Light your season with this three-part, seven-mile hiking loop on majestic Mt. Tam. Part 1: Beginning halfway up the slopes of Mt. Tam’s western flank, take the Matt Davis Trail from Pantoll Ranger Station to Stinson Beach. Gobble up spectacular, bluff-side Pacific panoramas and hear caroling brooks as you whorl toward sea level. Part 2: Land in Stinson Beach and slide into the Sand Dollar Café, where comfort and joy await. If the sun is shining, treat yourself to their San Felipe fish tacos on the deck. A little cool? Head for the fire inside—New England clam chowder and a hot beverage will warm your bones. Part 3: By way of the Dipsea and Steep Ravine trails, hike through a redwood canyon, along more caroling brooks, and up a wooden ladder—perfect for that Season’s Greetings photo op—en route to your starting point at Pantoll. Do you hear what we hear?
Begin the loop at the Pantoll Ranger Station parking lot off Panoramic Hwy. (map), where you can also pick up trail maps. Take the Matt Davis Trail all the way to Stinson Beach. On your return from Stinson Beach, walk down Shoreline Highway, a.k.a. Highway 1, to its intersection with Panoramic Highway on the hill above the town. Walk a short distance up Panoramic, and pick up the first unmarked trail on your right, which is the Dipsea. It will later connect with Steep Ravine, which takes you back to Pantoll. No dogs are allowed. Visit Mount Tamalpais State Park’s Web site for more information.