Cataract Trail is a hiking trail in Marin County, California. It is within Mount Tamalpais Watershed. It is 2.3 miles long and begins at 686 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,665 feet. The Rock Springs is near the trailhead.
Cataract Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"It’s a gut-wrenching climb that makes sweat pour down your forehead, and even the stoutest dog will have his tongue extended fully, but Cataract Falls and the Laurel Dell Picnic Area are worth every pounding heartbeat. For Cataract Falls isn’t just one falls, but a set of cascading waterfalls that rush down a wooded ravine on the slopes of Mount Tamalpais."
--Jason Fator, Best Hikes With Dogs: San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond (The Mountaineers Books).
"It’s a gut-wrenching climb that makes sweat pour down your forehead, and even the stoutest dog will have its tongue extended fully, but Cataract Falls and the Laurel Dell Picnic Area are worth every pounding heartbeat. For Cataract Falls isn’t just one falls, but a set of cascading waterfalls that rush down a wooded ravine on the slopes of Mount Tamalpais. The sights and smells are worth the sweat equity you’ll expend on this 750-foot-elevation climb. Besides, the picnic area is a welcomed pit stop where you can spread out a blanket and have a feast (go ahead and pack carbs, you’ll burn them)."
--Thom Gabrukiewicz, Best Hikes with Dogs: Bay Area & Beyond (The Mountaineers Books).
"This is a strenuous, but spectacular, hike in the most remote section of Mt. Tamalpais. Wonderful pools, waterfalls and conifer forests. Steep and rocky in places."
--Don & Kay Martin, Hiking Marin: 141 Great Hikes in Marin County (Marin Press LLC).
"A challenging but spectacular trail leads up along Cataract Creek, passing a series of waterfalls as it climbs from Alpine Lake to Laurel Dell. Given sufficient rainfall, any number of ephemeral cascades can be found in the steep gullies of the Mount Tamalpais Watershed. But few carry the notoriety of the falls found along the Cataract Trail, which climbs beside Cataract Creek above Alpine Lake, one of five reservoirs on the mountain’s flanks.A relatively challenging trail traces Cataract Creek as it plunges about 1,000 feet from Laurel Dell to Alpine Lake. Artfully combining switchbacks with stone and wooden staircases, the trail traverses steep slopes shaded by redwoods, laurels, and oaks through an understory lush with sword fern and bracken fern, and glowing with moss."
--Tracy Salcedo-Chourré, Hiking Waterfalls in Northern California (Falcon Guides).
"This is a magnificent hike that features creeks, forests, views and flowers in some of the most remote areas on the mountain. Can have standing water in winter."
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