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Steep Ravine via Matt Davis, Mt Tamalpais

Get an early start to enjoy one of Mt Tamalpais' most loved and most distinctive trails.

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6.5 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview:  Steep Ravine is a real jewel in Marin County's crown. Cutting deep into the landscape over millennia the water rushing through Webb... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

You'll find the trailhead just south of Stinson Beach's firehouse. This does require a very short walk along Route 1, but this is very easy to do safely.

Our hike begins where the Dipsea Trail starts, and after passing over another road (and an alternative parking/trailhead location) you'll be heading out over rolling hills towards the Steep... More

2. Alternative Trailhead

Here you'll find some parking opportunities. Don't fret if these are all full, as there are plenty more spots in Stinson Beach just north of here.

3. [JCT] Turn Left onto Steep Ravine Trail

Hang a left here and say goodbye to the coastal views for a while, since you're headed deep into canyon country.

4. Steep Ravine Trail

Take the trip up Steep Ravine Trail alongside Webb Creek and up through the wonderfully dense redwood forest.

Sections of this trail can be rather steep but it's unlikely that you'll notice as you'll be too busy admiring the picturesque cascading streams.

The steepest of the sections is navigated by a wooden ladder around 15 feet in height.... More

5. Pan Toll Ranger Station

The end of Steep Ravine brings you out by the Pan Toll ranger station and parking lot. A great place to fill the water bottle, talk with a ranger, or make use of the restroom facilities.

Once you're ready for the next leg of your journey head to entrance of the parking lot, cross the road and follow Pantoll Road uphill.

6. Matt Davis Trail

If your legs are aching from the climb up Steep Ravine, then you'll be relieved to hear that it's all downhill from this point onward.

We pick up the narrow Matt Davis Trail at the side of Pantoll Road and head for the coast.

7. Out of the trees

The first part of our Matt Davis hike keeps us under woodland shelter, but soon we're out onto the exposed grassy hillsides where we can admire the views out onto the Pacific Ocean.

8. [JCT] Stay on Matt Davis Trail

It's Matt Davis all the way.

9. Back among the Redwoods

Enter the shady groves of California redwoods and evergreens, switchbacking down hillsides and watch the sunlight stream from between the trees as you descend.

10. Belvedere Avenue Trailhead

Now you're back in suburbia you're almost done. Take a left turn down this road and it'll lead you back to your starting point where you can rest your heels. Or alternatively, check out nearby Stinson Beach and feel the sand between your toes.

11. Stinson Beach Fire Station

On the corner of Belvedere Avenue and Route 1, the Stinson Beach Fire Station is a very useful route-finding landmark. Our recommended trail begins just to the right of the firehouse, and ends just up Belvedede Avenue to the left.