Steep Ravine - Matt Davis
6.5 miles     1500 ft
16 Jul 2011

One of the finest bay area hikes that climbs up an evergreen forest next to a creek.

Location: Mount Tamalpais State Park

Elevation Profile
Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» RedwoodHikes Map helpful for this hike: Thanks to Dave Baselt for sharing a free map with us. This map shows all trails for this hike clearly.

» Official Trail Map: Decent quality map. However, mileage information is missing. Not enough details of trail intersections, some of which have no signposs.

» RedwoodHikes Trail Map: Annotated trail map of Muir Woods National Monument and most of Mt Tamalpais State Park. An excellent quality trail map ($6.95 in Jan 2012) that is recommended for avid hikers. Mt Tamalpais has plenty of trails and trail intersections. This map shows them very clearly. Much better than official state parks map or GGNRA map.



To Pantoll Ranger Station: Dipsea Trail (1.1 miles) → Steep Ravine Trail (1.8 miles).

To Stinson Beach: Matt Davis Trail (3.8 miles) → Stinson Beach (0.3 miles).

Notes: Dipsea Trail is mostly in the sun — avoid summers. Steep Ravine is shaded throughout, next to Webb Creek, making it the best trail in Mount Tamalpais. Matt Davis is mostly shaded. It is best to do this hike in overcast conditions, after rains. Then the forest is lush green with dew-laden leaves and flowers. As the elevation profile shows, Matt Davis is much steeper than the combination of Dipsea and Steep Ravine. There are many more staircases and steps along Matt Davis.

The hike may also be started at Pantoll Ranger Station in Mt Tamalpais, which necessitates paid parking ($8 in July 2010). Also, the route would first go down to the beach, then climb up. Many people prefer to climb down in the latter portion of the hike. So starting at Stinson Beach would be better.


Location: near intersection of Panoramic Highway and Shoreline Highway (CA-1), Stinson Beach, CA 94970 . Parking area is visible in Google Maps if you zoom in sufficiently.

Directions: There is a dirt pullout for parking a few cars along Panoramic Highway, within 0.2 miles of its intersection with Shoreline Highway (CA-1) in the town of Stinson Beach. If this lot is full, you may park at 10 Marine Way, Stinson Beach, CA, which is a large parking lot for Stinson Beach. A short walk takes you to the intersection of California 1 and Pacific Highway (study Google Map for directions). Parking is free at both locations.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: None (last visited: July 2011)

Capacity: About five to six cars may be parked here.

Latitude: 37.896465     Longitude: -122.636234

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