Saturday, April 30, 2016

Pantoll to Stinson Beach Loop Via Matt Davis, Dipsea, and Steep Ravine Trails - Mount Tamalpais State Park, California

We recently did the popular Matt Davis, Steep Ravine loop connecting Pantoll Campground to Stinson Beach. We chose to start at Pantoll and take a food break at Stinson Beach, but it also makes sense to start at Stinson if you want to get the hard part out of the way first (and claim a coveted parking spot at the beach which become scarce after 11 most weekends).

The parking lot at Pantoll is located off of Panoramic Highway at Pantoll Rd. about 4.5 miles west of Mill Valley and 4 miles east of Stinson Beach. It costs $8 to park there, but there are other parking options nearby (if you dislike the idea of supporting the conservation of incredible natural resources for future generations).

Named after a man who helped build many of the trails in the area back in the 1910's & 1920's, the Matt Davis Trail is about 4.2 miles long and starts across the road from the Pantoll parking lot and kiosk. This route is longer than the way back but has a nicer grade for trail running. It starts out somewhat level for the first mile or two before heading downhill via numerous switchbacks into Stinson Beach. The views along the way are stunning as the hillside alternates between being grassy and wooded with the ocean in the background.

At Stinson Beach we hit the famous Siren Canteen on the beach for some great food (nachos) and drinks (options include a variety of shakes, mimosas, kombucha, beer, wine, etc).
After that we relaxed on the beach for a bit before starting back up the hill. Going back we took the Dipsea and Steep Ravine route which was shorter at about 3 miles, but steeper (including lots of steps and a 10' wooden ladder). The redwoods and low branching oaks along the later part of this trail give the area a magical feel.

For info on more hikes in the area, explore the labels on the left or click some of the links below:
North Bay Trails
California Trails 

Matt Davis Trail Heading Towards Stinson Beach

Coming into Stinson Beach
Stinson Beach with Siren Canteen on Left

Stinson Beach

Dipsea Trail

California Readers: If you live in CA and want to earn money by turning off some lights or unplugging your laptop for an hour visit:
You get $20 just for joining and by reducing your electricity consumption for an hour when notified by text, email, or the app, you will help protect local air quality, fight climate change, and lower everyone's electric bills by eliminating the need to turn on an expensive and dirty peaker plant.

No comments:

Post a Comment