Hike Date: August 11, 2012
Distance: ~3.5 miles
Trail(s): Steep Ravine Trail
Where’s it at? Mt. Tamalpais State Park, trailhead near Stinson Beach


My girlfriend has been talking about this trail for a while now and she finally succeeded in dragging me out while we were staying in Bolinas for the weekend. I’m glad she did! This trail in Marin has great ocean views as well as redwoods and ferns galore. It mostly travels along a creek, between the creek and the panoramic Highway. It is just far enough from the road to remain peaceful and quiet, other than the crowds of folks that apparently love to hike and camp here..

We parked at the bottom near Stinson Beach at the crossroads of Panoramic highway and Hwy 1, just south of the main town. Parking is free but can be limited. I understand there’s another lot further up the Panoramic Highway, or you could try your luck at parking in Stinson Beach and walk from there adding only a few hundred more yards to your trip. From where we parked and what is shown on the map below, the trailhead is just across the street.

On this day, there was a low level fog that covered the sky in the very beginning of the trail, but only about a half mile into the hike it cleared up. After a short stint through forest you come to a fairly wide open meadow for the next half mile. After that is where the scenery really starts as you enter a gorgeous redwood-laden creek area and narrow trails. Serene pitstops abound for snacking or eating lunch along the trail, with a lot of large boulders or tree benches to rest on. Continuing through you will arrive at the ladder. There’s about 15-20 steps up a steep section that can cause a log jam on a weekend summer day. No challenge here really, although like most ladders, coming back down is the scarier part.

The trail is a little steep in some areas and we did take our first rest shortly before the end of the trail after being hungry and a little winded. As luck would have it, 10 yards further and we would’ve found a nice bench to rest on… Seems to always work out that way. No complaints here though.

At the end of the Steep Ravine trail is a campground and ranger station with a number of bathrooms that have flushing toilets and running water. There is also a water spigot to fill up your reusable containers. I think there might’ve even been showers here but don’t quote me on that! We continued on a little bit up onto a hill to the north and took in the full view of the Pacific. I understand you can take the Dipsea Trail back to make this a loop but we just went back the same way we started. I hope to add the Dipsea Trail to the blog soon, I’ve only hiked parts of it in the past.

I would call this one of the more epic must-do hikes in the marin area. You get great views, a decent workout, and can make so many different endings to a hiking trip on this trail.

I have to give a big shout out to the restaurant we walked down to at the end of this trip, i think Lori and I would have to agree that the Chicken Nachos at Stinson Beach The Breakers Cafe was the best we’d ever had. It was absolutely to die for…

Photos from Hiking Steep Ravine Trail (click to enlarge)

A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin
A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin
http://timsartoris.com/blog/a-hike-on-the-steep-ravine-trail-in-marin http://timsartoris.com/blog/a-hike-on-the-steep-ravine-trail-in-marin http://timsartoris.com/blog/a-hike-on-the-steep-ravine-trail-in-marin
http://timsartoris.com/blog/a-hike-on-the-steep-ravine-trail-in-marin http://timsartoris.com/blog/a-hike-on-the-steep-ravine-trail-in-marin http://timsartoris.com/blog/a-hike-on-the-steep-ravine-trail-in-marin
A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin
A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin
A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin   A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin


View A Hike on the Steep Ravine Trail in Marin in a larger map

Weather at

Written on August 11th, 2012 in Hiking, The Whole Thing
Tags: , , , , , , ,