Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Alamere Falls

A few months ago, my adventure buddy R and I took a day trip to Alamere Falls when we were both off for the day. I'm seriously going to miss this fun-loving, generous, and hilarious girl now that she moved to Baltimore for her dermatology residency.
Alamere Falls is a well-known 8-mile hike in the mountains of Marin that R and I both wanted to check off our bucket list. The hike brings you through all the famous features of Northern Calfornia. It leads you through dirt trails with dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean, thick bushes deep in the forest, and finally down the side of cliff to a gigantic waterfall that pours into the ocean. I had never done such a long hike before, so it was a challenging, but rewarding hike. 

Unfortunately I left my camera's memory card back in my computer so didn't realize my camera wasn't going to work until I got to the hike, so all of these pictures were taken on my iPhone.
After a low-key couple miles on trails through the mountains and forests, the trail led us to this unassuming opening in the bush. Don't be scared by the fact that it's unmaintained. It's actually the most well-traversed trail in the area so there are plenty of fellow hikers.
At the entrance to the Alamere falls trail (after about 3 miles hugging the coast inland), we made our way back out to the coast. To get down to to the beach, we had to scoot on our butts to shimmy down the steep cliffs!
We first stumbled upon this mini version of the falls and at first I was confused because it looked so much smaller than the pictures I had seen.
 The mini falls - "is this it??"
 Nope. We had to scoot on our butts to get down to the real falls. 
 Ta-da! Alamere falls all to ourselves! On the weekends, the area is swarming with hikers and tourists. The benefit of a resident's schedule is that we get a weekend day off so we went on a empty Wednesday morning. 
 Finally made it to the falls after 4 miles! 
 We made it! 
We brought a picnic to eat on the beach and then took a little snooze. The water was freezing cold so we didn't go in, but we could at least pretend we were on a tropical vacation by sunbathing on the beach. 
The hike up the cliff wasn't as bad as the hike down, but then we were faced at the prospect of hiking the 4 miles back to the trail head. Honestly I got tired about halfway back and was wishing for an Uber to take me the rest of the way to our car! 
Alas, we finally made it back to the car and drove back home to SF, stopping at Stintson Beach on the way. We didn't stay long, but I'm still glad I got to check off Alamere Falls off my bucket list with one of my best friends in SF. Who am I going to go on spontaneous day trips in SF with any more??