Taiwanese-American blogging about his travels outdoors and occasionally his thoughts on life.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Hiking Alamere Falls, California and Tomales Bay, California (Pacific Coast Highway Roadtrip)

So it begins! My West Coast roadtrip up north from California towards Canada.

I woke up in the morning at a friend's place in Walnut Creek and left to pick up Ben in San Ramon.

We hit the road around 8am.

First stop on our trip: Alamere Falls, Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Location: 37.9536493,-122.7835298

Alamere Falls is located just north of San Francisco and can be considered a local destination for those of us who live in the bay. After about an hour and a half of driving, we reached the parking lot.

It's good to arrive early because the hike is popular and the lot is small. Once the lot fills, park rangers will ask people to park along the lone road leading to the parking lot which will result in a long walk to the trailhead.

The hike to the falls is about 8 miles, round trip. The start of the hike begins at the Palomarin Trailhead in the parking lot near the restrooms. The trail is clearly marked and there are many signs to update you on your location. You will hike on the Palomarin trail until you reach the Alamere trail.

The hike overall is easy with very little elevation change. The day we went, the weather was cloudy but the views were still decent.

The trail to the Alamere falls, that splits off of Palomarin trail, can be easy to miss as there is no sign and the existence of a path is obscured near the beginning. Try to keep an eye out for crudely made signs by other hikers for the trail.
 If you can download an offline map, that would be useful.

Ten minutes down, you'll reach the falls. Before the falls are some tinier waterfalls, nice for pictures, but the main fall is located on the beach. If you look over the edge, it's a straight drop off, so walk around the side down a steep road.

Definitely worth the hike.

After finishing the hike, we made a sudden decision to get oysters in Tomales Bay. It was literally a split second decision. As the place was passing by, I just slammed the break and turned in. Coincidentally, the store was the same one that I went to years prior!

As we were eating oysters, it hit me how tired I was. The night before I had slept quite late, so I took a half hour nap before continuing on the road.
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