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Dipsea Trail to Steep Ravine Trail Loop from Pantoll

MODERATE 132 reviews

Dipsea Trail to Steep Ravine Trail Loop from Pantoll is a 3.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mill Valley, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
3.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
948 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

views

waterfall

no dogs

A nice loop in Mount Tamalpais State Park This hike includes great views of the Bay Area, Marin Headlands, the Golden Gate, Potato Patch, and down the San Mateo Coastline. As the walk progresses the trails will head into Redwood Forest, and drop - really drop - down into the heart of Steep Ravine. The trails become a series of stairs immediately adjacent to a seasonal creek. In some spots it's surely underwater during storms. Once in Steep Ravine it's all uphill back to the Ranger Station. The trail criss-crosses the creek repeatedly looking for space for itself, regularly climbs more steps, and a short ladder next to a waterfall in the quest to gain altitude. The reward is one of the best Redwood Canyons around.

hiking
4 days ago

Great loop. Recommend doing downhill through the forest, to the stairs then the meadow. Good mix of terrain and views. Bit muddy and slippery at times.

hiking
9 days ago

Excellent hike. Parking is limited at the Pantoll Ranger Station. $8 to park. At 2 pm, the morning hikers were leaving so I was able to find a spot. From Pantoll parking lot, took Old Mine to Dipsea. After crossing the bridge I had a choice. Turn right and head up Steep Ravine, or turn left and head down to Stinson Beach. It adds 3 miles to the overall hike but it’s well worth it!! The loop alone is 5-6 miles when elevation is factored in, plus 3 if you choose to go to Stinson Beach.. Fitness tracker recorded 8.5 miles. Went to the beach, bought a chocolate dipped ice cream cone at Parkside Snack Bar, then headed back up the Dipsea Trail to the Steep Ravine Trail to the Pantoll Station.
It’s a loop with a bonus hike to the beach added in. Heading down the Dipsea Trail there are beautiful vista views, Heading up Steep Ravine there are gorgeous redwood trees, lush ferns and beautiful little waterfalls. If you are in decent shape this hike will be no problem for you. I’m 50, female, work out at the gym 2x a week for an hour each time. I only felt tired toward the end of this hike. A little sore the next couple days.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

The loop is actually 6 miles instead of 3.6 miles.

hiking
1 month ago

Second time doing this trail. There is a pretty large downed tree. On the trail where the stairs lead down. It was fairly easy to move around tho

hiking
1 month ago

Incredible hike! Just over 5 miles, beautiful weather and a little bit of everything along the way. If you start the hike by taking the right side of the loop you end the hike with a remarkable view of the hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Just awesome.

hiking
2 months ago

Enjoyed the varied landscape including an open view of the bay, mini waterfalls, and a large redwood stand. Next time I would love to add the beach to that list! We went in the late afternoon and still had time to make it around (counter-clockwise). Fairly well-marked trail.

Scenic, views of redwoods, waterfalls, and the bay. Not particularly interesting or challenging hiking wise.

The biggest choice is which direction to take the loop. My recommendation is take the ravine trail down - starts to the right. Steady decent until you hit the Dipsea trail taking a left. Steep steady accent for 1/2 mile then slow accent thereafter with forest then open ocean views the last mile.

hiking
3 months ago

Has it all — steep ravines, flowing creeks, mini-waterfalls, redwood forests, amazing views of the ocean and the city (including Angel Island, top of the GG Bridge, and Farallon Islands on a clear day), and even a 10 foot ladder to climb. Recommend counterclockwise to enjoy the creek on the climb down and be stunned by spectacular views on the second half of the climb back up. Shady for much of the loop. Add a 1.4 mile hike (each way) to Stinson Beach at the bottom of the loop if extra time. Not overly crowded despite holiday weekend.

3 months ago

good

trail running
4 months ago

Did this loop on the way back to Stinson Beach after summiting the East Peak. Went from PanToll Ranger Station, down Steep Ravine and up the DipSea trail to return back at the PanToll Station. Certainly a fun loop, but i must say Steep Ravine is my favorite part still. The bridge that connects the DipSea Trail to the Steep Ravine leads to an insane section of stairs that doesnt break for what felt like 150 steps. And these are steep. After you summit the stairway to death it leads to a much flatter section of single track that seems to follow the hills. When i went today, it was extraordinarily misty so i could not see what laid beyond, for all i know it offers views of the ocean. However, the Steep Ravine trail has a couple set of stairs that are brutal but not deadly, and a small ladder to climb. Other than that its a beautiful steady climb following a small creek, which was flowing today and has quite a few waterfalls to check out! There are a few switchbacks, allowing you to truly check out the old ferns surrounding you. If you only get to take one of the trails, Steep Ravine is my go-to, but this loop was a fun addition to my day!

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful hike! We started at around 8am and finished right as the fog burned off around 11. If I wasn’t photographing or carrying gear We could’ve done it in 2 hours or less. Parking was 8$ and you pay at the ranger station in the parking lot. Very well marked trail

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike that you start from the ranger station. Enjoyed going down steep ravine and heading back up the dip sea trail, which loops you through a decent view at the top before getting back to station. Good amount of trees that kept us shaded. Finished in little less than 2 hours.

9 months ago

Such a beautiful hike! There were creeks, water falls, bridges, a wood ladder, and open groves as well as shade, fog, direst sun, and rain. All in one hike!! So much fun to have such diversity all in one place. Very much recommend, the stairs half way through may have you question why you started but remember it doesn’t last long. Lol

hiking
9 months ago

Awesome. At times much harder than I anticipated . Worth it.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

we started at bottom neat stinson beach hiked up hill ,the trail has a lot of stairs and a ladder .stopped at top af mt tamalpias the loop back.

hiking
Monday, November 14, 2016

I love this trail. I start from the Muir Woods parking lot and do the loop. It's a beautiful trail, accessible year around, can be slippery in spots when it's raining.

hiking
Sunday, November 13, 2016

Started at Pantoll campgrounds w steep ravine trail which met up w dipsea. Took dipsea to Stinson beach. Hiked back up dipsea to old mine trail that led us back to Pantol. A few stairs going up dipsea!(not for a beginner). And being somewhat motivated is a plus to conquer these stairs. Overall a GREAT hike!!! Loved it! Will do this one again!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

This is a great, intermediate level trail. Most of the route is a mild down grade out and upgrade back up it seems. If you are looking to add about an hour to your hike then adding a leg to Stinson Beach is awesome. This one is best done earlier in the day as you will be deep in the woods so it gets dark fast. There is also a lot to see so you don't want to feel rush to beat the day light.

Friday, February 15, 2013

I didn't do the entire loop because I got a late start. I parked at the Pan Toll Ranger station and walked along the Dipsea Trail a bit, beautiful views. Then I took Steep Ravine Trail down to the "ladder" and a bit beyond that, then turned and went back to the Ranger station. Another hiker I passed on the way told me that you can take the trail all the way to Stinson Beach and there is a bus that will take you back to Pan Toll Ranger Station, or you can hike the Matt Davis Trail back. I will try that next time.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sign said ladder was broke but when I got there it was brand new!

hiking
18 hours ago

4 days ago

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