Matt Davis Trail

Mount Tamalpais Watershed, California

Elevation Gain3,748ft
Trailhead Elevation1,490ft
Elevation Min/Max66/1592ft
Elevation Start/End1490/1490ft

Matt Davis Trail

Matt Davis Trail is a hiking trail in Marin County, California. It is within Mount Tamalpais Watershed and Mount Tamalpais State Park. It is 6.0 miles long and begins at 1,490 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,748 feet. Pantoll and another camp site, the Bootjack day use area parking, the Pantoll Ranger Station ranger station, and the Stinson Beach Fire Department fire station are near the trailhead. There are also restroom, drinking waters, a picnic site, and parkings. Bare Knoll (elevation 1,568 feet) can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Hoo-Koo-E-Koo Trail, Hogback Road, Coastal Trail and Nora Trail.

Matt Davis Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Matt Davis was known by some as the dean of trail workers, and the trail that bears his name was created in 1931 as a more level alternative to the Dipsea Trail. This is a classic Mount Tam loop hike with a great mix of scenery: woods, open grasslands, coastal scrub, and Bolinas Bay and Stinson Beach views.

While you can start this hike at Pantoll station— short for Panoramic Toll and named for the toll booth that was near this location on Panoramic Highway—I like starting near the Stinson Beach Fire Station."

"Climb from the seaside village of Stinson Beach to Pantoll, about midway up Mount Tamalpais, then descend back to the sea via the magical redwood forest within the
Steep Ravine."

"This is a great hike along south-facing ridges, into redwood canyons and over cascading creeks, offering views to the city and coast. Some traffic noise."

"Here is a magnificent hike through dense forest, past flowering hillsides, then along a refreshing creek. Spectacular views. May be overgrown in summer."

"This strenuous, but spectacular hike, starts out on coastal hills, then descends to Stinson Beach and returns along scenic Steep Ravine. Many stairs and some poison oak."

Matt Davis Trail Reviews

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Beautiful trail! This was a 4 mile hike for us. We started at Muir Woods and hiked the main trail through the giant redwoods and then uphill for about 2 miles. After you reach the top, you will walk downhill gradually with a breathtaking view of the Pacific and San Francisco. There are several different ways you could go once you reach the top, but we connected with the Dipsea trail and took that back down to where we parked. Next time, I think we'll take the Dipsea down to the ocean instead. Highly recommended!
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We have done this hike many times. It's a superb, relatively easy hike that takes you through a variety of micro climates and scenery. I recommend taking the Cataract trail just after a rainstorm when the falls are running freely. The Coastal section is eerily beautiful when the summer fog is in. On clear days you can see 26 miles to the Farrallon islands and north to Point Reyes. Even on hot sunny days there are sections of trail in heavy shade so it stays comfortable. Last week when we were on Mount Tam other hikers reported a mountain lion near junction of Coastal and Matt Davis so be aware!
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We went up from Stinson Beach to the trailhead, and back down on the Dipsea side. A spectacular hike, strenuous for sure, but the effort is rewarded by the beauty, quiet, vistas and the well-deservedness of the beer afterward.

Matt Davis Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Mount Tamalpais Watershed
Nearby City
Mount Tamalpais Watershed
California Department of Parks and Recreation; Friends of Mount Tam
Local Contacts
Stinson Beach Fire Station
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018