Cascade Falls

Mt Tamalpais / Fairfax, California, USA

About Cascade Falls

Hiking Distance: 2 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2010-04-09
Date last visited: 2010-04-09

Waterfall Latitude: 37.98457
Waterfall Longitude: -122.62255

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Cascade Falls is a pretty diminutive 20ft waterfall, but it was one of the “easier” waterfall hikes we did in Marin County, and it seemed there were a lot of memorable things about the excursion itself.

For starters, the waterfall sat within the Elliott Nature Reserve, which itself was at the end of a road within a residential area. We didn’t expect to find something this naturesque with civilization close by, and even then we were pleasantly surprised by the absence of urban blight that usually accompanied places close to development. In fact, we were even surprised by a wild turkey that dashed out in front of us during our hike.

I’ve read that there’s also an upper waterfall beyond the main falls, but we didn’t do it. From what we could tell, the trail didn’t go beyond the waterfall pictured above.

The 2-mile round trip hike along the High Water Trail undulated on some minor hills with some minor dropoff exposure and some minor rock hopping on tributary streams. After crossing a bridge over Cascade Creek, we turned right and follow the trail alongside the stream until we reached the falls itself. We believed that this was the shortest way to go though there seemed to be plenty of other ways to do this hike.


To get to the trailhead from the town of Fairfax, drive on the Fairfax-Bolinas Road for about 0.3 miles (passing through a pretty charming part of town) until it intersects with Cascade Drive (there are a pair of pillars flanking this road).

Follow Cascade Drive (passing through a residential area) to its end at around 1.5 miles. The Elliott Nature Reserve begins at the end of the road, however, you’ll have to find street parking along the shoulder as signs there prevent parking on the pavement and some prevent parking on one side of the street. Furthermore, you’ll want to be mindful not to block anyone’s driveway.

The effect of all these restrictions is that you’ll probably have to find a pullout further down the road, which will increase your hiking distance a bit. It was certainly the case during our visit

For some geographical context, Fairfax was 22 miles (45 minutes drive) north of San Francisco.

Find A Place To Stay

Fixated on the upper section of the falls

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Trip Planning Resources

Nearby Accommodations

Tagged with: tamalpais, marin, fairfax, san francisco, bay area, central coast, california, waterfall, elliott nature reserve, high water trail

Visitor Comments:

Got something you'd like to share or say to keep the conversation going? Feel free to leave a comment below...

No users have replied to the content on this page

Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

If you have a waterfall story or write-up that you'd like to share, feel free to click the button below and fill out the form...

No users have submitted a write-up/review of this waterfall

Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls

How To Build A Profitable Travel Blog In 4 Steps