Waterfall into the Ocean | Alamere Falls


Friday night of Memorial Day weekend, I texted my good friend Dan because we still had no plans whatsoever, and we needed to do something! Dan is the perfect adventure buddy because he is not fazed by the randomness of our trips (example: Salton Sea). After all, spontaneous trips often turn out to be the best ones. So we quickly came up with some ideas and somehow pulled off a perfect weekend.

To give you an idea, in just two days, we shucked and ate a couple oysters fresh out of the Bay; we hiked to a waterfall that flows into the ocean; we were attacked by an angry turkey, and then we watched a curtain of fireworks rain down on the Golden Gate Bridge. Not to mention all of the other great little moments in between.

So here, part 1 of 2, is a glimpse at that weekend. First, Dan and I went up to Tomales Bay, home of the Tomales Bay Oyster Company, to meet up with my brother and his friends for some oysters and barbecue.

Fresh oysters by the dozens!

Dan tries his hand at shucking.

My brother was dog sitting for a friend, so along came Guthrie too!

My brother Albert and me.

After some oysters and hot dogs, Dan and I left Tomales Bay to go on our hike. It starts at the Palomarin Trailhead near Bolinas. All of these locations are in North Bay, an hour north of San Francisco.

I’ve seen so many parts of the California Coast, and it never gets old.

The hike varies through woods and out into open air. It’s eight miles total.

A bit more than halfway in, you reach Bass Lake, a pristine Midwestern-looking lake complete with rope swings and summer fun. But we had our sights set on the waterfall, so on we went.

And finally, a couple hours later, after venturing into the untamed trail and down a crevice between some rocks, we reached the first (small) part of Alamere Falls.

Dan was using his iPhone to capture our hike while I lugged around my dSLR the whole way.

The small waterfall was already a really beautiful little find, but the best was yet to come.

We had to scramble a bit to get down the side of this cliff next to the waterfall. The rock was a bit crumbly, slightly hazardous, but we made it!

The waterfall was literally right on the beach. What could be more wonderful than a waterfall next to the ocean? And what blew my mind almost as much as just seeing a waterfall next to the ocean was the fact that this was only 30 miles from San Francisco! This made me wonder, how many other amazing places must be tucked away, just waiting to be discovered? If you know of any, please do share!

Dan and me, looking quite happy to be in paradise.

We stayed on the beach for a while and then proceeded to hike back to the car. Next, we headed to the neighboring town of Bolinas, which is notorious for its reclusive old hippie vibe– the residents steal all signs pointing to their town in hopes of staving off tourists. Alas, you can’t get rid of us! We were very hungry and very happy to eat at the Coast Cafe.

Then we called it a day and started wondering what we should do on Sunday… speaking of which, you’ll have to stay tuned for part 2. Turkey and fireworks and all!

If you’re interested in hiking out to Alamere Falls, I highly recommend it. Wear layers with long sleeves and long pants, because there is poison oak on the trail and the last part before the waterfall is completely overgrown. The hike is 8 miles round trip, starting and ending at the Palomarin Trail head. Most of the hike is quite moderate. The only tricky part is scrambling down the cliff at the end, but I made it down! And you can too. It’s oh so very worth it.