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22 April
No snow in the parking lot at the trail head. The trail was packed snow pretty much the whole way to the lake. The East side of the lake the trail was a series of post holes. No snowshoes needed but traction of some sort is really helpful.
I would also be wary of hiking in the afternoon, since some of the slopes will have gotten sun and softened up making them more slippery.
But the lake does provide an amazing view of Mt. Hood.

hiking
5 days ago

Had no idea there was still this much snow and would be so few people. only saw 2 people on the whole trail. had thought this was heavily traveled and never been to the area so went in hiking boots and sneakers. some parts of the trail leading to the lake were a foot or two deep if you step in the wrong spot. up at the lake you might drop 3 or 4. luckily someone had snow shoed before us so we tried to use their tracks but it was very slow going and lots of falling through. very hard to find the trail around the lake, which is still frozen over and covered in snow. it was surprisingly challenging with trekking through such deep snow.

this place was absolutely mind blowing though and so serene without anyone else around. best hike ever.

also note you need to park at snow bowl and walk half a mile on the fairly dangerous highway.

Start from the fire station in Stinson Beach, hike up Matt Davis and then down Steep Ravine. Total loop; 6.5 miles, 1696 ft elevation, 2 hr 53 minutes.

Beautiful hiking!
Be on the look out for a hidden swing!
We Spent about a hour, swinging out over the trails and trees!
Gorgeous views, and when done hiking, the beach isn’t a far drive away!

hiking
22 days ago

Did the trail clockwise, however agree with Chris Lingle's comment below about both ways having advantages and disadvantages. Clockwise you are going downhill on uneven paths and uphill on stable ground, but it was nice to get the brutal uphill portion out of the way on the first half of the loop. Would recommend wearing something you don't mind getting wet while treading through waist/thigh high water, hiking boots and lots of water+sunscreen! Very beautiful hike! Took us closer to 5 hours, kept getting distracted by nature!!

One of the best hikes that I’ve been on but make sure to wear the proper shoes.

Beautiful vistas. Hills are green during spring and gorgeous to see

trail running
1 month ago

Sweet trail. You should go counterclockwise and definitely don’t skip going to the top of black mountain.

Hiked this trail a number of times, and it is one that is relatively easy at most points but has a few rough spots if you're not careful. Great view of the Gorge.

We chose a beautiful day to snow shoe. Easy hike.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Love this hike all year round! Snowshoed yesterday and after all the snow this past weekend the trail is gorgeous! Brought two dogs with me who also had a blast. Parked at skibowl and walked along the road to get to the trailhead, which isn’t ideal, but it’s well worth it!

Beautiful hike!!! Well worth the drive! Can’t wait to go back! Bring a towel to dry off your feet at the beginning of the trail (or bring water shoes).

hiking
1 month ago

Side loop on Spring Trail takes you down to ocean near junction of Bluff Trail and Panorama Trail. Last bit of Spring Trail involves fun scrambling over tangle of driftwood logs, before reaching a very secluded beach tucked in between two headlands. Good for lunch or a snack. We were unfortunately a bit rushed to finish entire loop, which we did in counter-clockwise direction. Although others recommend clockwise, I'm not sure. It's often the downhills that can cause problems, and clockwise you are going downhill on more loose rock and rutted paths, while on the other it is essentially a more continuously sloped road. Advantages and disadvantages either well, but great views in all directions. Entire loop, including lunch on the Spring Trail loop was around 3 hours 15 minutes.

The best strenuous hike in Marin less than 30 minutes from the GG bridge. Always start low in Stinson Beach for a downhill finish.

hiking
2 months ago

Go Clockwise if you want to get the hard part out of the way. Strenuous inclines but well worth the effort. You won’t be disappointed at the views of the crashing waves. Bring snacks and water to enjoy along the way!

hiking
2 months ago

The views are amazing. I did it clockwise and thankful I read the review prior. A must do hike if in the Monterey area.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Great hike but we parked at ski bowl, we weren’t sure if parking was closed or not by hike, some people parked there but there were no parking signs close.
We took of our snowshoes for most of the hike

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous hike with varying landscapes and killer views. We followed others suggestions and hiked clockwise; most difficult part the ascent is at the beginning too. I’d rate the hike more moderate than hard. Start to finish took us 3 hrs

hiking
2 months ago

Trail from the lake up to the mountain is completely snow covered.

So we drove up using the directions from all trails and the final left hand turn to the trailhead the road was closed. So we ran into a couple that said you can start from the bottom at Kirk campground. They said they were “just shy of summit” and they turned around because it was getting late.

We hiked from the bottom and went 7 miles with no summit in sight hahaha. It was STUNNING. And I loved it but I think the distance is from the trail head we weren’t able to access at the time.

We parked at the bottom went for 7 miles (in about 3.5 hours. It is up hill. The elevation gain is real. But there are lots of straight seats too Andy the scenery is amazing!!

BEWARE OF TICKS. LOAD YOU AND YOU LR DOG WITH DEET! They were alllllllllll over.

I’d love to summit this thing but I think from the bottom it’s a multiple day hike. But def beautiful with ocean and redwoods!

We start going up Matt Davis, his Steep Ravine then the Dipsea back down to the beach, where we usually go picnic afterward. Awesome!

hiking
2 months ago

The “beach trail” marked at the end (if you’re doing this trail clockwise) is very much CLOSED though it’s not blocked off. We ended up forcing our way through fallen trees and tons of poison oak to get out to the parking lot. Save yourself and go back to the initial trail you take in (creamery meadows) instead of trying to do the parallel beach trail! Also, the summit is the best place to sit and have a snack/lunch - not really anywhere else to do so. Overall a great loop with a challenging climb (as others mention, definitely do it clockwise) and spectacular views (which you can directly look at on the descent if you go the clockwise route). Enjoy!

One of my all time fave hikes!

It has got mix of shade and open trail. Open trail had great refreshing views. Closed trail had few Creeks going along the way. Its great weekend getaway from bay area. It should be medium hike.

It was a beautiful trail. Mostly uphill... then downhill. Loved it!

Truly one of the best hikes I’ve done. Went down Matt Davis to get the views of the pacific, had a lunch break at Stinson Beach, and then up Dipsea to Steep Ravine and back to the Pan Toll ranger station. The changes in scenery were perfect and the hike was the perfect amount of challenging. I’d rate it as Medium rather than Hard.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome hike! As mentioned, the clockwise route is probably best way to go - not only for the view coming down towards the ocean but also because you’ll knock the ascend out at the start while your legs are fresh. Happy hiking!

Easy hike with lots of great views!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! I had to take off our shoes to cross the river. It was cold!!! I recommend bringing a towel to dry off once you cross. As many mention on here do the look clockwise to get the best views. The trail along the ocean are very narrow compare to the trail along the hwy 1.

Once you get to the top, I recommend to go a bit further up along the wired divided. You will get a great view of the ocean. There is a log where you can stand and take pics. Take snacks to enjoy there.

Beautiful walk

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