Summary: Morse's Gulch Falls is a hidden beauty. Get away from the crowds on all the popular hiking trails of the Mt. Tam area. This waterfall is just a couple miles north of Stinson Beach, and is not too difficult to reach, yet you'll likely have it all to yourself.
The trail is not maintained and the trailhead is not marked. Look for a pullout on the right side of the road, and a sign posted saying "no camping or overnight parking". As you walk up the trail, you will find it is overgrown in places, with plenty of stinging nettles. The trail is not too difficult to follow, however, and leads to a great overlook of the 50 ft. waterfall in about a half-mile from the highway. You can scramble down a steep bank to get to the base of the falls for a different perspective. This waterfall is best seen in the winter or early spring months.
For more info, see my website.
Trailhead: Take Hwy #101 to the Hwy #1 Mill Valley /
Stinson Beach exit. Follow Hwy #1 for 12 miles to the Panoramic
Hwy just before Stinson Beach. Continue exactly 2.6 miles
past the Panoramic Hwy junction to an unmarked turnout on the
right. (Lat:37.91925 Lon:-122.6704)
Trail Guides for Morses Gulch Trail:
Best Seasons: Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Golden Gate National Recreation Area, (415) 561-4700
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Leon Turnbull, who has posted 17 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by AJ on 12/29/2009
This was one of my first hiking experiences! We found the entrance unexpectedly without a problem since it is not marked and kind of hidden. The trail is not maintained but we made our way by following the creek and finally got to the waterfall with only one difficult area. The waterfall was gorgeous and we even took a dip in the small pool it fell into. It was truly mesmerizing. After a while we ventured back and found this amazing tree that sat at the bottom of a steep hill. We climbed up the hill and saw a beautiful view of Stinson beach. Although getting down the hill was a bit scary for me, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience!
Reviewed by Toni & Futoshi on 1/17/2006
We enjoyed this hike very much. The trail is sometimes difficult to find but this only adds to the adventure. It's in very beautiful surroundings and you follow the creek most of the way. It was a little tricky to access at first as there was a huge puddle blocking the entrance. But well worth the effort, the waterfall at the end is really pretty. The trail is quite rocky and also slippery at the moment, so take care.
Reviewed by deborah on 2/2/2005
DOG LOVERS BEWARE we found the trail with no problem, the directions on this site were frighteningly exact. beautiful meadow, beautiful crick, beautiful waterfall. the one thing this website didn't mention: the beautiful ticks. my 2 dogs were covered in them after an hour, and i was emotionally scarred from the experience. ticks? in january? apparently. so i would, like, totally go back, except for the bloodsucking insects. disgusting. but very easy to find if you follow these directions (sure, highway 1 is closed south of stinson beach, but the detour takes you down the panoramic highway instead, and you come out at highway 1, so the directions still work perfectly). and the falls really are very pretty. deborah from sf
Reviewed by Viewer on 1/23/2005
I tried to find this waterfall and gave up after an hour and a very unpleasant bushwhack. After half a mile I ran into 3 hikers who had bushwhacked 1 1/2 miles and couldn't find it. There are stinging nettles everywhere and poison oak and no trail and its very muddy and steep. It was the worst hike i have ever done. Congrats on anyone who can find these falls. I gave up. Mike from Marin
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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