Explore the most popular waterfall trails in Mount Tamalpais State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

It was beautiful. I found the trail to be moderate plus with a few challenges. I took Dipsea to Steep and came back down Matt Davis. I like my uphill first. But that down hill was hard... a lot of steps. If you struggle with down hill I think poles or walking sticks would be perfect.

There are a lot of stairs on the uphill and the down hill. Beautiful 100% of the way..... Weather was 57-58 degrees while I was there with moving fog that was thick and made it seem like it was raining.

My head and mind was full of wonder.... I could have spent all day wandering in this little loop.

The ferns, redwoods, moss and Ivy kept me happy. It was enchanting hiking the fauna laden switchbacks. The fallen trees, and forest crackling sounds were amazing. You can hear the ocean in the back ground on the front and backsides of the loop and there are mini waterfalls, creeks and dripping foggy dripping sounds as well.

My fitbit logged 153 flights of stairs. If that helps anyone to gauge this climb. There are a lot of rocky path and a lot of thick roots.

You don’t have to travel all the way into see all beautiful things... you can climb into beauty the first mile or so and go back. But I assure mile after mile there are more rewards.

Great trail heads... easy to follow trail. There are lots of little surprises everywhere if you take time to notice.

The ladder isn’t hard... but it was challenging for me this day.
Trails app logged me in at 8 miles from Stinson Beach Parking and 2000 feet elevation gain.

The parking was free at Stinson. There are bathrooms at Stinson.... and then if you take Dipsea to Steep Ravine and end up at the ranger station there are bathrooms, warm air hand driers and seating to eat or rest.

This hike was a lot easier than I thought it would be based on other reviews, on the easy end of a moderate ranking, but I am a fit hiker. That said, this was one of the most enjoyable hikes I have ever been on. I took my mom for Mother's day and it was PERFECT for her. She loved how it had a little bit of everything in terms of habitat. There were people on the trail but not to the point where it felt overcrowded. We parked at the Stintson Beach parking lot and clocked about 8.1 miles from there and back. We went in the clockwise direction, starting with Matt Davis, as that is what people suggested since it is steeper than the Dipsea, but to be honest I think it would have been fine either way.

This trail had to be one of my favorite hiking experiences. I reserved my parking position ahead of time, and got there a little early (but they still let me in). I accidentally paid $10 to go visit the monument when I was only going there to hike the dipsea. Gladly they gave me a refund. Our hike towards Stinson Beach was pretty easy, but beware for the runners. If you come in the morning, there will be plenty of them so be ready to step to the side to let them pass. When I finally reached the beach, I stayed there for about 2 hours to rest, ate some food, and then headed back. The way back was sooooo hard. The stairs literally killed me, and I’m pretty fit. I have never sweated that much in my life. The hike took me about 3 hours and 30 minutes to finish (including time to take pictures). I recommend bringing a water bottle, a jacket (it gets cold), a towel (for the beat), and money to eat. AND MOST OF ALL BRING AN EXTRA PAIR OF CLOSE.

One of the best hikes I had in Marin so far.
I did not find it difficult at all. Finished in 3hrs and I had about dozen breaks as the hike goes along streams of water and redwoods and it is just hard not to stop and contemplate the beauty of this trail.

Very easy to follow trail.
Beautiful views!

It was hard coming back to steep hills n steps but worth it!! Hiking with family is always fun. You definitely need to train for the steps your gonna take in the steep hills. But you can do it!!

This is a great hike with a nice variety of views and a good work out. I took the Willow camp fire road as another reviewer suggested, I glad I did as it gave some different coastal views but beware it is a bit steep.

Started from stintson and hiked up the south side of the trail which was more of a shady forest of red woods and moss filled fauna. Very steep with lots of stairs but beautiful scenery and intermittent flat paths. Hiked along a ravine with a lot of foot traffic. Although there are lots of other hikers, it’s easy to feel at peace and alone there. My friend and I found a small waterfall and went for a very refreshing mid-hike dip. Once at mount tam park halfway, there are restrooms and water fountains and even a vending machine for hikers. From there, the north side of the trail is a breezy foggy hillside where you’re hiking mostly through paths between overgrown lush grass. Then, there’s a descent into the forest with views of stintson before dropping into the town at the end where there’s loads of restaurants and ice cream waiting. Highly recommend this hike especially for visitors because of the coastal vistas and redwood forests. I recommend starting in stintson or at least doing the hike counter clockwise. Favorite hike in the Bay Area!

Did this hike on Saturday. Got to the Stinson Beach parking around 1030 and there was plenty of parking. Trails pretty well marked and you really do get a little bit of everything on this loop!

We arrived at 9:30 and it was easy to park, facilities were available and the trail boasted fantastic views. Things worth noting if mobility or balance is an issue: sometimes the trail has very steep stairs, exposed roots, narrow passage.

Nice hike. Park at the Stinson Beach parking lot and find the trail entrance on the other side of highway 1 (it's a bit hidden). We took Dipsea and then ended with Matt Davis, so counter-clock wise, which I would recommend given the incline on the Matt Davis trail. Most of the hiking is done in the woods which is a good thing on a hot day; the downside being that there are not as many viewing points as we would expect (only at the beginning and the end of the hike). Laying on the beach is a great way to end the hike!!!

Probably my favorite hike in the Bay Area

Steep Ravine is a wonderful rainforest right now!

Hiked this trail yesterday, Easter Weekend 2018.
We parked at Stinson Beach and walked to the left of the fire station up Belvedere Ave. and found the trailhead for the Matt Davis Trail. Glad we started here because there is so much incline and stairs in the first two miles. I have knee issues going down hill so I wouldn’t like going down this way. We took the Matt Davis Trail to the Ranger Station and from the Ranger Station down the Steep Ravine Trail which then takes you to the Dip Sea Trail. From the car we clocked it at 8.18 miles. Holiday weekend so the trails were very busy with lots of people. We started at about 10am and the parking lot had tons of spaces open. By the end of the hike around 1:30pm the parking lot was full. Tons of poison oak everywhere so wear long pants and long sleeve. It was foggy so we weren’t able to see the ocean until we hit the dip sea trail. Great views and great hike. I suggest wearing real hiking shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy. Some areas the waterfalls made the trail a bit muddy.

Loved this loop. We took dipsea and then ended with Matt Davis. Dipsea takes you through grasslands and sweeping views of the beach then steep ravine kicks your butt with its incline. But it’s completely worth it because the waterfalls are really full right now. We stopped for lunch at the ranger station which was ok seating wise. Matt Davis was nice too because it was so diverse and mostly downhill. That trail alone has redwoods, eucalyptus, and grasslands! You get a sample of everything. Also we were crossed by three snakes luckily none were rattlers but still watch your step!

On this trail you get it all... try it out and find out why.

I hiked Cataract Falls before during the dry season. But it was mid-March this time and the Bay Area had received a healthy dose of rain all week, so I wanted to return to see the falls in all their splendor.

Hiking to the falls from Stinson Beach certainly adds a degree of difficulty and is great for the more adventurous hiker. Beginners should probably start at the trail head at the southern tip of Alpine Lake.

I really enjoyed the Matt Davis ascent up the west side of Mt. Tam. All the switchbacks and bridges and steps make for an fun hike.

The coastal trail gave me an unexpected surprise about half-way from Matt Davis to Cataract Falls. Right below Ballou Point, you'll come across an old 1940's Pontiac wrecked right along the trail. I'm guessing it took a tumble down from Ridgecrest Blvd. about half a century ago.

The Cataract Trail was so amazing after all the recent rainfall. Everything was so lush and the falls were spectacular.

On the way back, I took the advice of another reviewer and went down the Willow Camp Fire Road instead of crossing back over the coastal trail to return via Matt Davis to Stinson Beach. I would also recommend this as it shaves a mile off the overall hike and offers some different views of Stinson Beach looking to the north. The trail is called a fire road, but it was mostly a single track until you get close to the bottom, so don't let that deter you.


Fun trail. The stairs were fine (novice-moderate hiker, here). Great views of the Bay.

We loved this hike! We started across the street from the parking lot went up dipsea then through Matt Davis, it would be easier on the knees if you started Matt Davis then went down hill through dipsea part. This hike had everything .. flowers, tons of greenery, redwoods, beach views and my favorite waterfalls! The ladder is a cool touch too! It is wet and you prob will get muddy! Thankfully we did end up downloading the map because we accidentally veered off the hike and it added an extra hour to our hike but all in good fun! We went on a Sunday, started around 11 am and there wasn’t too many people!

Saw some waterfalls. Not very hot at all, and not crowded. Nice people everywhere. The redwood trees are gorgeous.

Awesome Hike!


Great hike. We started from the top and left the hardest part for last. The scenery is amazing, especially in the clearing where you get to see the ocean. Got lost on the way back up and ended up taking a goat trail rather, which was very strenuous.

One of the best trials i took in the recent past... thanks to Alltrails..
Lots of water streams and waterfalls... crystal clear water and spectacular sea view :)

Started from Pantol Station it's a gradual but continuous descent to Pacific Highway. You can cross the street to the beach, have your lunch and then start back up by crossing the street again, walk a bit to the Dipsea trailhead and make your way up. There's about a 2 mile stretch of exposed trail that can be unforgiving as you make the gradual yet unrelenting ascent in the afternoon sun. But soon you're back in the trees and moss will be rewarded with moss and waterfalls. Be warned though this route is all down the first half, and all up the second half.

Great moderate hike with waterfalls and scenic viewpoints along the way.

Waterfalls did not have much water. Trail is muddy for a few small stretches but otherwise fine. Some wildflowers starting to bloom.

so much greenery, feels like a wonderland!

I found the trail incline hard, not moderate, but worth every step because the canyon is absolutely magical.

Gorgeous!! If you go clockwise (start on Belvedere) you’ll hit a killer first mile uphill, but it’s worth it! The last few miles of the hike are beautiful and you get a view of the ocean and then hit redwoods/waterfalls once you loop back on Tam. Highly recommend this trail, have @ it!

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