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From the Matt Davis which quickly opens up to beautiful, rolling hills overlooking the Pacific into switchbacking down through evergreen forests to the open coastal trail of the Dipsea to a gorgeous, shaded Redwood forest along Webb Creek on the Steep Ravine, this hike has it all.

A couple short-but-tight street walks/crossings (from Pantoll across to Matt Davis and in town to Dipsea trailhead) so beware of traffic.

2 days ago

Popular trail with lots of hikers on the weekend. Beautiful views and pristine lakes that are well worth the climb.

We parked at the Pantoll station and hiked Steep Ravine to Dipsea. Lunch at Stinson. Back up Matt Davis. Did not care for Matt Davis. A lot of poison oak and not nearly as pretty as Steep Ravine/Dipsea. Quite the climb on a warm late afternoon as well. Good workout dripping sweat the first couple miles on Matt Davis though so...there's that. We hiked Friday, July 20th. Trails weren't terribly crowded. We passed about five or six groups and a couple of solo hikers on the way down. One runner. A few solo hikers coming down Matt Davis while we climbed up.

Started at 9am & finished a little passed noon, totaling 7.5 miles. Started at Dipsea & veered further by hiking the borders of the ocean coast, then crossed over to the Matt Trail. The incline at the beginning was definitely a burn, but a great workout. It was hot, but cooled down in the shaded areas on Matt Trail. Very little water in the creeks. No waterfall. There is a restroom at the parking lot between the 2 trails. Trails were very clean. Views were beautiful. Saw lots of blue dragonflies on the Matt Trail. Would love to do this hike again in the spring or after a good rain.

Amazing views! It took us 4 hours with 4 kids (5 years old - 10). Little dusty during August. Recommend to start with with the harder trail, the Dipsea Trail.

Go early. Start at Stinson Beach to Muir Woods. Reward yourself with the beach at the end. It’s beautiful. Excellent trail for running. Saw one snake and it was little. Not overly busy but later on the way back more hikers around. It was beautiful.

Great hike! Did it clockwise, and It was nice walking down with the view in the end. However I think I would have preferred the other direction. On the top of the open grassland take some of the smaller trails to get further up on the boulders visible from the trail. Amazing view over the beach, SF skyline and on clear days you can see the entire Bay Area!

One of the great California hikes. Mostly shady. Wide variety of bio communities.

I did this hike solo and it was such a beautiful experience. I recommend buying the Dipsea trail map they have at the visitor center in Muir Woods. It helped me get through the whole day without much trouble figuring out the trail because it can get complicated at some points considering there are so many trails in Muir Woods. Start out surrounded by redwoods. End your journey resting your tired ass toes in the Pacific at Stinson Beach. Just to finish off at the beach was one of the most phenomenal feelings and moments of my life. Currently writing this review at Stinson beach because I couldn’t pass up the moment to capture my energy from this hike.

This trail was super fun. Was able to run for a good half of it. There is a lot of poison oak though, so long pants and caution is advised. gorgeous views even with fog. Once you get to the top, go to the cave. Much more satisfying than the electric plant on north peak.

trail running
9 days ago

It's nice out there the scenery and everything, I was able find two of the lakes. Had to use my phone to find the others since you can see it on the map. I didn't bother at first and I got side tracked which let me down the trail to PCT. It's another nice trail but had to back tracked since I wanted to view all the lakes.

9 days ago

Very doable and fun for all ages! I recommend going onto the mountain top off to the side of the back lake, gives for a great view of Alpine Meadows on a clear day!

Just as all the other reviews have said, this is a beautiful hike with a lot of diverse scenery! Whether you start with Dipsea (as we did) or with Matt Davis, the ascent is mostly in the shade, which is nice. The trailhead on the map looks like it's on the same side of Shoreline Highway as Stinson Beach, but it is actually across the street and you will see where the steps immediately start ascending (if you're starting with Dipsea Trail, that is).

loved this trail! It had such diverse terrain and views. It was absolutely beautiful! It is a difficult trail though for sure. I am from Colorado and hike all over the place but this is now one of my favorite hikes!

Awesome hike. Moderate (most elevation climb is in first half) and once you get to the lakes, so many options to explore other trails (PCT). We went at 7am on a Sunday morning and didn’t see a soul till we hit the lakes, where we saw 2 tents and a hammock camper. No mosquitos at all and we sat in the water for a good 30 minutes. Biggest lake is definitely the only one you could feasibly swim in - the others are very stagnant, shallow and murky. We continued on to join up with the PCT for a bit and then came back to get more mileage in. On the way back down, it was about 11am when we started the descent, the trail was PACKED with people coming up. Definitely don’t plan to start this hike after 9am I would say if you enjoy your space and solitude. Most of the people coming up were city slickers/tourists.

Gorgeous hike. Took the Dipsea Trail and the Matt Davis back to be awarded with beautiful scenic views of the fog cover and ocean...

16 days ago

Nice out and back with beautiful scenery along the way. The majority of the trail is exposed so bring a hat, wear your sunblock and be mindful of the sun/heat during summer. The large lake is a great place to find shade, enjoy a lunch, and go for a swim. Heavily trafficked and well marked trail.

Dear older children who are being dragged here, it's all up hill (very pretty) but wear your Nikes and your work out clothes and a hat (for the wind, very windy, very). Feels much longer than a mile, you'll have a story for sure!!! Take your pictures before the hike, trust me.

17 days ago

Great hike for new backpackers. It was my 10yr old daughters 1st backpacking trip. Two other dads and their 11 & 9yr old sons with us. We stayed two nights at Five lakes. Great hike to get exposure to climbing with a pack, but not a long hike in. Camping sites are a bit hard to find with the 600ft limitation from the lake, but we found a great little spot. There aren't any fish in the lake, but kids had a great time casting, swimming, and jumping off rocks. We did a great out and back day hike up to the top of ridge overlooking Alpine Meadows, and Five Lakes (using the PCT trail heading south). Easy hike for the kids, gradual climb but nothing too steep. Great view, and good conversations with some PCT hikers. The lakes are busy during the day, but super quiet at night.

stream trail is the best, all in redwoods and always chillly

17 days ago

Great trail! Steep rocky climb to top but worth it for the beautiful lake (the big one). Lots of open trail with sun exposure so bring sunscreen and a hat. We ate lunch and then swam before hiking back down. It was a Sunday so quite crowded but not bothersome since everyone is so friendly. We had an easy time parking despite lots of cars already there.

Whether you start from either French Trail or Stream Trail, there's good elevation coming in and out of it. You’ll find several picnic tables along the way and enough bathroom facilities. There's also lots of side trails to explore.

My AllTrails app suddenly stopped recording at one point so I wasn't able to full record my hike but that's ok (pardon the gap on my recording).

If you decide to hike on a weekend and choose Skyline Gate Staging Area as your starting point, try to get there before 8am to have a better chance at finding parking (vs street parking).

Great trail so beautiful the view up there .. so worth it!!!

Dipsea half marathon was muddy, raining, tough

Love Montara Mountain

What is great about this trail is that you can make it as long or short as you like. There ate lots of trails that off shoot this trail so if you want an extension or if you want to cut it short you can. The French trail is one of my favorites because first of all it’s beautiful, it’s up-and-down to get a nice workout and no bikes!
it really is a good idea to get there early as it does get crowded and it tends to get warm as you’re making your way uphill back to the parking lot. Definitely put this one on you list!

18 days ago

What a great hike we had. the first two miles are basically uphill and get your elevation gain out of the way right off the bat. I only logged a 1100 ft change on two different programs so not sure about that 1500 ft. so anyway the top of the trail is nice and flat and comes out at the lakes. We looped around all the lakes which made it a nice 5 mile round trip. Trail was pretty busy. I would do this again. Beautiful lakes that you could actually swim in. Saw a lot of dogs on the trail.

Very nice elevation loop. You will feel the burn. Start as early as possible.

Beautiful. Steep unfinished steps.

LOVE this trail! SO beautiful, a lot of different types of scenery. Highly recommend!

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