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did the loop once last spring it is more like 12 miles the fall are alot better after a heavy rain

Just a little strenuous and good views. Usually not too crowded.

Very nice, but Barbara Springs trail is difficult going downhill.

Moderate activity on a Sunday morning. I took the loop counter clockwise, which had a great elevation gain at the beginning on the Crystal Springs trail. The Dean Trail is a bit more rolling. Got within 20 feet of a buck feeding by accident - the wildlife is very used to humans. Potential signs of bear or larger animals toward the back end. Really cool. Only reason it did not get 5 stars is the huge section of Dean along roads and parking lots. I WILL do this one again!

Best hike in the Bay Area. Good mix of ecosystems and wildlife, while providing a good workout through length and climb.

hiking
12 days ago

Great loop trail in redwoods. Not too steep, gently uphill and very nice downhill along the creek. Beautiful forest scenery! Note: you are always in the forest, it actually was chilly today and there was barely any sun reaching the trail. There is a landslide towards the end on the downhill part but easily manageable if you pay attention.

Very steep, and slippery when muddy! But very pretty trail, and saw several deer.

Beautiful trail. We didn’t find it physically challenging but it was a little mentally challenging for me (I’m scared of heights) as we hiked the middle section along the ridge. Beautiful views of the Santa Cruz Mts and Monterey Bay. Highly recommend.

ocean, trees, & fresh air, does it get better?

20 days ago

Love the area and its history.

hiking
20 days ago

mellow and pleasant. i would have inadvertently led myself off the loop without the app; highly recommend referencing the map while on the trail.

The loop is significantly different from one side to the other. The right side trail while going from the parking to the campground is safer than the other. Staying on the left side trail going from the parking to the campground will take through the Castle Rock Falls and most part of this trail is on the edge of steep slope and through narrow crevices between rocks but gives fantastic views. We used one side going to the campground and another side returning to the parking lot.

It was good hiking for a few hours to see the nice view. Relax and fresh there

We started by the fire station trailhead- that way gives you a steep climb to start the trail. Going the other direction is a longer, steady climb.

Phone gps trackers put the total hike at about 7.2 miles.

Trail pretty well maintained and easy to follow- we never found ourselves wondering which trail to follow.

There is a nice outcrop with a good view of Stinson beach- maybe around 1.5 miles in.

Nice changes between forests, grass hills, and then along a creek on the Dipsea trail portion.

All in all, a good hike.

Remember to dress in layers..

hiking
1 month ago

Really beautiful trail that follows the water for the majority of the way. The route that I recorded took a horse trail to connector trail, then over to the main trail. Part of it it washed out so you’ll have to scale some fallen trees for about 50 feet. Other than that I would definitely recommend!’

My dad and I hiked this on a Tuesday felt like it was just us I suggest parking at Stinson beach beautiful views saw a coyote deer squirrel birds finished in three hours amazing time bring a friend or family member and do it!!!

Absolutely beautiful hike! I will definitely be back in early spring to see the creek in action as well as the waterfalls and wildflowers.

This trail has it all - wonderful views, awesome gnarly trees, manzanitas, rocky creek bed, and beautiful Mount Diablo. I would classify this as an arduous ascent up the mountain for the first half although, to be fair I haven't hiked in a while so maybe it felt more intense for me then for those who hike regularly.

Great hiking particularly in early spring and fall.

Gorgeous hike with great views. Some slight bouldering along the way adds some technical challenge. Bring a sun hat or some sunscreen, part of the hike is pretty sun exposed. From points you can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Monterey Bay. Completed multiple times now.

A short and sweet hike that meets all the criteria when you're looking for something simple.

It is not too strenuous but has a few fun parts that'll get your heart rate up. The view isn't breathtaking, but very refreshing. It's not too crowded, nor is it desolate.

Great place for a short afternoon hiking that doesn't need too much preparation.

Beautiful Trail! First half is downhill, second half mostly up. I ended up coming back on the West Ridge Trail instead of the French trail and this worked out fine, just a bit of extra elevation. Plenty of spots to cut through back to the French section if desired. Not too many people on a weekday and nice and shaded.

Love this trail. It’s beautiful, mostly covered for rain or sun, dog friendly. Not a lot of parking but otherwise delightful.

Wow! I’m not sure it gets better than this hike! Ocean, Redwoods, steep climbs, well maintained trails with built in terraced stairs throughout the trails, views for days that covered all the way out to east bay and SF. Absolutely stunning day to hike, we lucked out. Apparently in winter there are waterfalls, today we had trickles but it was lovely to hike alongside the sounds of water in the trees.

We took a wrong turn at pantoll and went up the wrong Matt Davies trailhead which took us up to the mountain theater by accident. However that little detour gave us the most amazing views!! Totally worth the 3 mile mistake to get back via old mine trail to get back on the right Matt Davies trail. Such an incredible and challenging hike! Wowza

Gorgeous and fantastic for pups.

This is a beautiful trail with scenic views. Followed the suggestion and went anti clockwise because that helped. This was almost a hard hike.


The distance shows 9.4 miles but that’s wrong. It took about 11 miles to complete. So be aware of that discrepancy. Also make sure you carry plenty of water. You will need it.

Great hike! Perfect to enjoy the fall weather and color change. I’m new to the area so thanks to all the previous comments for the tips!

This is an excellent hike ranging between moderate to hard depending in personal stamina. We did the complete 9.8 mile starting from North ridge, whittmore gulch, purisima Creek, Craig britton, Harkins ridge and back again North ridge.
elevation gain is good towards the last 2 miles. start early as it takes around 5-6 hours to complete

I love the Dipsea portion of this trail. I would suggest going the Matt Davis portion to the where the vista of the ocean is and then going back down Dipsea. My reason for this suggestion is that Matt Davis has lots of poison oak and seemed to be more crowded.

Amazing trail! Took me around 3 hours. I did it counter clockwise this time (starting on Dipsea, then Steep Ravine and lastly Matt Davis) and is much more enjoyable, as the uphill part is not only shorter but also nicer, with water running and beautiful trees. After 1.5 hours you will arrive to Pantoll Campground, where you can refill your water bottle. From there, is all downhill vía Matt Davis trail.

Amazing hike, took us 4 hours with lots of stops

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