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“Fantastic Cabins On Ocean Bluff Near Stinson Beach” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Steep Ravine Cabins

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Steep Ravine Cabins
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801 PANORAMIC HIGHWAY, Mill Valley, CA 94941   |  
Hotel amenities
Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
174 helpful votes 174 helpful votes
“Fantastic Cabins On Ocean Bluff Near Stinson Beach”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2008

We stayed in the Steep Ravine Cabins July 3-6th for the 4th of July weekend.

First, let me just compliment the previous reviewer, they did a fantastic job detailing these great cabins, so I won't repeat what they said. I too had a hard time finding much info about these online before our trip, so this review was a big help!

Adding on to what was stated in the earlier review, the new bathrooms mentioned are now open. There are two of them, right off the parking lot near the handicapped cabin, and they are quite nice. Tile floor and walls, with skylights, and running water sinks. No electricity or showers, but the spigot on the sink is quite high, if you really needed to you could probably wash your hair in the sink. They were always well stocked with seat covers and toilet paper, and so much better than a pit toilet!

To me, it looked like all of the cabins were the same size, with the exception of one of them, the one closest to the old pit toilet. I believe it was cabin #3 and from the outside it just looked like it didn't have the bunk bed room and closet area.

While we didn't have a mouse problem, several of our neighbors mentioned hearing them at night. However there was a ton of wildlife to see from and around the cabins, which was really neat so close to San Francisco. During our stay we saw pelicans, hawks, crabs, starfish, snails, a rabbit, a snake (a lot bigger than a garter snake, but not a rattlesnake), a grey fox, and a lot of deer. Every morning I'd end up waking up at around 6am to use the restroom, and would always see deer eating around the cabins. If you follow the trail along the bluff, the opposite direction from the beach, there are some great tide pools with a lot of sea life, great fun if you are with kids, although they are a little steep to get to.

Another thing to mention that the previous review didn't was how hard it is to get a reservation at these cabins. They have a reputation of being the hardest reservation to get in the entire California State Park system, and I believe it! They can be booked through Reserve America, and go on sale 7 months in advance. What I had to do to get our reservation was to wake up early on January 2nd (usually they go on sale the first of the month, but January 1st was a holiday) and sign on at about 7:50am. I plugged in my dates, crossing my fingers we'd get the 4th of July weekend, and then sat there for 10 minutes hitting refresh over and over in my browser. At 8am on the dot the reservation system opened up, and instantly all but 3 cabins were gone. I quickly clicked on one of the ones left and somehow got it! So don't expect to be able to pick and choose which cabin you want, you'll have to take what you can get, but I really don't think any of them looked bad, they all had fantastic views.

Also to note about making reservations, the campground map on the Reserve America site is a bit off. Usually you would think the top of the map is the north side, so online it looks like the campsites are below (south) of the cabins. However, the right side of the map is actually the north side, so the campsites are to the side of the cabins, not in front of them, and a lot further away than shown on the map. Looking at the map as is on the site, the left side faces out to the ocean, the top side faces the bay and Stinson Beach. Just an FYI, because I was expecting there would be campers and tents in the way of the ocean view, but actually from our cabin (#6) we had a great view of just the water and Stinson Beach.

And finally, be sure to bring lots of blankets and sweatshirts! It was pretty cold in the mornings and at night, even in July, and very foggy. But in the afternoons the fog burned off and it was hot, so bring your shorts and bathing suits too.

Anyway, I hope some of these additional details are useful to anyone considering staying at these great cabins. I'm including some pictures as well!

  • Liked — Fabulous views, the wildlife, beautiful historic cabins
  • Disliked — That we couldn't stay longer!
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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19 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
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  • English first
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English first
Bay Area, California
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2008

I searched everywhere online to get more info. on these cabins before we left for our 2 night stay. I hope this review is useful to anyone who will be staying there for the first time and maybe doesn't know what to expect.
The cabin (#6) was much bigger than I expected. It included a small porch, lockable door, kitchen prep area with a laminate counter space, some small shelves and a garbage can with garbage bags. The living area has a large picnic table with pot belly stove close by. There are large windows next to the picnic table that look over the ocean and open to let in fresh air. There is also a large platform area big enough for someone to throw a sleeping bag on, or good for extra seating. There is also a small mirror, plenty of coat pegs and heavy duty nails to hang things on and a small bench in the living area. There was a chain hanging above the picnic table that would hold a lantern for plenty of light in the evenings.
Towards the bedroom there is a closet space with a bar to hang clothes on, if you bring your own hangers, I guess if you like to unpack when you camp? There is a broom and dust pan inside.
Across from this space is a very tiny room with a window and bunk bed platform with ladder.
Then the very large main bedroom has a queen sized bed platform with a small shelf and a window that looks out over the ocean. There is also another bed platform in the main bedroom, it looked big enough for a full sized inflatable mattress. It has a large window above it and a small shelf as well. None of the rooms have doors, but there are nails already up if you want to bring cloth to close off the rooms.
There are also wooden curtain rods with clips to hold curtains. There are tons of windows in the cabin, we brought cloth and cut it up to fit in the windows. It was nice for evenings to have some privacy and to keep the sun out in the morning.
Outside each cabin is a nice bench to sit on and a bbq grill that they tried to put in a place that is blocked from wind, there is space for outdoor chairs by the bbq.
We went mid week and found all the other campers to be much like ourselves, families with children or older couples. You never heard your neighbors over the ocean. No one, to our knowledge was there to party or play loud music into the wee hours of the night.
There are some trails and access to a beach. There are benches and picnic tables spread out over the area. There is just pit toilets. But they were very clean and well stocked with tissue and toilet seat covers. No showers, no sink. It looks like they are just about to open brand new bathrooms, maybe they will have running water and flush toilets? There is water close to each cabin. There was plenty of firewood to purchase. There were also wheel barrows to use to bring your stuff from your car to your cabin.
Stinson Beach is 1 mile away, if your forgot anything, you can run into town and get it.
One thing that I had no idea how to use was the locks to get into the campground and into your cabin. You must call to get the code for the grounds and cabin. You put your code in and push the lock up onto itself to unlatch it. I had no idea how to work this kind of lock, luckily my partner did!
There are mice that come into the cabin each night. You must put all your food and anything else you don't want a mouse to touch away each night, like your tablecloth. We heard them both nights we were there and found droppings each morning, however, they never came into the bedroom, that we know of. The website that you book the cabin through did not,until just recently, warn of the mouse problem. Luckily before we left I found it buried somewhere online and we knew to pack our food away.
It looks like some of the cabins are a little smaller than others, but there is no mention of this on the website you reserve the cabin on.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Steep Ravine Cabins

Address: 801 PANORAMIC HIGHWAY, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Location: United States > California > Marin County > Mill Valley
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Mill Valley
Number of rooms: 17
Also Known As:
Steep Ravine Cabins Hotel Mill Valley

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