Creek

Novato, California

The small cascade that makes up the middle portion of Pacheco Creek Falls is lined with brilliant emerald moss. As the water trickles down in the early spring the entire scene is sublime and peaceful. The small pool at the bottom not much bigger than a puddle at the moment.

The Pacheco Creek trailhead is located in south Novato at the terminus of Pacheco Creek Drive and offers a moderate but short hike to the base of the falls. A goat trail continues up the valley, but is quite steep and slips can happen easily.

Nikon D300 w/Nikkor 18-70mm G 18mm, f/11, 0.8sec, ISO 100

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Novato, California

Pacheco Valley, located on the southern end of Novato offers up a short nature hike at the terminus of Pacheco Creek Drive. The trail to the lower falls is well maintained and easy to navigate but becomes quite steep and narrow going above the lower falls.

This image was taken just above the lower falls, which had a bit too much overgrowth for a decent image after the heavy rainfall this past month. As with most of the Marin County waterfalls, Pacheco Creek Falls are heavily reliant on sustained rainfall and we’ve been lucky recently with a couple storm systems rolling through town.

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Novato, California

The lower cascade of Fairway Falls is known by another name, Arroyo de San Jose. While this is the proper name for this waterfall, most will just refer to it as the more common Fairway Falls due to the trailhead being at the end of Fairway Drive and near the Ignacio golf course.

I got a bit closer for this shot to really emphasize the ferns and moss growing on the rock face of the small waterfall. You can see how the moss directs the water and creates many drip spouts and the whole scene just explodes with vibrant green color. Certainly not what comes to mind when I typically think of Novato.

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Novato, California

Quite a ways up from the lower and middle falls is a third cascade under heavy tree cover. The climb up to this area is steep, and once you reach the falls you are left with the decision to climb down or view through the trees from the top. Of course, for getting a picture the only choice is to climb down from above. There is no trail, only the side of the canyon to clammer down.

Thanks to an abundance of trees, rocks, and roots; I was able to reach the mid-point of the falls and find a good position that wasn’t obstructed by tree branches. The falls flow right over a large crack in the rock face and continue to fall another 10 feet deep into the canyon below. Reaching the bottom, while possible, is not advised as the rocks are covered in moss and extremely slippery.

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Novato, California

Did a bit of climbing out at Fairway Falls earlier today. While the lower falls are quite litterally a walk in the park to get to, the middle and upper falls require some scrambling and steep climbing. The soft wet ground didn’t really help much, but some well placed tree roots sure made the climb up easier.

The middle cascade actually sits right above the lower falls, in fact for this shot my back was right at the edge of the drop that makes up the lower falls! I’m really glad nobody else came wandering up the trail making sudden loud noises. I took this one later in the trip, just before heading back to the car.

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Old growth Coastal Redwoods towering over a mostly dry section of Redwood Creek in Muir Woods, California. Some of these trees have reached heights of 500ft tall!

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