Steep Ravine Trail - Dipsea Trail to Stinson Beach, Mt Tamalpais State Park - Pantoll Ranger Station, San Francisco: Marin Headlands - Mt Tamalpais - Point Reyes, California
Steep Ravine Trail - Dipsea Trail to Stinson Beach - 5.6 miles
Mt Tamalpais State Park - Pantoll Ranger Station
|Round-Trip Length:||5.6 miles (.25 additional one-way miles to reach Stinson Beach)|
|Start-End Elevation:||1,478' - 115' (1,478' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-1,363' net elevation loss (+1,508' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Steep Ravine Trail - Dipsea Trail to Stinson Beach - 5.6 Miles Round-Trip
The Steep Ravine Trail joins the Dipsea Trail to form an ecologically varied route to Stinson Beach. The Steep Ravine Trail follows the redwood lined banks of Webb Creek 1.7 miles to the Dipsea Trail, which leaves the forest on a rolling 1.1 mile descent through open coastal chaparral to the beach.
The Steep Ravine Trail drops quickly on switchbacks to the creek and cluster of redwoods (.4 miles : 1,212'). It crosses Webb Creek - the first of many times - and follows it closely to a sturdy but oft-wet 10' ladder (.85 miles : 1,049'). Once down travel steepens on a rugged, slippery descent through rows of tall redwoods.
Webb Creek is fed by many tributaries, which add to its velocity as you progress. Bridges between 1.15 and 1.6 miles are good places to study the diverse riparian corridor and canopy above.
The Steep Ravine Trail meets the Dipsea Trail in 1.7 miles (515') and follows clear signs across fire roads (1.8 miles : 530') toward Stinson Beach. The trail soon emerges from timber in coastal chaparral, a biotic zone characterized by diminutive, hardy brush adapted to the coast's saline, intemperate environment.
The Dipsea Trail drops, rises, and drops again through open coastal hills with rangy views over Stinson Beach and Bolinas Lagoon. It winds through bands of oak and arching laurel (2.6 miles : 324') on the final leg to Highway 1 (2.8 miles : 115'). Continue .25 miles north on Highway 1 and enter through the designated portal for Stinson Beach (3.05 miles).
- N37 54.200 W122 36.244 — 0.0 miles : Pantoll Ranger Station - Steep Ravine Trailhead
- N37 54.118 W122 36.439 — .4 miles : Cross creek through redwood stand
- N37 53.904 W122 36.710 — .85 miles : Descend ladder
- N37 53.498 W122 37.251 — 1.7 miles : Dipsea Trail junction #1 - keep straight
- N37 53.474 W122 37.297 — 1.75 miles : Dipsea Trail junction #2 - bear right on Di
- N37 53.538 W122 37.745 — 2.2 miles : Crest coastal hill with ocean views
- N37 53.795 W122 38.156 — 2.8 miles : Dipsea Trailhead on Panoramic Highway at Sti
- Portions of the Steep Ravine Trail can be steep, slick and muddy. Sturdy footwear is recommended. Watch for poison oak and ivy on the lower portion over the trail.
- The full Dipsea Trail stretches 7 miles from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, tracing the Redwood Creek watershed from Mt Tamalpais to the sea. Artifacts found near the Dipsea Trail suggest indigenous Coast Miwok people followed a similar course from inland areas to reach the ocean.
- Coastal Redwoods are the tallest living organisms on earth, and can live to be 2,000 years old. Redwoods grow best in moderate temperatures and need significant moisture to thrive. The Redwoods' success along the California coast is due in part to year round fog. This perennial fog condenses on the trees' needles, drips to the ground and provides moisture, even during the dry season.
Camping and Backpacking Information
Backcountry camping is not permitted within Mt Tamalpais State Park.
- The Pantoll Campground is located on Panoramic Highway adjacent to the Pantoll Ranger Station. It has 16 campsites, each with a table, rock barbecue, food locker and space for a tent. Phones, faucets, firewood and flush toilets are nearby. There are no showers. Sites are first-come, first-served.
Steep Ravine Environmental Campground
- The Steep Ravine Environmental Campground is located on a coastal terrace off Highway 1, one mile south of Stinson Beach. It has nine rustic cabins and seven primitive campsites. Each cabin has a wood stove, picnic table, benches, sleeping platforms and outdoor bbq. The cabins do not have running water or electricity. Primitive toilets, faucets, and firewood are nearby. Primitive campsites are located a few hundred yards from the parking area. Each site has a table, fire pit, food locker and space for a tent. Primitive toilets and water faucets are nearby. There are no showers at Steep Ravine Campground.
Alice Eastwood Group Camp
- Alice Eastwood Group Camp is located off Panoramic Highway on Alice Eastwood Road. It has two campsites. Site A holds up to 50 people; Site B holds up to 25 people. Both sites have tables, flush toilets, water faucets with sinks, bbq grills and a large area for tents.
Frank Valley Group Horse Camp
- Frank Valley Group Horse Camp is located 1.5 miles West of Muir Woods National Monument on Muir Woods Road. It has 12 pipe corrals, water faucets, watering troughs, picnic tables, fire rings and a pit toilet. The minimum group size is 2 horses; the maximum size is 12 horses.
- To reserve a campground visit www.reserveamerica.com or call 800.444.7275. For specific camping and campground questions, call Pantoll Ranger Station at 415.388.2070.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs and Bikes are not permitted on the Steep Ravine Tral or Dipsea Trail.
Directions to Trailhead
Mt Tamalpais State Park is located north of San Francisco in Marin County. The Pantoll Ranger Station is located 8.5 miles from Highway 101 on Panoramic Highway. The Steep Ravine Trailhead is located steps away from the Pantoll Ranger Station (to the right).
From Highway 101, exit Stinson Beach - Highway 1 and follow the exit ramp west .6 miles to the Highway 1 - Almonte Blvd intersection. Turn left on Highway 1 toward Stinson Beach.
The road winds up the mountain to the Panoramic Highway split (3.2 miles) - veer right on Panoramic Highway (anticipate this quick turnoff). Remain on Panoramic Highway and follow signs for Mt Tamalpais State Park to the Pantoll Ranger Station (keep straight at the Muir Woods - Mill Valley fork at 4.0 miles).
The Pantoll Ranger Station is located on the left side of the road. Main lot parking carries an $8 fee. Free but limited parking is available across the street at the Matt Davis Trailhead.
Mt Tamalpais State Park
801 Panoramic Highway
Mill Valley, CA 94941