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Dipsea, Steep Ravine, and Matt Davis Loop

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Mount Tamalpais State Park

Dipsea, Steep Ravine, and Matt Davis Loop is a 7.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Stinson Beach, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 7.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,781 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

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
1 day ago

Super beautiful trail with a variety of terrains. Starting with Matt Davis trail is recommended. Great 3.5-4 hour hike!

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful hike. One of my favorite. Did the hike on 4th July. Lot of people were doing the loop starting with Matt Davis trail so we were crossing a lot of people. In the spirit of social distancing I would recommend hiking the loop in reverse starting out at Matt Davis. Matt Davis trailhead is right behind the fire station

hiking
4 days ago

Very charming trail!

hiking
4 days ago

Omfg

hiking
5 days ago

This trail was amazing! A great workout and so beautiful. I started this at 7am. So glad I did! The trail that was crowded with people starting by the time I was headed back. I went on a day where there was heavy fog. It made the trial even prettier. It was like being in a rainforest for part of it. Did on 6/27

hiking
5 days ago

Great trail! Lots of people. Nice views.

hiking
7 days ago

Fabulous trail! Definitely try for a weekday. Got there by 8 am and parking was a breeze. The greenery, trees and quaint bridges made for a wonderful hike up Steep Ravine. Matt Davis was full of switchbacks, so not too easy on the knees. But in all, a fantastic hike. Most people had masks, bar a few. Would definitely recommend this one

Great trail! Crowded on the weekends so be prepared to mask up and wait for parking.

Wonderful cool day to hike. The Matt Davis trail there was a huge tree that fell across the path and it was very difficult to climb through the rubble. This location for hiking is much too crowded on the weekends, better to go during a weekday to avoid crowds. The majority of people wore mask around their neck and pulled the mask up as we passed each other. Grateful for the mask etiquette, and glad I was leaving as many groups started hiking in. Parking is challenging unless you arrive very early. Seen a massive rattle snake quietly resting along the edge of the trail but was hidden over a small ledge.

hiking
13 days ago

My favorite nor cal hike! You can go from the beach, up the mountain and back to the beach, or you can go one way. The ravine, while possibly crowded is engulfed in greenery. Makes me feel like in the PNW.

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful trail most within the forest, excellent workout

hiking
21 days ago

Fantastic trail that tics all boxes... Redwoods, waterfalls, vast coastal views! 4- hour hike clockwise from Pantoll.

hiking
24 days ago

Great trail, pretty easy.

Simply beautiful!

hiking
rocky
28 days ago

Went on 6/10/2020 and all available parking lots along the trail heads entrance points were open (no parking restrictions). As well as the restrooms at the Pontoll campground along the trail. Parking was pretty packed later in the day when we finished our hike. Great trail loop over all, there is a lot of uphill/downhill during the hike so be prepared for that as well as (proper footwear). Some parts are secluded by trees and other parts are in direct sunlight so bring sunscreen! Majority of people had masks and were putting them on when the crossed paths were other hikers.

hiking
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

Would recommend to come early to avoid the crowd and parking. It's worth the trip and long hike.

1 month ago

This hike is so beautiful! Redwoods, wildflowers, small waterfalls, bridges, a ladder, and the beach. It's like being in 4 different places at once. It was 62 and perfect today. There was some fog which added to the beauty of the hike. After our hike, we grabbed a bite to eat at the little restaurant and ate on the picnic tables before heading to the beach for a quick break. Fair warning tho, for those looking to go, as of today, the trailhead parking is closed. It's all street parking so get there early to find a spot. We parked near the post office and at 8 am, there was hardly any parking left. By the time we were leaving, at 2:30 pm, people were fighting over spots.

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite hikes ever. It’s a awesome trail to hike if you want to see some Redwoods, without going all the way to Redwood National Park. We loved the views and the ladder was so cool.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

one of my favorite places to hike! such pretty views, right around every corner. Mostly shady except for when you have to walk through one little area that’s directly in the sun and SUUUPER hot, but then you come around the corner & see the ocean and it immediately cools down :). Plus the coolest bridge and ladder! Definitely a good hike! (Not the easiest tho, just a fair warning, lots of uphills- but it’s worth it!)

hiking
1 month ago

10/10 would recommend! If you haven’t done these trails already please do! Started with the Matt Davis trail bc it’s a little more of a challenge. Upon going up we ran into a raven just chilling on a post right in front of us, it was crazy, never seen a raven that up close before. Then while on the steep ravine trail we ran into deer! Throughout most of these trails there were a bunch of little lizards everywhere. It was dope. Also there’s a bunch of little waterfalls & wooden bridges. Make sure you go early because parking fills up fast as Stinson beach is right there. Definitely will be back again!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. First 3 or so miles is constant incline and invigorating. All views are gorgeous-start and end with ocean views and stunning creek, woodsy atmosphere through the center of the hike. We arrived early and parking was fairly easy, however, later when departing many were hungry for a parking spot. Can’t wait to do this hike again!

Everything was cool about the trail except having to find parking so go early. But amazing nonetheless. It was a nice mixture of trees and sun with gorgeous views of the ocean from the top. Took us about 3 hours 20 minutes from start to finish.

1 month ago

best trail in Bay area. we went last Saturday, and experienced four types of environments - cloud grassland, cloud Forest, dry grassland, dry forest. the views are gorgeous.

Matt Davis has lotsa poison oak encroaching on trail these days. But this is always an amazing loop hike!

hiking
2 months ago

We went in April in 65F weather which was perfect! We only did a portion of the Steep Ravine and it was so gorgeous that we want to return for other trails. We started too late to continue going further. Part of the trail was a little muddy and slippery, and we had to climb a ladder, and definitely had steep areas to climb with a railing and steps. There were some beautiful little waterfalls and plenty of shade most of the way. A little bit of everything. Not suitable for strollers on the Steep Ravine due to the ladder and plenty of steps, and I wouldn't recommend a dog unless you're prepared to carry it on the ladder. I also wouldn't recommend kids because it is a challenge to hike unless they're accustomed to hiking.

hiking
3 months ago

First half is all in a beautiful wooded area, up against the creek and redwoods. No views at the summit but some once you get a bit further into the Matt Davis trail. Def not as many as views we were expecting, but it wasn’t a hard trail and was quiet! Gorgeous hike for the forest but not as much for views.

hiking
4 months ago

Well used, well maintained. A trail I would do again. The Dipsea Trail heading up is picturesque and the Matt Davis Trail was a comfortable downward trail back to the beach. This is definitely the way I would do the trail again in the future. I took a couple of small detours and end up hiking 16km, I had planned for a 12-13km hike, so ensure you allow suitable time to enjoy the trail. The reward at the end is Stinson Beach and putting weary legs in the cool of the ocean.

I’m hoping I picked the correct trail loop as we had taken the wrong one the first time we had attempted this loop. The second time was “correct”. We had started near Stinson Beach fire station. The loop actually ended at the dead end of the road to the left looking at the fire station and started on the main highway road on the same side as the face of the fire station going up the hill (you’ll see a small sign). There is also more parking if you turn at the road on your FIRST LEFT going up the hill past the fire station and past the small entrance to the trail and park immediately on the corner on your left. If you park at the dirt “up the hill spot” the trail continues across the street. The trail at the parking spot will take you down to the fire station front highway road. The first attempt we figured “Steep Ravine” meant up the hill. So when you reach the bridge where you can continue straight and not cross the bridge but rather pass a big boulder and a fallen tree ... that’s actually Steep Ravine and you will have the ravine next to you with little waterfalls and get to climb the rock with the ladder. If you choose to cross the bridge and go up, it’ll also take you to Pan Toll Ranger station (where there is bathrooms, a water fountain, rangers, and WiFi at the kiosk but unsure if you need to download an app or something first to access it. ) This route is also beautiful as when you reach what feels like the top, you have a beautiful spot to picnic and take in the ocean view. But you skip a lot of little waterfalls and the ladder on the rock which is such a cool experience. I’m unsure what this latter trail is called. The hike itself is beautiful with many different experiences... narrow trails, rocky with roots, lots of dirt paved steps, eroded steps with rail spikes to watch out for, flat wide even trails, wooden paths, and even areas of concrete (when you’ve reached the half way point at Pan Toll). You’ll walk through hills with open wide spectacular views of the ocean and into the dark forest with lush and vivid colors surrounding you. The smells, the sounds, the beauty of it all can be found here. You’ll most likely go home sore but with such a great feeling of accomplishment. I really recommend walking to Stinson Beach afterwards and take off your shoes and let the sand cool your feet. Once you finish at the fire station, turn right at the main highway road. You’ll be walking through their downtown area. Make a left at the stop sign and you’ll see Parkside. They have coffee, ice cream, pizza and so much more but I’ve only tried their Shandy lemonade beer (so refreshing!!!), clam chowder (so so good), bread and very fresh pesto ( yum), and calamari (over priced for it not being that tasty). Anyways, walk a little further behind those buildings, you’re at the beach! It’s so close... and elevates you’re peacefulness even more. Btw... start early! We almost got caught in the dark in the forest on our first try. Luckily there’s a bus at the Pan Toll Ranger Station so make sure to put at least $2 cash in your backpack just in case and a headlamp in case you did have a late start and was having too much fun that you missed the bus .

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