Celebrate a Healthy Friends Day this weekend! I did this 7 mile hike a few months ago – and since Spring has officially sprung – it’s definitely worth exploring now more than ever! This particular hike is located in Marin, past Muir Woods, and combines the Dipsea Trail, Matt Davis and Steep Ravine trails into a sweat-bustling 7.3 mile loop hike. The adventure offers a wide range of scenery and terrains: from waterfalls to redwoods to oak forests to spectacular ocean views. It’s moderately challenging, as it has a 1,60o ft elevation change, and it takes about 4 hours depending on how fast you walk.
Getting There (taken from BAHiker.com):
From US 101 in Marin County, exit CA 1/Mill Valley/Stinson Beach and drive on Shoreline Highway to the junction with Almonte, about 1 mile. Turn left, remaining on Shoreline, and drive about 2.5 miles to the junction with Panoramic Highway. Turn right on Panoramic and drive about 1 mile to the junction with Muir Woods Road; stay straight on Panoramic (right lane). Continue about 7.5 miles (past Pantoll) to the junction with CA 1, just before the town of Stinson Beach. Turn right, drive about 0.2 mile, then turn right (at the fire station) onto Belvedere Avenue. Look for parking on the left side of the road before the “do not enter/wrong way” signs.
From Stinson Beach’s Belvedere Avenue, start with the Matt Davis Trail. Continue along this trail and bear left to remain on the Matt Davis trail when you reach the unsigned junction at the Panoramic Highway. The Matt Davis trail will go through creeks and zigzag up the mountain. At 2.5 miles, the Matt Davis Trail meets the Coastal Trail – bear right to continue along the Matt Davis Trail. At 4.2 miles, you’ll find yourself back at the Panoramic Highway near the small Pantoll parking lot. Cross the road and head toward the parking lot. Water/food break! From here, look for the Steep Ravine trailhead (near the bathrooms). Continue through the redwoods and at about 6 miles, you’ll finally reach the Dipsea Trail. It heads left over a bridge, departing from a signed junction. When in doubt, continue straight to follow the Dipsea Trail. You’ll finally reach the Panoramic Highway once again, where you’ll cross then pick up the signed trail again on the opposite side. Continue ’till the end, where the Dipsea drops you on the side of CA 1 – where you’ll walk along the side of the road towards Belvedere Avenue. Congrats! You did it!
For your reference: here’s a map!