One thing I love about living in San Francisco is how easily I can step outside of the city and see the blue ocean, get some fresh air, and revel in the lushness of the trees. In just a quick drive up the 1 Freeway, you’ll find yourself at Stinson Beach where you can enjoy the beach or hike in the hills. There are several different hiking trails up Mt. Tamalpais, so you’ll have many to choose from based on your skill level, time constraint, and mental resilience. In preparation for our upcoming Peru trip to Machu Picchu, Matt and I decided to test out all our gear on the Matt Davis-Steep Ravine Loop. The 7.3 mile trail offers you many different, beautiful features including giant trees, poppy flower-filled hills, and little streams (thanks to the drought we’re currently experiencing). For a pseudo-hiker like me, I’d allot approximately 3-4 hours and be wary that the trail is steep both ways. That means, you’ll be huffing and puffing on the way up and jamming your toes on your way down. We found this before we went, which was helpful.
If you park down at Stinson Beach, walk up past the fire station and you’ll see the trailhead for the Matt Davis trail on the right.
Beginning of the trail kicks your butt with a ton of stairs, which is great for your butt but horrible for your knees.
Then, a short reprieve and…
you’ll get your first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean over yonder.
And these vibrant poppies decorating the hills.
Cue: Sound of Music “The Hills are Alive”
At 4.1 miles, you’ll have reached the end of the Matt Davis trail. Carefully walk across the street into the parking lot where you’ll find the Steep Ravine trailhead for your descent.
Sun peaking out of these super tall trees.
Obligatory bridge photo.
Down climb the ladder and you’ll soon be on the Dipsea trail towards the finish line!
Catch your breath and take in the view. Not only is the view in front of your breathtaking, but take a look behind you.
If you’re hiking in the spring like we were, you’ll be taken aback with how green the hills are and how high up you hiked. Only about a mile more to go and you’ll be down by Stinson Beach.
Though a bit out of the way, if you have some time, go to Sol Food for lunch. Nothing quite quenches your thirst like Sol Food’s crisp limeade.
Y camarones. YOU DESERVE IT!
Name: Matt Davis Loop Trail
Location: Stinson Beach, CA.
Distance: 7.3 miles
Elevation gain: ~1500 ft
Hiking time: 3-4 hours
Season: Spring & Fall