Dipsea Trail to Steep Ravine Trail to Matt Davis Loop Trail

MODERATE 781 reviews

Dipsea Trail to Steep Ravine Trail to Matt Davis Loop Trail is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Stinson Beach, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
6.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1686 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

no dogs

Hike from the Pacific Ocean all the way up to The Muir Woods Visitor Center. There area spectacular ocean views, rushing creeks, and pretty waterfalls. Steep Ravine is a real jewel in Marin County's crown. Cutting deep into the landscape over millennia the water rushing through Webb Creek has created a spectacularly steep sided and lush canyon shaded by towering redwood trees and populated with a wide variety of local flora and fauna. The hike begins along the Dipsea Trail at Stinson Beach. It climbs gradually with many ocean views until you reach its' junction with the Steep Ravine Trail. From here it climbs 1000 ft. to Pantoll ranger station in 1.5 miles. There are two significant waterfalls along Webb Creek in Steep Ravine. The upper one is interesting because you have to climb up the waterfall via a 10 ft. high ladder. These waterfalls are best seen in the winter or early spring months, after there has been a lot of rain. Once at Pantoll, cross the highway and head back down to Stinson Beach via the Matt Davis trail. You will find more great ocean views on this trail. Many people like to do this hike in the reverse direction, going up Matt Davis trail and down Steep Ravine. But the Matt Davis trail is longer (4 miles) and it is all up hill if you go this way.

hiking
17 hours ago

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.

hiking
9 days ago

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.

10 days ago

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.

16 days ago

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.

17 days ago

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!!

hiking
23 days ago

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!

hiking
24 days ago

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!

hiking
26 days ago

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!!!

1 month ago

Probably my favorite hike in the Bay Area

1 month ago

Steep Ravine is a wonderful rainforest right now!

hiking
1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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!

1 month ago

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

2 months ago

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!

2 months ago

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

2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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 :)

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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!

hiking
3 months ago

Trail was refreshing. Lots of places to stop and eat lunch. Went there early so it wasn’t so packed. Parked at the Stinson beach parking and walked to the Matt Davis trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail! lovely views of the sea, the hills and the redwood trees. It gets pretty crowded so it's good to be early. Started at Stinson beach by the fire station (steep stairmaster-like hike). The trail gets pretty slippery and muddy past the Pan Toll Ranger Station, slipped a bunch of times. This trail is a knee buster! If you have weak knees like me, best to choose a more gradually sloping trail.

3 months ago

Fun hike and great views. My gps calculated 7.95 miles when starting from the north lot at Stinson Beach Parking lot.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing views!!

3 months ago

4 months ago

great views but gets very busy

hiking
4 months ago

Very nice, a must do route in the Bay Area.
Start with a nice hike down to the town of Stinson Beach, which is a great place to take a break and grab some coffee or a meal. After your break you can burn it all off on the hike back up the trail.

4 months ago

Quintessential Northern California hiking trail! While it is challenging with some parts similar to a stairmaster, it is such a well kept trail with plenty of flat and even terrain so the whole group can keep up. On a clear day you can see out to the Pacific, but even on a foggy day it is such a beautiful trail. Bring layers as you'll be dipping over/under the fog line so what may start as a hot hike quickly turns pretty frigid in the winter months.

hiking
4 months ago

Good hike. Hiked after a while so found this one to be a good way to get back on trails. Ocean views at the start and end. Passes through woods in the middle. Lots of tall trees, ferns and rustic wooden bridges throughout the middle part. Also amusing to see trees with weirdly shaped barks arching over the trail at some points. Not much water in the creeks and waterfalls at this time. Took about four hours with lots of photo stops.

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