Dipsea-Steep Ravine Loop From Rock Spring is a 5.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mill Valley, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
This trail is great for two reasons. It takes slightly less time to complete than other Steep Ravine and Dipsea loops on Mt.Tam which makes for a shorter day hike, AND it is great for those who wish to drive up that morning and park the car in a safe spot without a parking fee! During the hotter months the sky is clear and the views are great and the hike along the ravine is shady and less humid. During the spring the ravine is flowing with water and there are several waterfalls. Here are the specific trail directions: From Rock Spring parking lot, Old Mine Trail (upper), Old Stage Road, through Pantoll parking lot, Old Mine Trail (lower), Deer Park Fire Road (briefly), Dipsea Trail, Steep Ravine Trail, through the Pantoll parking lot, Old Mine Trail (upper), Rock Spring parking lot. It is not so hard to follow as it seems. Really it is just Old Mine Trail, Dipsea Trail, Steep Ravine Trail, Old Mine Trail in one big loop that is easy to follow. The beautiful views above panoramic highway are a nice way to begin and end this leg burner of a hike. The back half of the trek is uphill the entire way, but at only 5.9 miles round trip this is a great 3 1/2- 4 1/2 hour hike that has it all, from ocean views to Old Growth Forests! Take your time and enjoy the views and some snacks along the way or burn through the trail in 3 hours! If you can ;)
Second time to this beautiful peaceful place. Couldn't do it first time around and I consider myself an able bodied person. The stairs are killer, but today doable! Breathtaking views, great smell of nature, more hikers today than last time, but friendly and courteous. Bring water and a snack. Consider finding a spot half way thru to sit and "be" in the beauty that is nature and California. I'll be bring people back here forever.
Fun hike! A bit of a leg burner on the way back. Bring water. Beautiful views, redwood forests, popular spot for hikers.