Day Trip from San Francisco: Visit Alamere Falls & Cypress Tree Tunnel

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On a clear, sunny day in February me and Tyler woke up early and made the beautiful drive from San Francisco, California to hit the Cypress Tree Tunnel and to the Alamere Falls hike.

The tree tunnel and the hike are about a 45 minute drive away from each other, but it made sense to combine the two and make a day out of it since we were already leaving the city!

If you’re coming from San Francisco, you will first cross the famed Golden Gate Bridge going North. Eventually, the large highway will lead you to beautiful rolling fields with cows grazing on hillsides and gorgeous farmland. Get directions from San Francisco to the tunnel here.

Cypress Tree Tunnel

This was our first time going this North in California, and it was just gorgeous. Being there in the winter after a lot of rain fall, everything was super green and we had a great time just making the drive!

Our first stop was Cypress Tree Tunnel which is a cool place to stretch your feet and snap a few pics! We went on a weekday morning and there was zero people which made it all the more awesome.

How to Hike to Alamere Falls

Get directions from the tunnel to the Alamere Falls hike here.

Special Considerations: Tide

Normally, I would start a hike as early as I can, for many reasons such as heat, crowds, and because I’d rather get up early and get it done! But with this specific hike, you must take into consideration the timing of the ocean tide.

Check this website for low tide on the day you’re planning to do the hike. This is really important, since the waterfall is right on the beach and walking on the beach or climbing down the cliff in high tide would be very dangerous!

Trail Stats & Map

If you don’t take the shortcut this is a good 13-14 miles roundtrip with 1600 ft. of elevation gain.

Taking the short cut both ways, the trail is about 8.5 miles roundtrip.

Check this website for a trail map and up to date conditions.

The Trail: Shortcut or Long way?

Going into this hike, we didn’t plan to take the short cut at all. Point Reyes has a statement that the shortcut is not a maintained trail, it is very dangerous, and the trail is contributing to erosion.

We started the hike around 11:30AM to make it to the falls at low tide on our specific day. After deciding not to take the short cut on the way down, we were beat and did take it going back.

Although the short cut isn’t a “maintained” trail- its a very obvious trail that has had a lot of wear. So while I normally would never suggest taking a short cut, it didn’t feel like I was harming the environment since the trail was already there. Is that a great or right answer? I don’t know- but its my answer for you!

However- the shortcut will take you through a tight trail with poison oak, and requires scaling up and down a cliff. The cliffside is very steep and has crumbly rock. So, proceed at your own risk or take the long way for more exercise. 😉

I actually did enoy taking the long way to get there, though. When we reached the beach, we were able to see the waterfall from a mile away and got to have a nice leisurely walk next to the ocean!

Overall, this is a beautiful trail along the coast that goes through a forest and down to the beach to a waterfall! It’s one of our favorite hikes to date because of the variety of beautiful scenery.

I hope you enjoyed my content and found it helpful for your next trip! Please like this post, subscribe to my blog, and follow me on Instagram for more travel inspiration. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Looking for more California or hiking adventures? Check out my other blog posts or visit this one on a trip to Alabama Hills and Mammoth Lakes!

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