to the end it was only about 4 miles roundtrip. But it was steep, so it seemed a little longer than that.

After you start the climb up, the falls begin almost immediately. There are many, many spots with waterfalls, both large and small. Well, I guess they were all kind of small right now because there isn't a lot of water. But they were still running, so it was pretty and made a lovely sound too. There were few people on this hike, I counted only 10 for the trip. After making it to the top of the canyon I saw another trail post that said it was only .4 miles to Laurel Dell, so I went ahead and went to the top. There was a picnic area, some pit toilets and I guess a camping area at the Dell. It looked nice, but very dry right now.

The waterfalls would be much more dramatic in the rainy season, but they were fine for me now. I like the hikes better when there aren't a lot of people. All in all, a very splendid day.


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