The hike from Palomarin to Bass Lake along the Coast Trail is long enough to get your blood flowing, but it won’t take a full day or all your energy to complete. A shorter there-and-back hike than Alamere Falls (by about 3 miles), Bass Lake is a destination unto itself that boasts a picturesque lake as a reward and a tucked away swimming hole for those warm summer and fall Marin days.
Starting at the Palomarin trailhead, follow the Coast Trail through a eucalyptus grove past the trail junction heading to Palomarin Beach (a worthwhile side trip). Continue along the coastal bluffs that stand 300 feet above the ocean, soaking in the Point Reyes National Seashore coastal views before heading inland and gaining a few hundred feet of elevation. Not far off the ocean the coastal shrubs and chaparral give way to a Douglas fir forest surrounding a handful of small ponds. Continue for a few hundred yards past the Lake Ranch Trail junction and the forested waters of Bass Lake will come into view. A spur trail along the north edge of the lake takes you down to a shaded, flat area that provides lake access and is ideal for picnicking.
If you have the time, consider continuing north along the Coast Trail for an additional 1.5 miles to Alamere Falls.