Dipsea, Steep Ravine and Matt Davis Trail Loop

A good friend of ours is moving back to the East Coast this week. She wanted to spend one of her last few weekends in California seeing some sights. It’s a long drive to Stinson Beach (from almost anywhere), but this hike was a great choice. It has redwoods, waterfalls and ocean views. All very California. Continue reading “Dipsea, Steep Ravine and Matt Davis Trail Loop”

Cataract Trail Loop

Cataract Falls is a mile long series of small cascades, tumbling through a steep redwood-lined gully in the Mount Tamalpais watershed.  The Cataract Trail loop is about 7 miles, beginning at the falls and ending at the falls.  This is the kind of trail that’s perfect for a rainy day when you’re itching to get outside. Continue reading “Cataract Trail Loop”

Point Reyes – Mount Wittenberg, Glen Camp & Arch Rock


Point Reyes National Seashore offers a vast network of hiking trails, four backcounty campgrounds, and plenty of opportunity to get outside.  It’s possible to bike, ride a horse, trail run, or kayak all around this area.   On this particular trip, we hiked to the highest point in the area (not worth it), camped at one of the four backcountry campgrounds, and visited the very popular Arch Rock.  We hiked approximately 16 miles (9 miles on Day 1 and 7 miles on Day 2).  We spent most of the weekend in dense forest – no sweeping ocean views.  It was not what I expected but it turned out to be a relaxing weekend with beautiful scenery. Continue reading “Point Reyes – Mount Wittenberg, Glen Camp & Arch Rock”

Mt Tamalpais via the Steep Ravine Trail

If you wanted to, you could drive almost to the top of Mt. Tamalpias. But if you want to really climb Mt. Tam, then start from the ocean. This hike leaves from Stinson Beach and climbs the Steep Ravine trail up to East Peak, then loops back on the north side. The grand total is over 16 miles, and a few thousand feet of elevation gain.


Basics:  This hike climbs from Stinson Beach to the East Peak of Mt Tamalpais.  It’s a long one – we hiked it as a loop totaling over 16 miles round trip.  We reached the top via the Steep Ravine Trail, Matt Davis Trail and Old Railroad Grade road.  We returned on the International Trail, Northside Trail, Bay Area Ridge Trail and Matt Davis Trail (among others).  Mt Tam has an amazingly large and well developed network of trails and roads.  There are many options.  Everything is well-signed, but unless you know where you are going, bring a map! Continue reading “Mt Tamalpais via the Steep Ravine Trail”

Double Dipsea Hike

Basics: The Dipsea Trail is a 7 mile trail running from Mill Valley through Muir Woods and Mt Tamalpais State Park all the way to Stinson Beach.  It is home to one of the oldest trail races in the country – the Dipsea Race – first run in 1905.  With two cars (or a willingness to research bus schedules), the trail can be hiked one way.  If transportation options are limited, it’s possible to hike the entire trail out and back for a total of 14 miles and 4400-ft of elevation gain. Continue reading “Double Dipsea Hike”