Summary: 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. It may seem difficult and steep, but we did not find it too bad. 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. We think it is easier to go up Steep Ravine.
Trailhead: Take Hwy 101 to the Hwy 1 Mill Valley /
Stinson Beach exit. Follow Hwy 1 for 12 miles to the Panoramic
Hwy just before Stinson Beach. Turn right onto Panoramic Hwy and park at
the Dipsea trailhead parking area on the left side of the road. (Lat:37.89611 Lon:-122.63671)
Trail Guides for Dipsea - Steep Ravine - Matt Davis loop:
101 Great Hikes of the San Francisco Bay Area
by Ann Marie Brown (Foghorn Outdoors)
Best Seasons: Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Mt. Tamalpais State Park, (415) 388-2070
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Leon Turnbull, who has posted 17 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Catherine on 10/22/2011
I've done about 10 hikes in the Bay Area and this one is definitely at the top. Not too crowded on a Saturday afternoon, but far from deserted. Still so happy we did it.
Reviewed by Viewer on 8/9/2011
Great hike! Thanks for posting. Agree that going up Steep Ravine first is best. Not because it is easier, but because there are fewer people. Bathroom and water at Ranger Station are an added bonus.
Reviewed by Viewer on 9/7/2010
enjoyed running the matt davis trail
Reviewed by Wendy on 4/8/2010
I did the Steep Ravine Trail from Pantoll with my 6 year old today. It is lush and green and if you keep your eyes vigilant you will get to see the pink Calypso Orchid along the upper portion of this trail. There are some sections of trail with mud and running water from the lastest storm, but the waterfalls are nice. As are the vibrant green ferns and moss growing on the trees. Recent trail care has cut away fallen trees across the path. My child refused to tackle the 10 foot ladder, so this is where we turned around. I'm sure it looks far more intimidating from the top than the bottom. :)
Reviewed by Tim on 6/14/2009
This trail is great! It has views of the ocean, a small pond, interesting ledges to walk on, a ladder in the ravine, ferns, lots of bridges, large redwood trees, interesting fields, and more! Don't forget to pack a lunch or bring a snack. If you leave in the morning you will be hungry once you hit the Pantoll Ranger station. They don't have any food or bottled water. There is a bubbler though. This hike is good almost any time during the day since it has protection from the sun (due to the tree and bush canopy). Don't bring your dog. He won't make it down the steep ladder and there is no way around it.
Reviewed by H.E on 12/22/2008
I absolutely loved it:)
Reviewed by Sally on 8/23/2008
This is absolutely a great hike - and the first time I've ever finished a long hike without feeling exhausted! Try extending the hike by following Dipsea to Muir Woods, and then taking the Bootjack Trail back up to Pantoll (11 miles roundtrip).
Reviewed by Sarah on 8/23/2008
This hike was awesome. I did it on my own on a Friday and I pretty much had it to myself. I did this hike going in the opposite direction (that is what the ranger recommended) and it was wonderful to end with the Steep Ravine trail!!!
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