So are you ready for an adventure of a lifetime? Well, you may just have to wait … until 2018.

Even though this stunning 54 ft. high waterfall is less than 2 miles along the coast from a very popular beach at Pt Reyes, very few people have ever been to see it. I have only seen one other photo of it (and it was a crappy one). Why is that? Because there are only one or two days out of the entire year that you can see the waterfall (especially with good lighting), and as for this year, now that the rainy season is over, there may not be any more opportunities at all. There are a number of conditions that need to be just right, and I describe them all in detail on my website page. So if you want to know how to get here, please check there. This hike takes a lot of careful planning.

This weekend the conditions seemed about perfect. Even so, there was trouble.

I arrived at the trailhead before sunrise.  I could hear a strange animal squealing somewhere out in the dark. What the heck is that? It was quite frightening. I know there are ranches out here but it certainly could not be a cow. What is it then? Coyote? Mountain Lion? Sasquatch? It wasn’t until afterwards I realized what it was because that is when I saw them: Tule Elk!

Anyway, the hike started out as an easy jaunt down that previously mentioned popular beach.  Before too long I came to the interesting part. The deadly part. You have to wade through the ocean water around a corner. The water was up to my waist. The tide was still going out and the waves were still coming in. Should I wait longer for the tide to go out more? I thought about that, but if I had done so, then when I got back here later, the tide would be coming back in, and that would be even more serious. I decided to get around that corner as fast as I could and hope for the best. About halfway, I got hit by a sneaker wave. I saw it coming. Never turn your back on the ocean, right? There was nothing I could do but hold onto the rocks. The wave almost pulled me off the rocks and potentially out to sea, but I held on. I tried to get through the rest of the water as quick as I could before another one got me. I found it difficult to pull myself up in waist deep water onto the rocks, but I finally got up and onto safe ground. I was shaken, but not stirred. I decided to continue on, knowing it would be easier when I got back to this section later. My GPS was in my pocket (not sure why I had it in there), and it was soaked. I thought it was toasted, yet it amazingly survived the ordeal. Now that is good construction, Magellan! However, my GoPro was not so fortunate. I thought I had it held above water when the wave hit, but obviously water got on it. I did not have it in the waterproof container because I did not expect to go swimming! It was dead in the water. I am hoping it comes back to life later, otherwise that will be an expensive casualty. This was definitely one of the more stupid things I have done in my life. Perhaps when I was younger there were worse incidents, but I don’t remember them now. I realize I am posting this on April Fool’s Day, but I assure you all this happened as I described. No joke.

The rest of the hike was a cakewalk in comparison. You have to walk through a cave which is fascinating, then you are walking along the beach the rest of the way, but it is very rocky and slow going because the rocks were wet and slippery. There were strange bugs on the rocks that skittered away as I approached, hundreds and hundreds of them. They were like cockroaches. Sand cockroaches? I also saw a bunch of crabs, including one huge one on the sand, upside down! There’s not many things more pathetic than a crab on its back, flailing away. I turned him over with my hiking pole and I heard him say “thank you, sir” before he scuttled off to the ocean.

I finally arrived at the waterfall. It was marvelous! It is such a remote falls that few have ever seen, and you can get right up close to it. I was hoping the flow would be stronger, but it was still flowing decent enough. I would have loved to stay here much longer but I had to get back before the tide turned.

When I got back to the wading area, the tide was about at the peak low point. It was much easier getting back through this section but even so, the waves were still coming up to the rocks. I had to time it carefully but I made it across without incident. If I ever come here again I will want to make sure there is a lower minus tide than I had this day.

I rested on the beach in the sun for awhile before heading back up to the car. It was a lovely morning and no one else on this popular beach at all. I felt like I should do a second hike but I was not prepared for that so I just went back to the car and drove home. It was quite an interesting morning at the ocean.



Here are your March 1 weather stats: Rainfall is at 221% of average for this date for Northern CA, 221% for Central, and 210% for Southern Sierra. We only need 12 inches of rain to surpass the wettest year on record. That seems like quite a bit, but I think it will happen, though perhaps not by April 1. The snow pack is at 161% of average (North), 193% (Central), and 204% (South).  It is going to be an incredible spring waterfall season this year. We have one official month of winter left and although it is starting off slow, there is a storm in the forecast this weekend and perhaps more in the next couple weeks. Some of you folks may be all done with the rain for this year, but I am not. We still gotta beat that all-time record. Ha ha.

My first hike of the day last weekend was to Kehoe beach. It is a short, easy hike down to the beach. It was very muddy, however. I thought that would mean the waterfall will be flowing fabulously. Not quite.

It was all so stinky! You can smell the cows all along the hike and on the beach even up to the waterfall. I did not see any cows at all. There is a ranch above the beach, I suppose that is where they all are, but I did not see them, I just smelled them. It was not horrendously awful, but it was not the typical ocean smell that we all know and love, and the reason we all like the ocean so much.

I also saw coyote prints on the trail to the beach, and they looked very fresh, but I did not see Mr. coyote unfortunately. I did see cormorants, and pelicans, and of course seagulls.

The waterfall was not flowing as much as I expected, even though it was only one week since the last big storm. We definitely will need more rain in March if I am going to do that other ocean hike at the end of the month. Anyhow, it was a lovely (albeit stinky) morning hike to an ocean waterfall.




Just a couple days ago, it was looking like the dreaded Ridge would make its first significant appearance in California, resulting in our first extended dry period of this season. After 3+ months of continuous rain with very little break in between storms, now the rain would be over. Done and done. I am sure there was much rejoicing among flood weary Californians. I was bummed. We still have one more month of winter left and I would like to still see a decent amount of rain this month. Yes, I am out of my mind. I suppose I am being selfish, especially since the main reason I want this is because I have a plan to go to a certain waterfall at the end of March and it is the only time I can go see the waterfall, and it will be dry by then if we do not get any rain in March. Well, after just a short break this week, it now looks like the storms will be returning this weekend, and maybe some bigger ones by mid month. I might get to see that waterfall after all. The fat lady has not sung yet for this winter.

Here is a good case in point. This waterfall was not flowing as great as I hoped it would be. I was a bit disappointed. Even though it was only one week since the last big storm, the flow was already down substantially this week.

It is a long and boring hike out to this waterfall. It is pretty much at the end of the world. Well, Point Reyes is at the end of California’s world, anyway. It is about 5 1/2 miles one way, mostly flat and very easy. Although you are hiking through a pretty forest, and alongside a very  lovely stream, I still find hikes like this rather boring if they are flat. It is more interesting and challenging if there is elevation to hike up and down.

It is also an extremely popular hike. I did not see too many people on the way into the waterfall, and I saw no one down at the beach, but on the hike back I think I saw 1 million people. Every type of people you can possibly think of: hikers, runners, backpackers, bikers, dogs (though they are not allowed), old people, teenagers, little kids, foreign people, wimpy people, weird people, you name it, I saw them.

I really messed up on this hike, though, in a couple different ways. The first is that I should have brought my big lens. My back would not have been thanking me if I had brought it along on a 12 mile long hike. However, I needed it. I did not think I would because the park’s website indicated that this particular section of trail (Arch Rock) was closed due to a slide that happened last year, thus I figured I would not be able to get to this particular spot where I would need the big lens, and so did not bother to pack it along. However, it was not closed. I went out to Arch Rock, and that is where I wish I had the big lens. Aargh. I could see three waterfalls from this spot, including Alamere Falls three miles off in the distance. I also saw sea lions on the beach below me. It was an amazing viewpoint.

The second thing is that I should’ve done this hike first thing in the morning when the tide was low. I did not think I would need a low tide. Also, it was supposed to be a cloudy day. All my weather apps said it would be cloudy and showery all day long. Guess what? It was sunny. This would be disastrous for photography. As I hiked that long boring 5.5 miles, I prayed often: please bring those clouds in.

Well when I got down to the beach, guess what? There were some clouds. It was not what the weather people said it would be, just a few clouds covering the sun for a short period of time, but it was enough to take photos of this waterfall. Thank you, Lord. But where was that rain, anyway?

The second waterfall on this beach is the one I needed a low tide for, and it was actually a nicer waterfall than this one, but when I got down to it, the waves were crashing up against the cliff. I could only take a handheld shot in between the waves crashing every 30 seconds, I had no time to set up my tripod for a proper photograph. The scenario: Wait for the wave to end. Run up around the corner. Take a photo of the waterfall. Run back before the next wave got me. Rinse and repeat. Oh well, what can you do?

I went back to this first waterfall, took my photos standing in the middle of the stream, then had my lunch beside it. It was certainly a beautiful day. I saw no one else on the beach, except for two joggers that came down to the beach, took a selfie of themselves with the ocean in the background, then left. They did not even look at the waterfall, let alone go up to see yet, even though it was right there beside them.  Really? What is wrong with people! Who would rather look at the ocean than a waterfall? Sacrilege, I say. LOL.

After eating, it was time to hike back. It was a very long 5 1/2 miles. Every few minutes, I had to put on my happy face (though I was tired and my back was hurting), and say hello to the next group of hikers that came by. That gets tiring after awhile. Anyway, it was a beautiful day at the ocean.


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Today’s blog title comes to you courtesy of my daughter, Nekoda. I could not think of a good title myself, so she smartly suggested the title: “A Hike”. Sounds good to me. It was indeed a good hike.

The  weather was in between storms, and it was supposed to be cloudy all day, with the next storm coming late Saturday. Three out of my four weather apps said it would be cloudy and showery all day in the Bay Area. The other one said it would be partly sunny. I figured that one had to be wrong. Surely it had to be wrong. Wrong! It was right! The  other three were wrong! The ones that are usually right were wrong! The one that is usually wrong was right! Does that make any sense?!?!

Bottom line as I started hiking at sunrise is that the sun was up. I had not checked my sun calculations, since I did not think I would need to. I had no idea if the sun would be hitting this waterfall early or not, but I suspected that it would be getting sun very early, based on its projectory and terrain. I said quite a few prayers as I hiked up the mountain. Please let the waterfall be in shade when I get there!

The hike was fantastic. The first section winds up through a beautiful forest area, with large old trees. Redwoods, I believe. It was gorgeous. Once you get through the forest area, you come up along the top of White Hill, hiking along a ridge. The views are astounding. On a clear day, I believe you could see the ocean. There were clouds today over in the ocean area, but still plenty of fantastic views over Marin County.

The wind at the top of the hill was from another world. It was so strong it seriously almost blew me right off the mountain. I had to make sure my steps were planted firmly on the ground, and my hat was secure on top of my head. Yowzers. After climbing all the way to the top of White Hill, I then had to make the big descent down the other side. All the way down to the bottom, where I found the waterfall. It was pretty easy to get down to the bottom. After all the rain, I was expecting the water in this small creek to be much higher, but it was pretty nonetheless.

And what about that prayer I made earlier? As soon as I arrived at the waterfall, it started to rain! I guess that is a positive answer to my prayer. It was definitely in the shade. I was able to obtain at least one decent photo, even though it was raining. Not to mention very cold, with that wind.

By the time I climbed back up to the top of the mountain, I was extremely tired. This hike was much more strenuous than I anticipated, and I soon realized I had no energy to go on the second hike that I was hoping to go on. By the time I got back to the car, the sun was back out again as well, which also took away any desires to go on any other hikes. So I ate my lunch, and then made the long drive back home. I will be back, though.



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Big Carson Falls has been a mystery for a long time. Too long. Ever since I first read a vague 1 line passage in Annmarie Brown’s waterfall book, I have wondered about this one and where it could possibly be. Is it on Big Carson Creek? That would be logical. Or is it on some unnamed and mysterious hidden side creek? Of course it would be that, but where? She also mentioned a 14 mile hike to get to it. That sure puts a damper on things. 

Well it took me a while to figure out where It was, but I did do it. I had help from some people, especially friend of waterfallswest Michael who was able to get me precise coordinates and also found a short route to it. Four miles instead of 14 miles. Now that is progress. Nonetheless, I did not get out to it for so long because of the stupid drough. but this year, finally, we have some rain.

It is a tough climb up the mountain, however. Huff and puff 600 feet to the top of a ridge, then down 600 feet to the bottom. Then do it all in reverse. I found the falls, and it is very pretty, 56 feet high in total. Unfortunately the top of it was in the sun when I arrived, so I took my photos as best I could, having to cut out the harsh top. It is now topless.

Back up on the trail, I found a spot in the sun to rest and eat my lunch. While having a peaceful meal and engrossed in finishing calculations of the falls’ height, I got scared up by a mountain biker.  At first I thought it might have been a mountain lion, he was rather loud. He was trying to bike across the creek, which was only about ankle deep, but he didn’t make it across successfully. Insert loud splash here. Then he started walking his bike slowly, very slowly up that 600 foot hill. I was certain that I would easily catch up to him once I have finished my lunch, and I almost did in fact, but just before I caught up to him he got back on his bike and started riding again. He must’ve been embarrassed that he was going to be passed by a hiker. I give him kudos for beating me to the top, I did not think that he would. I did meet him at the top though. The first thing  I saw was his mountain bike laying on the ground but he was nowhere around. Where did he go? Did he throw himself  off the cliff in exasperation? then I saw him resting on a rock nearby. In Agony. Ah well it is all downhill from here.

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