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Really nice hike, but be forewarned that it's very popular from the trailhead to the 4th junction (about a mile from the confluence with the shoreline trails).

Having said that, we saw 3 groups closing out the loop on the sky trail, making for a very strange but pleasant juxtaposition.

We also did the short spur to the Kahlem (?) Beach. It's only 0.5 miles each way, and pretty much made the hike. The beach was beautiful, and we shared it with 3 other groups, 6 people in total.

As can be inferred, we did the loop clockwise. What's nice about that is that the majority of the uphill is the first section of sky trail. From there to just below Mt. Wittenberg is flat to slightly uphill, really easy cruising.

However, the least enjoyable part of the trail was from just below Wittenberg back to Bear Valley. It's relatively steep, and for me that's not very fun. I'd much rather do sections like that as uphill than downhill. If you're like me in that preference, then do the loop counterclockwise.

A last note on the rating: I think 5 stars is rare, personal preference. Not everything is "amazing". I originally gave this 4 stars, then thought again. We did this in the middle of "winter", therefore there were no flowers anywhere. Given how much of this is under significant cover I'm gonna guess there's never many flowers, but others had commented on it, so I guess there might be nicer times to do this. I think it's a solid 3-star hike, however on the ultimate test (would I do it again?) the answer would be "no". It's not a bad hike by any means, but there's tons of other stuff to do. So it was great doing it, no regrets, but there's nothing amazing. Closest was the beach, and technically that's not part of this hike, as it's laid out.

It is challenging, but stunning. You get beautiful woodland as well as gorgeous hill top views. Wear good footwear, bring lunch and plenty of water and stop to enjoy the amazing beauty.

A good work out- 22.7 kms from Olema Campgrounds and back. Walked the extra 0.2 mile to the summit of Mt Wittenberg but no view?
Tried to get to the Arched Rock outlook but the trail has been covered in slashed branches to prevent passage. Very good quality trail but needed more views of the ocean. Still a good work out.

This trail will kick your butt about 80% of the time. Take breaks as needed, bring lots of water and a joy the beauty.

Great hike but it is really long. Once you are down to the lake it seems like it will never end. I took two kids and we made it!

Attempted 5 days ago, made it to Drakes Beach, only confirming, that yes, the lighthouse is closed. Bummer.... Walked Drakes Beach and took in its stunning, beautiful, ocean and mountain view’s!! The drive is gorgeous!! Worth our little “disbelief”. ALSO, there is next to no cell service up that way. If you plan on hiking, make sure you have downloaded maps on your phone to pull up, or best bet, have old fashioned, hard core, hiking topo maps!

the light house trail is currently close for maintenance. Scenic drive heading to the light house. Saw a lot of deers & some elks hanging out with the cows

Started at 8am on a misty and dense Saturday. We found parking in the lot - keep in mind you have to pay $7-$10 for your permit. The trail started leveled ground, then midway it was incline and after it was steep. We ended at the exit, which led to a street and cars parked alongside. Decided to hangout at Stinson Beach for a while before hiking back.

Overall, this trail requires you to have stamina and endurance to keep going forward. Other than that, it was very scenic and I would do it again.

Great trail with a huge diversity of terrain!

Start early and make sure to wear layers. I started the hike counter clockwise to end at the beach. I got sunshine, to rain and dense fog which you can't see 8 ft ahead of you. It was an amazing trail to hike.

My favorite backyard hiking area! Easily end up with 15-20 miles. Coastal scenery is top notch, especially sunrise/sunset hikes. Lots of challenging hills to choose from. Great day hike

Absolutely beautiful but start early! A lot of stairs and bring layers as the weather changes quickly throughout the hike!

The information provided here is wrong. Dipsea trail is 7 miles one way. The trail path mentioned here does not include the first 2.5 miles of the trail.

Combines the essence of Northern Californian Nature - the redwoods, the long open hills, the Pacific coast. Good mix of not so exhausting stretches w very demanding climbs - beware the roots and loose stones. Steps down to Stinson should be taken w caution, and when you return from Stinson take your time on these steps, they are very uneven (no rhythm to establish). A trail that demands your attention/concentration at each step!

Awesome trail! Challenging and diverse.

They are not kidding about this being a hard trail. I measured almost 9.5 miles. It took me a solid 3.5 hours with no breaks. I ran about a mile of it. Lots of steep stairs and inclines. Helen Markt Trail was a killer. I felt like it wasn’t going to end. This is definitely a tough one even for the seasoned hiker! Lots of beautiful scenery and wildlife: Bring lots of water and snacks.

Awesome little lighthouse and views. Enjoyed this but enjoyed it even more from the water looking up!

I took this trail on a holiday weekend, the trails were packed with people.
It was foggy so I missed the views but the trail was beautiful but the hike is brutal coming up from Stinson.
Not a lot of stairs A REAL LOT OF STAIRS!!
I was glad when I was near the top it kinda levels off and you go across the ridge.

I stopped at the top and met some nice people that suggested I take the Matt Davis trail back so I did it was worth it not having to go down all those stairs with great scenery and put me 1 block from-the trailhead at Stinson where I parked

The Matt Davis trail has a few pretty hairy spots that could get ugly if not being extra careful

It was a great day over all and look forward to going back to explore other trails on MT Tam

EDIT I consider myself an average hiker, that night and the next day my legs are really sore

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike. Left at 8:00 and got back to car around 5:30. Pay attention to trail signs, we missed the turn at Baldy so had to change hike a bit. Footing is good. Saw lots of quail. Diversity of hike was amazing from a forest to the beach.

I really enjoyed this trail. We started from Stinson Beach, went to mile marker 4 and then turned back. It was scenic.

Start early in the day in case you get lost! Use a tracker on your phone (or screen shot directions or a map because you’re not always going to have service!) For the most part, you will see signs to guide you. We took a few wrong turns and had to guess where we were going. We also had to ask a few people directions. My son is 11 and didn’t complain, he even fell and bloodied his knee and still kept going! Although my nephew (his cousin that’s about the same age) barely made it :( We had to stop and sit multiple times, which kind of got irritating because it was getting dark. However, family is family and I felt really bad for my nephew. This hike is def. not for the inactive.

There were an abundance of beautiful redwood trees and green forest areas, but I saw very little streams (or what used to be streams) so I wasn’t that impressed. I didn’t see the beautiful bed/meadow of flowers I saw in the pictures on Yelp or online that people posted. It could have also been because I believe we got lost and took a ghost route for a bit. Now that was the scary part- towards the 5th mile I think? I can’t remember but we came to a split path with no signs. We walked one way for a little bit but decided to backtrack and take the other route. The trail kind of seemed shady about half a mile in (very narrow paths with branches and bushes almost about to cover the path). I was thinking about turning back and my son was eager to get out of there he kept going faster pushing through. Eventually the path got a little wider and we ended up back on what we hoped was the Dipsea Trail— but because we were apparently on a ghost trail, we had cut back into the this bigger trail and didn’t know which way to go!!! We had no service so we had to guess and make a decision to where we thought the beach was! About almost another half mile, we started to second guess AGAIN. This was def. a God moment because it was getting dark and everyone seemed a little worried. I thought, I better start praying because I’m starting to feel a little scared. I quietly called out God’s name. Then out of nowhere this couple showed up and gave us directions

Awesome hiking place, must to go!

There are so many trails; even though we follow the direction, we still got lost 3 times and had to trek back. At one point the trail showed on the map/GPS doesn’t exist. Wasn’t sure I was going to make it through; but I did, yay! We got some sun, fog, and rain, too during our hike. Was a great hike though - loved it.

This trail has it all: a beautiful beach, mountain views (elevation gain) and plenty of wildlife. An excellent workout with perfect temperatures. Just be aware of poison oak in different parts of the many trails that comprise it (wear long pants).

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.

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.

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!

All of the camps have potable water and are well spaced. I carried a water filter but did not need to use it.

Lake Ranch Trail is very overgrown but easily passable. No issues with ticks despite the high grass. Other trails are all very well maintained and appear to have been cut back recently.

This was a really enjoyable walk, lots of variety and overall not too difficult. Primarily shaded just the short beachfront section has little.

I went anti-clockwise to try and get down the water with reasonably early morning light. Additionally it’s always nice not to be stuck with a heavy uphill right at the end. I’d swap the short jaunt to the lake for a walk down to Alamere Falls. It’s worth a quick look but expect it to be busy.

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