If you ever wonder what’s the best hike in the San Francisco Bay Area, my recommendation is the one from Stinson Beach to the top of Mount Tamalpais (East Peak). Mount Tamalpais is short for Mt Tam locally. We hiked there on November 5, 2016, a very sunny Saturday.
We parked at Stinson Beach, the following address can be used for reference to find the parking lot there:
10 Marine Way, Stinson Beach, CA 94970
The trails we hiked are as below:
Stinson Beach Parking Lot-Matt Davis Trail–Pantoll Ranger Station Park HQ–Matt Davis Trail–Hoo-Koo-E-Koo Trail–Vic Haun Trail–Temelpa Trail–East Peak (784m)–Old Railroad Grade Trail-(West Point Inn)-Rock Spring Trail–(Mountain Theater)–Old Mine Trail–Pantoll Ranger Station Park HQ–Pantoll Ranger Station Park HQ–Steep Ravine Trail–Dipsea Trail-Stinson Beach Parking Lot
This is an 18 miles round trip. This post is from Stinson Beach to Pantoll Ranger Station, around 4 miles one way via Matt Davis Trail.
The trailhead of Matt Davis Trail is just behind the Stinson Beach Fire Station, as shown below.
It’s steep and curved from the beginning about 2 miles. We can see the beach or hear the sound from the beach on the trail.
After the stone steps, it’s a easy part without shade. The mountain is beautiful and the sea was covered by a thick cloud at that time.
When you see the sign below, it’s only 1.7 miles to the Pantoll Ranger Station. The left is Bolinas Ridge Trail from here.
This sign says 3.6 miles to the Stinson Beach from the Pantoll Ranger Station. You can come back the same way to the beach, but some of members go the Steep Ravine Trail and Dipsea Trail from here back to the beach, that’s around 7 miles in total.
For those who want to challenge the summit of the Mountain Tamlpais, continue on the Matt Davis Trail via Bootjack Campground.
Next post will mainly describe our hike on Hoo-Koo-E-Koo Trail, Vic Haun Trail, Temelpa Trail, and to the top (East Peak).