Cascade Canyon Open Space Preserve

Trail
N/A
N/A
N/A
(3.00)1
(2.00)
(2.00)
No
Yes
Yes
N/A
Fairfax
Marin
More Info

High Water Trail parallels San Anselmo Creek near the trailhead.
High Water Trail parallels San Anselmo Creek near the trailhead.
Today at a bit over 500 acres, Cascade Canyon started off with a land donation by Floyd Elliot, a former mayor of the nearby town of Fairfax. It's a decent sized park, but one with very limited parking options. No parking spaces exist save for street parking along Cascade Drive. Care must be taken to avoid marked "no parking" areas and please respect the area homeowners' driveways. Sage advice would be to plan on arriving early in the day and have a backup plan for another area park if parking is not available here.

Cascade Falls
Cascade Falls
Very clear water with little sediment and ample pebble-sized rocks in the creeks provide excellent spawning habitat for Coho and Steelhead, some of the best in Marin County. Too much sediment in the water can suffocate their young. Both Coho and Steelhead spend parts of their lives in the open ocean before returning to these streams to spawn. Interestingly, Steelhead can optionally elect to remain in fresh water instead of returning to the ocean to feed. In doing so they take on a different appearance and become known as Rainbow Trout.

The main feature of the park is the namesake Cascade Falls. A short 1 mile walk from the trailhead is all that's needed to be able to enjoy the sight of the falls in the small enclosed canyon. The pleasing but loud sound of the crashing water drowned out the cacophonous sound of cicadas heard elsewhere in the park. Because it's the park's signature feature it also tends to draw the most visitors. If solitude is your goal then you'll want to head to other trails nearby.

Photos
Our guided tour group navigates the High Water Trail. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
The Sun was shining, but there was plenty of tree cover on the trails. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
The trail involves several creek crossings. Most are fairly shallow and contain enough rocks to traverse. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Not all creek crossings involve getting wet. There's at least one bridge. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
The signature feature at Cascade Canyon Open Space Preserve, Cascade Falls. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Coppertone poses on top of a large boulder that sits just downstream from the falls. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
The group heads back towards the trailhead on Cascade Falls Trail. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
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