Dipsea, Steep Ravine, and Matt Davis Loop

MODERATE 913 reviews

Dipsea, Steep Ravine, and Matt Davis Loop is a 6.4 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 best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
6.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,699 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.

One of my favorite trail at Mt Tamalpais State Park.

hiking
8 days ago

This remains one of my favorite hikes in the Bay Area. I usually start at Pantoll Ranger Station, but on my most recent trip, I started at Stinson Beach and completed this in the opposite direction suggested: up Matt Davis and down Steep Ravine and Dipsea. The trail is a "best of" of hikes in the Bay Area in that you get a bit of everything: grassy fields with expansive views; redwoods; small streams amid forests of canyon oaks and eucalyptus; and, of course, Stinson Beach itself.

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike to complete in the morning! I imagine foot traffic picks up after 10-11am, as I noticed larger groups and families starting their hike while I was ending mine. I started at the Dipsea Trailhead, continued onto Steep Ravine and climbed down via Matt Davis. Good mix of shaded/open areas. I especially enjoyed the ocean and city views on the Matt Davis Trail. You could complete this trail multiple ways depending on where you park. I originally wanted to park at Stinson Beach, but the parking lot was closed, I'm assuming due to the government shut down. Instead, I took the risk and parked in a drop off zone next to the trailhead. I learned there is another parking lot at Pantoll Road, at the campground, so that's another option if Stinson's lot is closed. If you park at Pantoll, you could climb down via Matt Davis and hike back up via Dipsea & Ravine. Alternatively, you could hike down via Ravine/Dipsea and hike back up on Matt Davis. Overall, it's a nice Marin hike.

15 days ago

Great way to start the year!

15 days ago

Great way to start the year!!!

16 days ago

This was one of the best hikes I’ve been on.

18 days ago

amazing

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful December day. Went with daughter around noon. Did it counterclockwise. It’s actually about 7.4 miles long. First half moderately strenuous and uphill. Second half easy but downhill and lots of rocks so wear good shoes. Beautiful all the way - redwoods, streams, ocean view, shade and sun. Moderate foot traffic but generally mellow folks around. Classic NorCal hike. We even spotted a big coyote - it crossed the trail, then climbed a hill and stared at us.

26 days ago

This trail is amazing! I think I logged almost 10 Miles. The scenery in the mountain on the trail was so beautiful. I had some hot tea on the beach and watched the dolphins. Then at 730am I hit the trail. Finished up with lunch and a beer at the Siren Canteen on the beach. Amazing time!!!

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

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..

2 months ago

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!!!

2 months ago

Awesome- just go!

2 months ago

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

3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing hike, took us 4 hours with lots of stops

hiking
3 months ago

This was a gorgeous and moderately challenging hike with a decent amount of elevation change. Can’t wait to go back. Only reason I didn’t give five stars was the lack of maintenance. Exposed rebar on some Dipsea steps. Fencing down in many places along the route.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a lovely trail and a beaufiful day. The trail justified the ratings received on alltrails.com. We went up the Steep Ravine and came down on Matt David trail.

We are a new pro user of alltrails app, and the detailed offline maps and tracking were really worth it. Looking forward to many more.

hiking
3 months ago

One of my fav hikes I’ve done so far. Really beautiful, took Steep Ravine trail and went all the way down to Stinson Beach. Beautiful views.

3 months ago

Beautiful scenic views, family friendly.

3 months ago

A nice waterfall and scenery changes from forest to meadow to waterfall to coastal. Started from the Stinson beach fire station

3 months ago

My favorite hike in the Bay Area

3 months ago

Beautiful scenic views for a hike! must visit.

3 months ago

Beautiful and varied views! Very exposed for maybe a third of the way so bring sun protection

hiking
4 months ago

Loved the scenic trail. Listen to everyone’s advice and go counter clockwise. You’ll see a lot of beauty sceneries and feel like you’ve just stepped into the tropical wilderness. It’s about 4 miles to get to the top and you come to a rest stop for bathrooms, water fountains, guest information center, and vending machines. We were glad we brought enough water because we were almost out of water by the time we got to the rest stop.The climb was tough, but possible and be prepared to climb a ladder or climb down one if you are going clockwise. Once you finish the 6-7 mile trail you can enjoy lunch at the local restaurant near the beach. Go early in the morning because the sun will shine down at ya around 12 and it’ll get pretty warm.

hiking
4 months ago

Actually a really cool hike. Started the hike with the Matt Davis trail and finished with the dipsea trail. Steep ravine was probably the best part of the hike you feel like you are in a different world. Over all very diverse scenery throughout the hike.

hiking
4 months ago

One of the most colorful hikes I’ve ever been on. Went around 1030 and finished around 2pm. The clouds hanging over the first part of the hike made the place feel pretty magical. I enjoyed the different sceneries offered with each part of the hike and even saw an owl. Love it!

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