Some hiking trails just seem to get better (and more interesting) with rain. Mount Tam's 3.9-mile round-trip Dipsea Trail Loop is at its best when weathering the wets and wilds. Follow the trail as the creek rushes and tumbles into an impressive waterfall. Crisscross the water via a series of wooden bridges and enjoy the lush green vegetation and ferns festooning the path.
The round-trip length of the hike is about 9.5 miles. Unfortunately, dogs aren't allowed on the Dispea Trail.
You can pack a stellar picnic to take with you at the Mill Valley Market which is close to the start of the trail.
"Take Hwy 101 to the Hwy 1 'Mill Valley/Stinson Beach' exit. Follow Hwy 1 for 12 miles to the Panoramic Hwy, just before Stinson Beach. Turn right onto Panoramic Hwy and park at the Dipsea trailhead parking area on the left side of the road. (Lat: 37.89618 Lon: -122.6366)"
"Hike down via Dipsea and back up via Steep Ravine. You get to climb a 10ft ladder :)"
The Dipsea Trail stretches 7 miles from Mill Valley, CA to Stinson Beach, tracing the Redwood Creek watershed from the slopes of Mt Tamalpais to the Pacific Ocean. The Dipsea Trail crosses Redwood Creek in Muir Woods National Monument at the approximate midpoint of both the watershed and trail. Artifacts found near the Dipsea Trail suggest that indigenous Coast Miwok people followed a similar route from inland areas to the ocean.
The hike begins along the Dipsea Trail at Stinson Beach. It climbs gradually with many ocean views until you reach its' junction with the Steep Ravine Trail. From here it climbs 1000 ft. to Pantoll ranger station in 1.5 miles. It may seem difficult and steep, but we did not find it too bad. There are two significant waterfalls along Webb Creek in Steep Ravine. The upper one is interesting because you have to climb up the waterfall via a 10 ft. high ladder.