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Matt Davis, Coastal, Cataract, Old Mine Trails Loop. (Moderate)

  • Oct 17, 2013 · 10:00 AM
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About the hike:

In this 7-mile loop, we'll hike the western flank of Mt Tam, enjoying commanding views, cool woods, and a waterfall.  Beginning on the Matt Davis Trail from Pantoll, we'll saunter through bay laurel trees, then transition to grasslands and a 1,500-foot-high view to Stinson Beach and Bolinas Lagoon. We'll keep hiking high on the Coastal Trail, then cross over to woodsy, picnic-friendly Laurel Dell and take a 10-minute detour to check out Cataract Falls.  To finish the loop, we'll wend our way through forest and along a creek on Cataract Trail, finishing on Old Miner's Trail with some views to San Francisco in the diestance.

Directions to the Pantoll Ranger Station:

From Hwy 101 take the Mill Valley/Stinson Beach/Hwy 1 exit and continue straight for one mile to a stoplight at Shoreline Hwy (Hwy 1), Turn left on Shoreline and drive 2.5 miles, then turn right on Panoramic Hwy.   Drive 9/10ths of a mile until you reach an intersection where you can go left, straight or right.  Take the middle road continuing on Panoramic Hwy for 4.3 miles more to the Pantoll Ranger Station on your left.

There is an $8 per car charge for parking in the main parking lot, although there is a free lot across the road.  Consider paying the fee to help support our state parks that are threatened by drastic budget cuts.


Car pool etiquette- Come prepared to drive, be aware that there may be no others wanting to car pool from your selected location or there might be a lot of people and everyone might want to ride. We determine who gets the rider seats by who has most recently been a driver in the past. This is worked out based by who shows up at the car pool location. We can't guarantee anyone a seat because we never know until that day who will show up.  We do our best to work it out and make everyone happy but we need everyone to pitch in and help make it work!

Then PLEASE if possible try to use the two locations below. The more locations we have the less effective we are and it's so much more complicated. Exceptions would be if you are not close to either location.

Car pool locations:

SANTA ROSA - Coddingtown Library parking lot suggested leave at 8:30.

http://goo.gl/maps/dBMKd

PETALUMA -Lucky at the intersection of Lakeville and Caulfield Ln. Park closest to Payran St. suggested leave by 8:55.

http://goo.gl/maps/xA0qm

General room of thumb...$5 one hour or less to trailhead $8 over one hour to trailhead Please insist your driver accept the money. It's to cover more than gas money...it's the wear and tear on the vehicle. We like to take care of our drivers!

As always:

We combine enjoyment of the trail with respect for everyone’s time.   A steady pace and we just keep going!  Please note that if you are a fast hiker you will end up waiting.  If you are slow you will find that as soon as you are in close visual sight we continue on.  This is how we respect everyone's time.  Also we do ask that if you are having a hard time keeping up with the group that you focus your efforts on keeping pace and doing the best you can do.

Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments.  This is especially important if there are any weather issues.  Cancellations due to weather will be posted by 10pm the previous evening.

Give yourself time to find the trail head so that you arrive prior to the scheduled time.  That is the time we head out on the trail.  It would be disappointing to miss having you on the hike due to late arrival.

Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good rugged soles that are well broken in.

Duration: 3-4 hours

Facilities: at the trail head and at our lunch break

Bring plenty of water.  More than one bottle is usually a good idea.

No dogs allowed

Dress in layers. It can be hot!!
Bring your smile and great attitude!

See you on the trail!

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  • Robin P.

    Absolutely gorgeous hike with great company!

    October 18, 2013

  • Sylvia M.

    Thank you Kathy for the opportunity to hike some of my favorite trails with great company on a specacua day.

    October 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Kathy, I drove in from Fremont today and got a little lost trying to find ranger's station. Sorry I wasn't in communication with you; my cell would not get service. I arrived at the meeting point about 10:40 and missed the group but went hiking anyway. It was beautiful! Next time, I will rendezvous with the group at car pool point even if it is a distance away. Glad You had a fabulous day!
    Take care.

    October 17, 2013

  • Marie-Noelle

    Great hike with a really nice group! Thanks Kathy :)

    October 17, 2013

  • Kathy F

    This is still one of my favorite hikes, and today was the perfect day for it. Thanks to the great group who joined me..you were the perfect company.

    October 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi. I am at Lucky's in Petaluma facing Payran and it looks like no one is here. Arrived at 8:55 as posted. Did I miss something?

    October 17, 2013

    • Kathy F

      Oh, no! Yelena, there were 8 of us there. We LEAVE at the time posted so folks need to be there a bit earlier. Today we were actually a few minutes later, but were in cars driving out by 8:58. The other thing is to post a comment that you plan to be at the car pool place so we can plan how many cars we need and we can keep an eye out for you if you arrive close to the time. So sorry your first time didn't work out well, I hope you try again soon.

      October 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I've hit the RSVP Yes button, and hope to make it. I'd love to ride with folks from Sebastopol, and my coming will depend on that happening. If there's anyone coming from Seb, please let me know, I'd love to join you.

    October 16, 2013

    • Kathy F

      Dorje - I think you are referring to Matt Davis/Steep Ravine with the long stair climb. Today's hike is pretty gentle and gradual with the climbing which is spread out through the hike. We are usually back in Petaluma (traffic and other things permitting) by 2:30-3:00.

      October 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sounds great and I'd love to be there, but have concerns about getting the children in time. Hope to see you next time- thanks so much for your helpful replies.

      October 17, 2013

  • Robin P.

    Back from Nuuuuu York City I need to reset my California-o- meter.

    October 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Tom. Have seen your write ups and they all look very interesting. Problem is I work P/T during the weekends. If u decide to do any of your adventures during weekdays, I certainly would b interested. Aloha Yelena

    October 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Aloha Yelena; you can always come on one of my adventures as we see all the of the forest & most of the trees. These are photography & wildlife, mushroom, & historical adventures . WE smell the roses along the way. No forced marches.
    Totally different !

    October 16, 2013

    • Kathy F

      Hi Tom. I see that you've never attended or RSVPed one of our hikes. I also see that you're an organizer/assistant organizer for 10 other Meet ups. Just curious, why are you responding to comments from others looking for real input and information about our events? I hope you actually come on one of our hikes soon; it would be great if you find out a bit about what we're like. Oh, and our events are all free. :)

      4 · October 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi. I have been told by one of the members that this grp walks at a very fast clip. My speed is moderate. Should I try this hike or wait for something easier? Tnx

    October 16, 2013

    • Kathy F

      Hi Yelena. Well... it depends! :) Many people think we go at the perfect pace, although some people think we're too slow and some people think we're too fast. Our goal is to do an average pace of 2.5 miles per hour. But we do accommodate hikers of different levels and paces. My suggestion is that you come and see what YOU think. This is a great hike (one of my favorites), and as long as you're comfortable with the distance and the elevation gain, I think you should give us a whirl. I hope you haven't been scared off and that we see you in the morning.

      1 · October 16, 2013

  • Kathy F

    If you are going to be at the PETALUMA car pool location, please reply to this comment. You can mute this discussion if you don't wan to see all the replies.

    July 17, 2013

    • Marie-Noelle

      Petaluma carpool

      1 · October 16, 2013

    • Janet S.

      Petaluma car pool

      October 16, 2013

  • Barbara T.

    Petaluma Carpool

    October 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So sorry to bail but work unexpectedly piled up:-(

    October 16, 2013

  • Kathy F

    Barbara, Mt Team is a state park and is not affected by the shutdown

    October 16, 2013

  • Barbara T.

    Hi there. So...can we hike this with Point Reyes officially closed? Or, do we have an alternate?

    October 16, 2013

  • Shirley D.

    I have to cancel to attend a meeting at SRJC.

    October 15, 2013

  • Kathy F

    Hi, Pat. There is a short stretch of stairs down towards the end...but you may be thinking of the Matt David, Steep Ravine hike that has lots of stairs both up and down.

    October 15, 2013

  • Pat B.

    Is this the hike with the stairs?

    October 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone coming from Fremont?

    October 15, 2013

  • Kelsey W.

    I have to bow out of this hike but hope to do another time. Have fun!!

    October 15, 2013

  • Shelley R.

    Petaluma Carpool

    October 15, 2013

  • Andy E.

    Coddingtown

    October 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great, looking forward to meeting the group as this is my first time. Will meet at the Petaluma site @ 8:55a.

    October 13, 2013

  • Leigh

    Hi Everyone! Because Kathy's hike was full and there was no room for me I have posted a 2nd Mt Tam hike! For those of you on the waiting list you should take a look. It IS a different hike as we will also leave from Pantoll (a little later) but we are going to the summit of Mt Tam. It's one of my favorites...hope to see you on the trail!

    October 13, 2013

  • Robin P.

    Back from Nuuuuu York City I need to reset my California-o- meter.

    October 11, 2013

  • Shirley D.

    Coddingtown carpool would work for me if I move to the "attending" list.

    October 11, 2013

  • Christy Vandever S.

    Kathy I went ahead and took myself off the "yes" list because I have so much piling on to my calendar next week that I'm going to be exhausted by Thursday! Wanted to make sure someone else would be able to go and actually enjoy it. ;) Sorry. Hope to see you soon.

    October 9, 2013

  • Kathy F

    If you are going to be at the SANTA ROSA car pool location, please reply to this comment. You can mute this discussion if you don't wan to see all the replies.

    July 17, 2013

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