March 11, 2008

Trail Description: This is a steep 1000' high canyon trail which follows a series of waterfall cataracts from the deep forested Alpine Lake up to the grasslands above. The trail is well maintained, but requires quite a bit of stair climbing in places. Redwoods dominate the lower elevations and are gradually replaced by Madrones, Buckeyes and Oaks towards the upper end. Throughout, the trail is very well maintained with it's spiraling staircases winding though heavy vegetative canopies and waterfalls at almost every turn making for a lush fairyland like hike of about 2.6 miles up and back.
A few days after a good rain would make for dryer trails and the best waterfalls. Spring would be best for wildflowers. 

Trail Location:
The trail is at Alpine Lake, 7.8 miles from Fairfax along the winding Fairfax-Bolinas Road. After crossing the dam,  the trailhead is at a small dirt parking area right at the first hairpin turn. It is open year round and there are no charges.

Blooming Plants Not Photographed:
NN=Non Native
California Buttercup (Ranunculus californicus)
California Bay (Umbellularia californica)
Hairy Wood Rush (Luzula comosa)
Houndís Tongue (Cynoglossum grande)
Minerís Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)
Snakeroot (Sanicula crassicaulis)

Ferns Not Photographed:
Chain Fern (Woodwardia fimbriata)
Common Polypody (Polypodium calirhiza)
Goldback Fern (Pentagramma triangularis)
Licorice Fern (Polypodium glycyrriza)
Maiden Hair Fern (Adiantum jordanii)
Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum)
Wood Fern (Dryopteris arguta)










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Fetid Adders Tongue (Scoliopus bigelovii): Going to seed.