addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscontroller-playcrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupshelp-with-circleimageimagesinstagramFill 1light-bulblinklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1ShapeoutlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonprintShapeShapeShapeShapeImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruserwarningyahoo

Sharon's Mount Tamalpais Wildflowers Hike

MATT DAVIS AND STEEP RAVINE LOOP  - Mount Tamalpais State Park

LENGTH : 7 ½ miles ( 4 ½ hours with stops)

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Moderate

Hike Description: This hike delivers the best of Mount Tamalpais’ world-famous scenery, with flower-covered grasslands, coastal views, a dense redwood forest, and a cascading stream. Scheduling this hike in the early spring should also afford us wonderful views of spring flowers for which Mt. Tam is famous.

We’ll meet at the Pantoll Ranger Station (note: parking fee) cross Panoramic Highway and pick up the Matt Davis Trail on the southwest side of Pantoll Road. Matt Davis Trail laterals along the slope of Mount Tamalpais some 1,500 feet above the ocean, maintaining an even, easy grade. After a long stretch in a mossy oak and bay woodland, the trail breaks out into grasslands, introducing panoramic views of San Francisco to the south and Point Reyes to the north. At 1.6 miles, the trail splits: Coastal Trail to the right and Matt Davis Trail to the left.  We’ll head left and begin our descent to Stinson Beach, where we’ll break for a snack and enjoy the ocean. 

For the return, we’ll cross Panoramic Highway and begin our return leg of the loop on the Dipsea Trail. The trail makes a gradual climb through coastal scrub and grasslands, affording nonstop ocean views over the right shoulder. In 1.3 miles, Dipsea Trail joins with Steep Ravine Trail where we’ll begin a more serious climb along Webb Creek, rising 1,000 feet in two miles. Redwoods and Douglas firs tower over the cascading stream. In spring, colorful Chinese houses, calypso orchids, and trillium bloom in the shady understory. Wooden footbridges cross the creek a half-dozen times. We’ll need to duck and scramble under fallen redwood trunks, then climb a 10-foot ladder over a tricky trail stretch where Webb Creek is constricted by large boulders. Too soon, the trail ends at the parking lot at Pantoll Ranger Station.

Directions to Trailhead: From San Francisco, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and drive north on U.S. 101 for four miles. Take the Mill Valley/Stinson Beach/Highway 1 exit and continue straight for one mile to a stoplight at Shoreline Highway (Highway 1). Turn left on Shoreline Highway and drive 2.5 miles, then turn right on Panoramic Highway. Drive 0.9 mile to a four-way intersection. Take the middle road (straight), continuing on Panoramic Highway for 4.3 more miles to the Pantoll Ranger Station and parking lot.

Carpool info: I’ll be coming from Sonoma, so my South Bay friends can organize carpools and use the website to coordinate.


Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent hike! Mt. Tam is now my favorite hike. I love the plush growth and wildflowers, the mushrooms were interesting and the sounds of the waterfall ......... Just awesome. Thanks Sharon

    April 7, 2014

  • Sharon

    Thank you all for making the trek up to the North Bay to enjoy one of my favorite hikes. It was wonderful to enjoy the wildflowers, beach and roaring creek with everyone. Happy Spring!

    April 7, 2014

  • MARCIA

    the day couldn't have been more perfect! Warm, blue skies, lush hillsides, rushing creeks, wide sandy beach, and the best trail companions anywhere. Thanks, Sharon!

    April 7, 2014

  • Kitty

    Thank you Sharon for leading a beautiful hike. Sorry we left early. We ended up helping an older couple to drive their car down the hill. The wife doesn't drive much and the husband has a phobia of winding road next to the cliff. I drove the car down for them and am sure they had the ride of their life! They did ask me to pull over shortly after I told them I love doing donuts. But we were also got down the hill.

    April 7, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    This was one of the most beautiful hikes I have been on. Thank you, Sharon for lesding it.

    April 6, 2014

  • becky

    Wonderful, challenging hike with spectacular views and beautiful rainforest experience with the sounds of running streams, lush green foliage and the sounds of birds. Thank you Sharon for organizing.

    April 6, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Does anyone want to carpool? I'll be coming from Cupertino.

    April 4, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I would like to carpool from Page Mill. Be there at 7:30.

      April 4, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'll beeee there ..........

      April 4, 2014

  • jane b.

    Becky and I plan to be at Page Mill at 7:30-7:40 for carpooling.

    April 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Does anyone want to carpool from Fremont?

    April 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry I can not go I have to go out town this Saturday.

    April 4, 2014

  • Sadie

    Hi- Will anyone be carpooling from anywhere close to the park and ride off HWY 85 and Camden? Thank you!

    April 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry to be backing out so late: turns out I need to help somebody move on Saturday. I hope someone can make a change in their plans so they can attend the hike in my place.

    April 2, 2014

  • Monica

    Out of town - sorry that I will miss it Sharon!

    March 15, 2014

20 went

  • Sharon
    Event Host
  • Margaret
    100+ Hike Club
  • Kitty
    100+ Hikes Club
  • becky
    100+ Hikes Club
  • MARCIA
    Founding Member + 300+ Hikes Club, Assistant Organizer
  • jane b.
    100+ Hikes Club
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
    +1 guest
  • A former member
  • A former member

This Meetup is community funded

$12.00/year

Member dues are used to:
  • Cover Meetup costs
  • Help compensate organizers
  • Encourage more engaged members
  • Have a reserve fund
  • Provide supplies or equipment

90 day free trial

No credit card required

After the trial you must pay dues to be a member of this Meetup.

Cancel dues at any time.

Dues are billed each year.

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy